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How to Waterproof Gloves?

Writen by Joshua Clark

Fact checked by Daniel Rocha

The primary reason why you wear gloves is that you need to protect your hands from cuts and scratches. It is also a big help in keeping your hands dry and comfy and this last one is the reason why you need to know how to waterproof gloves. By waterproofing your gloves, it would be easy to make the most out of the winter wonderland with warm hands.

How to Waterproof Gloves

No one likes to wear soggy gloves and mittens, especially if it is freezing outside. This is why learning the basics of waterproofing your gloves is a must. Fortunately, here in this article, you will be taught ways of waterproofing different kinds of gloves so you can use them whenever and wherever you need them.

How to Waterproof your Winter Gloves and Mittens?

Wouldn’t it be nice if you can use your hands to work and play in the snow without worrying about getting your fingers and palms soaking wet and freezing cold? If you want to make sure that you do not have to endure the extreme cold and risk getting frostbitten fingertips then you need to waterproof your winter gloves and mittens.

Although almost all insulated winter gloves and mittens are already waterproof out of the box, their waterproofing property does wear off after a couple of seasons. This is why you need to freshen up the waterproofing of your gloves at least once a year, especially when you start noticing that your gloves are not providing the same kind of waterproofing they once had.


To make sure that your hands stay warm and dry for many more years to come, just follow these steps on how to make your gloves and mittens waterproof. First, purchase a waterproofing product that you can use for your gloves and mittens, products like the Nikwax Glove Proof.

Thoroughly wash and dry your gloves and mittens so that the waterproofing product can have a surface that it can easily cling to. Make sure that the gloves and mittens are completely dry as the waterproofing might run off with the excess water. Shake the can of Nikwax well and press the sponge applicator directly on the surface of your gloves.

Use the applicator to apply an even coating of the waterproofing all over the entire surface of the gloves or mittens. Make sure that you do not leave even a small patch without waterproofing. Pay extra attention to the seams and joints as these are the sections we commonly forget about and where water will most likely seep into.

Allow your gloves and mittens to sit and dry for around five minutes. After waiting, get a clean cloth, dampen it with some water and wipe the entire surface of your gloves and mittens. Allow your gloves and mittens to sit and dry completely. To make things quicker, you can toss your gloves and mittens into the tumble dryer and give them a spin for a couple of minutes.

To test the effectiveness of your waterproofing, have a snowball fight and check out its condition. If your hands still get a bit wet, repeat the process. However, this time, you need to place a lot more waterproofing on the gloves and mittens.

Your leather gloves act as a second layer of skin during the winter. It protects your hands not only from the cold but also from friction and the elements. Winter leather gloves also allow you to hold onto things better, including ski poles, ice carving tools, and ropes, among many others. Leather winter gloves provide protection, warmth, and comfort. However, the main benefits of leather gloves are durability, extremely customized fit (after you break it in), and their ability to provide a grippy surface.

Also, read our latest guide about the top-rated waterproof work gloves if you need.

How to Waterproof Your Leather Gloves?

When you want to waterproof your full-grain leather gloves, you need to buy waterproofing wax that is specifically made for leather. Premium glove brands provide a couple of sachets of waterproofing wax with each new pair. You can apply this wax on wet or dry gloves, just as long as the gloves are clean.


When applied properly, this will not only improve the water-repellent qualities of the gloves but also maintain their breathability. Here’s how to apply waterproofing wax onto your leather gloves properly:

  • If your gloves are dirty, you need to clean it first. Just grab a damp cloth and wipe away as much of the dirt as you can. Do not machine-wash leather gloves and avoid using harsh detergents as these will dry up the leather and cause it to crack.
  • If your gloves are too dirty and you need to wash them, do so by hand using warm water and mild detergent.
  • Do not machine dry your leather gloves. Hang them out to dry in a shaded area that gets a lot of indirect heat from the sun. Do not let the sunlight directly hit the gloves. This will cause them to shrink.
  • Put a dollop the size of a Hershey’s Kiss on each glove.
  • Using your hands, massage the cream into the leather gloves. Pay close attention to the seams to make the gloves extra waterproof. To prevent your hands from getting stained, wear a pair of disposable rubber gloves.
  • Let the wax sit for around five minutes and then using a soft, damp cloth, wipe any excess waterproofing wax off.
  • Lay the gloves flat on a clean surface and let them dry out completely in the air.

Note: Most waterproofing waxes can darken the leather of light-colored gloves. To make sure that the waterproofing wax will not do anything to your gloves, test a bit of it on a small, hidden part of it. When treated and maintained properly, you can expect a good pair of leather gloves to serve you for at least ten years.

How to Waterproof Fleece Gloves?

Fleece winter gloves are great. They are relatively cheap, keep your hands toasty warm, and breathable. However, the problem with fleece is that it is a snow magnet. Snow likes to stick onto fleece and the warmth from your hands melts the snow, making the gloves wet. This is why most people carry multiple pairs of fleece gloves so they can switch out the wet ones.


However, there is a way to make your fleece gloves waterproof. You can even use the stuff to make your fleece sweaters, jackets, and hats waterproof, too. This is a total game-changer, mainly because you can treat your fleece inner linings with it so that it stays dry even after a long hike. When it does get sweaty, it dries up quickly since it does not soak through.

There’s a product called Nikwax Polar Proof that you can use to essentially make your fleece garments waterproof. This is a milky white liquid that you just add to water and submerge your garments in them to treat them.

To make the treatment more effective, you can add in the Polar Proof in your washing machine then “wash” the garment in one cycle to thoroughly coat it with the waterproofing solution.

You can also wash the garments by hand if you want then hang them out to dry. You can also use the drier but set it to the lowest heat setting so you do not damage the waterproofing.  Here are some tips to get the best results when Polar Proofing fleece gloves:

  • Polar Proof works better when used on gloves that are 100% fleece, not the ones with faux leather fingertips or palms.
  • The gloves must be relatively new, does not have any holes or tears, and should not have any worn down spots. If possible, just buy a couple of pairs of new gloves and treat them with waterproofing at the same time
  • To make sure that the Polar Proof sticks to your garments better, you need to wash them using a gentle detergent then rinse them thoroughly to ensure that no residue is left. You do not have to completely dry the fleece gloves. You can continue with the waterproofing right after you wash your garments.
  • When you will be waterproofing fleece gloves, turn it inside out to remove any lint in the fingertips. Turn it over right side up again before you apply the Polar Proof on them.


Although most winter freezer gloves are already waterproofed right out of the box, they do tend to wear out after a season or two. This is the reason why you need to freshen up the waterproofing of your gloves every year, so they will feel and look like they are still brand new. Only a couple of gloves like fleece need to be treated with proper waterproofing chemicals.

When your gloves are perfectly waterproof, you can do anything regardless of the weather. Do you need to do some yard work in the middle of autumn? No problem. Do you want to play with your kids after a thick layer of powder snow fell last night? Go ahead. You can do all those if you are aware of how to waterproof gloves and implement it on your own.

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