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How To Wash Ski Gloves

3 November 2020
How To Wash Ski Gloves

Ski gloves and mittens have to withstand a lot during a ski holiday: touching lifts, holding onto poles, high fives after a great run, even wiping your nose. It’s no wonder they might start feeling a bit grubby and sweaty by the end of your trip. Follow our instructions to give them the refresh that they deserve.


Firstly, it’s essential to understand the material of your ski gloves. The fabrics, the type of insulation, and waterproofness all affect the way you care for your gloves. The materials will be listed on the care label.

Synthetic fabrics and leather are the materials used for the majority of ski gloves, but in many cases, it isn’t just one or the other. Synthetic gloves sometimes have a reinforced palm area or fingers and thumbs made from leather or faux-leather. If your gloves have any leather elements, you should avoid submerging them in water.

Insulation in ski gloves is typically synthetic fill, but down-filled gloves and mitts do exist. It’s important to know if your gloves have down fill as it can lose its heat-trapping properties if not washed and looked after correctly. Some ski gloves may have a separate shell and liner, in which case we recommend that you wash them separately.

Most ski gloves have a fully waterproof membrane, such as GORE-TEX, or are highly water repellent thanks to a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating. Waterproof and water repellent items require specific washing products as regular laundry detergents will strip the DWR coating, removing any repellent properties and making a waterproof membrane less effective. Choose the appropriate products from our outdoor clothing and gear cleaning range.

Ski mittens

How to wash synthetic ski gloves?

Hand wash

Use a mixture of warm water and technical wash designed for waterproof clothing, such as Grangers or Nikwax. You can either submerge the glove for tough stains or dip a clean cloth or soft sponge in the mixture and spot clean. Our top tip is to wear the glove while you clean the outside as it provides a stable backing to rubbing off dirt.

You can turn your gloves out down to the palm to get better access for cleaning the inner but never turn them inside out entirely.

Machine wash

We recommend using a mesh washing bag, especially for gloves with straps and leashes, to avoid damage to the gloves. You don’t need to turn your gloves inside out for a machine wash and doing that could damage the stitching in the fingers.

Check that the detergent drawer is clean and empty before pouring in the correct amount of technical wash. Run a gentle cycle following the temperature recommendation printed on the care label.

Drying & Reproofing

Gently squeeze your gloves to drain most of the water but don’t wring or twist them. We recommend air drying your ski gloves away from direct heat, but you can use the tumble dryer if the care label permits.

Any waterproof gloves will benefit from a reproofing at this stage to restore the DWR treatment. Spray-on products, such as Performance Repel Plus are the easiest for gloves, but if your gloves are machine washable, you can use a wash-in product such as TX Direct.

How to wash down insulated ski gloves?

For down insulated gloves and mittens, follow either the hand or machine guide above depending on the care label instructions, but switch the cleaning product to a down wash. Down fill requires tumble drying after getting wet to regain its lofting properties.

If your down-filled mittens have leather elements to them, follow the washing guide for leather gloves.

How to wash full or part leather ski gloves?

Use a gear cleaner suited for leather and remove dirt by gently rubbing and spot-cleaning with a clean cloth. The most effective technique is to wear the glove while cleaning it.

For gloves with leather parts, avoid touching the rest of the glove with a leather cleaner and follow the synthetic hand wash guide above for other areas. Alternatively, you can choose a cleaner that is suitable for all materials.

After washing, use either a leather conditioner or wax, such as the Hestra Leather Balm designed specifically for gloves, to protect the leather from cracks.

About the Author:

Iida Ruokojärvi - Outdoor Expert

Iida grew up in Finland where she was introduced to the outdoors at a very young age. Snowboarding has become second nature to her despite now living in a less snowy part of the world. Since moving to the UK, she rediscovered her love for hiking and continues to explore the British mountains and beyond.

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