Tips to Soften Leather Safety Gloves Quickly

Leather is a flexible yet strong material obtained by tanning or chemically treating animal skin. The common animal skins that have been used are goat, sheep, buffalo etc. Leather is widely used for different products, be it safety or apparel, like men’s leather shoes, jackets, belts, wallets or even in women’s wear. And if we discuss safety, leather gloves tops the conversation due to its durability and protection features. Many safety gear companies like Elite Leather or others have been working around innovative ideas to bring more durability in safety equipment and gears by using leather for high protection.

We can not deny the importance of the usage of leather safety gloves at work, as they are not only made smooth and flexible for comfort but also provide safety from the tough environment. But the only problem that occurs is that they get hard and cracked if not properly taken care of.

Leather hand gloves might break if it stays hard for a long time, and because of this it becomes necessary to keep them moist. By keeping leather gloves soft with the right techniques and safety tips, you can enhance their life and keep them in their right shape for a long time.

In this article, we will share the best way to soften leather gloves.

1- Water

Water softens leather safety gloves, spray a little amount of water on the gloves. Distilled water is recommended to avoid any residue, but water tap can be used also.

Let the material absorb the liquid and then remove any excess water with microfiber cloth and leave the leather gloves to dry naturally.

After the leather is dried out, you can apply leather conditioner that softens and moisturises the leather gloves.

2- Use Leather Conditioner:

The conditioner specifically made for leather helps in strengthening the leather materials or in this case the leather safety gloves. It greatly helps in providing a lasting solution, and it would be useful to get a dedicated leather conditioner, which a leather can absorb thoroughly into the material.

Avoid oily conditioners at all costs, as well as solutions or combinations containing petroleum as it makes the leather weak, and always check the instructions on the tub or bottle. The conditioner should have the capability of locking lubricating fats, like oil conditioner based on an animal.

Apply the conditioner by spreading, spraying, or rubbing it into the material, allowing it to absorb fully and let the gloves dry prior to wearing them.

3- Using of Natural Oils

Natural oils that can be used in softening the leather gloves are jojoba oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, almond oil and olive oil. But before applying the oil, put the gloves outdoors, preferably on a sunny day, and leave them for approximately 10-15 minutes. This helps in opening the pores of the material.

The natural oils are not limited to the ones mentioned above, you can use any oil that softens the skin. You can also use oil with a nice smell, so you will enjoy the resulting smell.

4- Use of Vaseline and Rubbing Alcohol

To soften the leather gloves apply vaseline with rubbing alcohol, and it helps in preventing gloves from cracking. To start off, first dab the cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and apply it on the gloves, it will loosen up your gloves.

After the rubbing alcohol fully absorbs in the leather, prepare the vaseline and apply an amount onto the gloves with your fingertips.

You will notice that your leather gloves soften right after the single application of Vaseline. These alternatives will not affect the quality or color of the leather.

5- Use of Shaving Cream

Yes, the shaving cream also helps to soften your leather work gloves. Just get a soft and damp cloth then apply some shaving cream on it, the cloth should not be too damp as this can cause damage to the surface of the leather.

Rub the cloth with shaving cream and do this with back and forth movement, following the material’s grain. The leather gloves will start softening right after the cream is completely absorbed. If needed again, you can apply the cream once more.

Never apply the cream directly onto the material. A quarter-size of the cream is recommended, and this is just enough to make it soft without damaging it.

6- Lanolin

Lanolin has emollient characteristics and greasy texture, it comes from the sheep wool and is a waxy substance. Lanolin moisturises the material and keeps the leather soft.

On a dry cloth, put a small amount of lanolin and then apply it to the leather hand gloves. Because of the Lanolin waxy substance, it may leave some residue on the leather surface. Always remove the residue in linear stroke with clean cloth, never apply lanolin in circular motion as it may leave marks, and they are difficult to remove.

Once you soften your leather work gloves, it is significant that you maintained them. It will ensure their durability and use.

How to care after softening the Leather Safety Gloves

Here are some tips for your gloves which can help them to last for a longer period;

  • Never store your gloves in sealed plastic bags, place them in an area where there is a good flow of air.
  • Always use a slightly damp cloth for stains cleaning
  • Never exposed them to direct sunlight
  • When conditioning or polishing your gloves, choose conditioners that do not have dyes in it
  • Be very specific when choosing the conditioner for your leather hand gloves


It is always a good practice to ensure your safety, and it should not be neglected in any circumstances while working in a tough environment. Leather materials are best for working gloves, and very useful in protecting hands from injuries.

The above-mentioned are some effective ways to soften leather hand gloves, and you may try them as they are tried and tested. It also helps to maintain them for long-lasting use and prevent them from becoming dry and brittle.

Author Bio:

Sibtain Haider, a content contributor at Mainstream Pakistan, associated with trading and digital marketing. Presently working at Digital Eggheads, a well-reputed digital marketing agency in Pakistan.

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