Gloves and mittens are an essential part of your skiing and snowboarding gear setup. However, after you've worn them a few times and the sweat starts soaking in, it might be time for a wash. So how do you wash your ski gloves without compromising the quality and finish? Read on to find out.
We know that skiing and snowboarding is hard work sometimes. And no matter your level, you’ll work up a bit of a sweat. We’d regularly wash our kit to keep our gear fresh and working well if we were going to the gym, so the same should go for ski gear — particularly ski gloves. Our ski gloves empower us to ride harder and explore, but after a few trips to the mountains, they are in desperate need of some TLC. So, how do you wash ski gloves without compromising the performance and quality? Let's dive in and explore how to wash all different types of ski gloves without sacrificing durability, breathability or waterproofing.
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Ski gloves and mittens go through a lot during a ski holiday: holding onto poles, strapping in and fiddling with bindings, high fives after a great run, and much more. Despite all this, ski gloves are built to last if you look after them. Washing them after every week-long ski try is a good idea. There are a few things you can do to prepare. First things first, it's important to understand which material your ski gloves are. The materials will be listed on the care label ...
Of course, the best place to start is the wash and care label. Very often, full care instructions can be found there. However, we have broken it down for you in this article if in doubt. Be sure to pay extra special attention to whether the care label instructs you to remove the liners of the gloves and wash the outer and inner layers separately or whether you can wash them together. Either way, we want to keep harsh chemicals and bleaches off your gloves, as well as avoiding high temperatures. Being gentle is the best way forward.
Now that you’ve checked the care label and know what your gloves are actually made of, we’ve broken down the washing instructions for the most common glove types. There’s a lot of things that can go wrong if you’re not being careful, especially with leather and silk gloves. So read on and let’s take a look at the instructions and get your gloves nice and clean.
Begin by using a dry cloth or sponge to remove excess dirt from the surface. Then you can use water to spot-clean the less stubborn stains. Next, simply use a "blotting" action with the damp cloth to loosen more embedded stains. Next up, to freshen the inside and the outside of the gloves, use a mixture of water and mild soap or Woolite (you could also consider a speciality gentle handwashing soap). Do not use fabric softener as this will interfere with the waterproofing protection layer. Then leave your synthetic gloves to soak for a while, you can gently rub them against one another to loosen the stains, but after 30 minutes to 1 hour, gently rinse your gloves and squeeze water out.
Silk gloves are extremely lightweight but effective in providing extra warmth under your regular ski glove. They are soft and breathable, so you know your hands will be warm but never sweaty. Some gloves are 100% silk, so we suggest following the guidelines very closely. Whilst other silk liners may be a mix of silk and synthetic, in which case you have slightly more room for error.
As the material is delicate, you must wash it with care. Fill a sink up with lukewarm water, ensuring it's not too hot, so that they don’t shrink. Add a small amount of silk and delicate detergent and gently rub the gloves in the water. Silk is pretty temperamental, so be sure to not rub too much. Rinse thoroughly under cold water and and even add a splash of vinegar (trust the process), to get all the soap out.
Don’t wring them out aggressively because the material will stretch, but instead leave them to dry on a towel, to absorb the moisture.
Leather gloves are famously thick, sturdy, and very warm, but they also require a lot of maintenance for them to be effective and last you a long time. However, if you nail the cleaning of leather gloves, they will last you a lifetime.
First things first, never totally submerge your leather gloves in water — and that includes using the washing machine. The best way to get rid of any dirt is using a warm damp cloth to wipe the gloves. Leave to dry naturally and do not put them in contact with heat, for example, a radiator.
It is super important for looking after leather ski gloves, that you should buy leather-specific products. For cleaning, there are special spray-on solutions that you can work into the leather which freshen it. Once the gloves have dried, you can then use a leather conditioner or wax for waterproofing and to help preventing it from cracking.
Down gloves are great for padding and warmth and are a good glove to choose if you get cold hands. They are more durable than other gloves and can be washed relatively easily too.
You can hand wash by filling some warm water with a technical wash, which will maintain the waterproofing. Or simply use a warm, damp sponge to scrub off the dirt gently. You can also machine wash, but do it on a warm and gentle wash and do not turn them inside out.
Down gloves, when wet or when they have been in the washing machine, may have some of the down moved around. The normal tip is to wring them or twist them, but instead, you can put them on a warm and soft tumble dry to dry the down and get it to fluff up. If the label does not permit tumble drying, simply allow them to dry naturally away from direct heat.
What should I never do when cleaning my ski gloves?
Avoid using harsh detergents or bleach, which can damage the gloves' material and waterproofing. Also, never wring out leather gloves or dry any type of gloves via direct heat as it can cause shrinking and damage.
How do I maintain the durability of my ski gloves post washing?
For synthetic gloves, avoid fabric softener as it interferes with the waterproofing layer. For leather gloves, using leather conditioner or wax post-washing maintains their finish and prevents cracking.
So there you have it, all the basics covered in how to wash your ski gloves. You won't need to suffer through slightly sweaty and unloved gloves anymore, so freshen them up just in time for your next adventure.