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How to Soften Leather Work Gloves With 5 Great Methods

Writen by Joshua Clark

Fact checked by Daniel Rocha

how to soften leather work gloves

How to soften leather work gloves? Your safety leather work gloves will harden with time, causing cracking or breaking. Isn’t this something that a lot of people have gone through?

As a result, your work gloves may quickly become unusable. To alleviate this issue, leather gloves must be softened. Softening leather gloves is a simple process. When you do a lot of work with your hands, it will help them last longer.

We’d like to show you the best way to soften leather work gloves in this article: use oil, shaving cream, vaseline, leather conditioner, and water. You may rest confident that all of the ingredients can be obtained in your kitchen or online stores.

What Will You Need?

If you are interested in being able to prepare, I will mention a few items that will need to be utilized here:

  • A towel or cloth
  • A plastic bag
  • An old toothbrush
  • Natural oil
  • Leather conditioner
  • Oil for leather gloves specialized
  • Vaseline
  • Shaving cream
  • Simply Water

Why Can Those Methods Be Applied to the Situation?


  • Natural oil

As leather gloves get older, they start to get stiff and hard. The more you wear them, the harder they get. But there are some simple steps you can take to soften stiff leather gloves by restoring their natural flexibility.

The oils will help break down the fats that have hardened on the surface of your gloves and restore their natural suppleness. It is best to use vegetable oil like olive, corn, or peanut oil because of its longevity and natural properties.

  • Leather conditioner

It is important to use a leather conditioner on leather gloves for the following reasons:

+ Leather conditioners help to repair and protect the leather. They can restore suppleness, luster, and flexibility to dry, worn-out, or cracked surfaces.

+ Conditioners also protect against scratches and abrasions during usage. They give a protective layer to the surface of the glove and make it resistant against stains like ink, coffee, or cosmetics.

+ Conditioning step also helps to put grip back in your gloves. They can preserve elasticity and make it easier for you to wear them without breaking a sweat every time you put them on.

  • Oil for leather gloves specialized

To protect the quality of leather gloves, they must be moisturized, and moisturizing them with the correct oil is very important.

The leather gloves specialized are perfect for moisturizing leather gloves. Because it does not leave any oily residue on your hands, it simply rubs in and leaves your gloves soft and supple.

Leather gloves are often used by workers in industries like construction, mining, agriculture, and foresting, to name a few. These professionals wear their work clothes every single day without the benefit of using a washing machine or dryer. As such, softening their leather gloves is an important part of their maintenance routine.

  • Vaseline

Vaseline is a petroleum-based product that is used to soften leather gloves. It helps when the leather becomes stiff or cracks, and it can be removed with soap and water.

The use of Vaseline in softening leather work gloves can be dated back to the 1800s when it was used by sailors as a waterproofing agent for their boots. Check this article to find the best way to waterproof leather gloves!

  • Shaving cream

Shaving cream is well-known for its ability to soften leather gloves. This is explained by the presence of lanolin and glycerin in this cream.

Lanolin contains nourishing qualities that allow it to be used as a moisturizer for dry skin and fabrics. Meanwhile, glycerin can be used to soften and relieve dry skin.

  • Simply Water

Water can soften leather gloves, although it is a much slower process than using a commercial product.

A chemical called sodium hydroxide is usually used to make the leather pliable. The water softens the leather by breaking down the proteins in the hide and loosening them up.

This chemical is found in soap and also in some types of cooking oils such as olive oil and coconut oil.

How Do We Do It?


1. With Oil

  • Apply oil evenly onto the treated area with a cotton cloth or sponge until it is soaked through.
  • Leave for at least three hours before removing excess oil with a towel or dry cloth
  • Allow your leather gloves to air dry or place them on an old towel in an open area to facilitate quick drying.

2. With leather conditioners

The leather conditioner can be rubbed or sprayed into the gloves. Allow it to allow for a few minutes to absorb. Allow the gloves to dry before putting them on.

Additionally, avoid oily conditioners and combinations containing petroleum. It may cause the leather to wear out.

3. With Shaving cream

Shaving cream is a great way to soften leather work gloves.

The key is to rub the shaving cream into the leather and then wear it for about 10 minutes. The heat from your hands will help keep the heat in, which will help to soften the gloves even more.

There is also another option. Shaving cream is sprayed over a clean, somewhat moist soft cloth. Then, carefully apply a cloth to your leather gloves and, if feasible, massage along the contours of the skin to minimize any potential issues.

The cream will soften as it is absorbed by the skin. You can repeat the process for the best results.

4. With Water


  • Soak the leather for about 10 minutes in a bucket of water
  • If you need to, wring out the gloves and then seal them in a plastic bag
  • This will prevent any water from evaporating
  • A quick-drying cycle will then be sufficient to dry the gloves

5. With Vaseline

The first thing to do is to soak the gloves in warm water. Add some soap to the water before soaking them for about an hour. The next step is to rinse the gloves off and dry them with a towel. The final step is to put some Vaseline on each glove and then use an old toothbrush or your fingers to work it into the gloves.

Q&A About Softening Leather Work Gloves

If you have any further questions, please continue reading the questions and answers below. I truly hope it satisfies your expectations.

Q: What causes the cracking or breaking of leather work gloves?

A: The problems with gloves may be caused by the following:

  • The operator’s gloves are not tight enough and can’t hold up under pressure.
  • Work with unbalanced loads, such as unusual and sudden movements, requiring a high degree of dexterity.
  • The product is not durable enough and it has low quality or strength.
  • Sudden changes in temperature in the workplace.

Q: What is the best way to know when gloves need conditioning?

A: The best way to know when gloves need conditioning is to observe how they feel as the day goes on. If they feel dry or stiff, it may be time for some extra attention.

Gloves provide a valuable and important service to those who wear them. Gloves protect wearers from everything from contaminants on their hands to common hand injuries. Some gloves, like household gloves, are made of softer materials and may need conditioning more often than others.

Q: What should be done for your leather gloves after softening?

A: The following is a list of instructions on how to care for your leather work gloves after softening:

  • Let the gloves dry and cool down before you handle them and do any work.
  • Wash with soap and water or leather cleaner to remove all traces of the softening agent. However, for white leather gloves, there will be some special notes. Here are tips and tricks for cleaning white leather gloves you should keep in mind!
  • Apply a sealant or protectant to keep them from drying out too quickly or cracking prematurely.
  • Shake any excess water off the gloves before wearing them again.


What do you think of the above methods on how to soften leather work gloves? Isn’t it simple?

The methods listed above are only a few of the most effective and easy methods for softening leather gloves that I’ve tried. There are so many contemporary goods on the market, in addition to the treatments listed here, that you may access a wide choice of commercially accessible products for the task. Emollients and conditioners designed to make leather gloves supple and soft are among your alternatives. However, in an emergency, the solutions listed above are quite beneficial!

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