Riding a motorcycle isn't just about the thrill of the open road; it's also about the gear that keeps you safe and comfortable. Among the essential gear, motorcycle gloves are your trusty companions, ensuring a firm grip, protection, and comfort during your rides. Good quality motorcycle gloves aren’t cheap, as such, it is prudent to take preventive care to ensure that it lasts longer. And of course, well maintained gear is always a pleasure to use.
But do you know how to properly store, care for, and clean these vital accessories? Let's dig in to see the art of keeping your motorcycle gloves in top-notch condition.
A. Storing Your Gloves
After a great ride, it's tempting to just toss your gloves aside and call it a day. However, proper storage can significantly extend their lifespan.
- Many riders get off the saddle, stuff their gloves in the helmet and forget about it. This is a bad idea, as it both spoils your gloves and helmet in one fell stroke.
- Avoid leaving gloves exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures for prolonged periods. UV rays can damage the fabric and material, while extreme temperatures can affect the structural integrity of the gloves.
- Ideally, you should store your gloves in a cool, dry place. If you have a motorcycle gear cabinet or a designated area for your riding gear, that's the perfect spot.
- Also, avoid leaving heavy objects on top of your gloves to prevent any deformities or creases. Keeping it in an open spot, allows any moisture and sweat to dry off gradually.
- When gloves are stored wet or in a non-ventilated area, this may cause deformations and ruin your gloves, not to mention this allows mildew to grow on the leather causing discoloration and damage.
- If you are storing your winter gloves for the entirety of the summer, then sun them out and store them away, as you would do with your other cold weather clothing.
- Keep an eye on your gloves, if you live in a coastal area with high humidity, leather gloves can get mould if unused for long in such conditions.
- Motorcycle Gloves Care & Maintenance
Taking care of your motorcycle gloves isn't just about preserving their appearance; it's about maintaining their protective features.
- Regularly inspect your gloves for any signs of wear and tear, loose stitching, or damaged padding. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent further damage and ensure your safety on the road.
- Additionally, if your gloves are made of leather, consider using a leather conditioner. This helps keep the leather supple and prevents it from becoming brittle over time. Be cautious while choosing a conditioner, as some products might darken the leather.
- Make sure that your gloves are completely dry before you store them.
- Place them in a breathable cotton bag to protect them from dust but with enough air circulation to prevent mildew from forming.
- Store them in a cool, dry, well ventilated area
B. Cleaning Your Gloves
Let's face it – motorcycle gloves can get dirty, especially after a long ride. Cleaning them not only keeps them looking good but also helps eliminate any odours that might have accumulated. Cleaning regularly is probably the most important part of motorcycle glove maintenance.
Before you dive into cleaning, check the care label if your gloves have one. Different materials may require different cleaning methods. Here's a general guideline (do check manufacturer recommendations before proceeding):
1. Leather Gloves
Leather is the most wonderful material to have for making gloves. But leather also requires more care and maintenance for a long life.
Follow this process for cleaning. drying and conditioning your leather gloves -
- Microfiber/ soft cloth
- Small bowl or mixing cup
- Absorbent towels
- Soft-bristled brush
- pH neutral leather cleaner
- Leather conditioner
- Lukewarm water
How to clean riding gloves?
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix a portion of leather cleaner in lukewarm water.
- Dampen a microfiber cloth with the mixture and gently wipe the stained areas. If the gloves have mud splatters, allow the mud to dry before attempting to clean it away. Use a soft-bristled brush to brush it away before cleaning with cloth.
- Clean the gloves starting at the wrist and working toward each fingertip. Be sure to clean well between each finger. Keep moving to a clean area of the cloth as the dirt is transferred. 4. Rinse the cloth often as the dirt is transferred. Turn the gloves over and repeat on the other side.
- DO NOT USE HOT WATER
- DO NOT allow your gloves to come in contact with solvents (do not use fabric softener!), fuel, or cleaning agents.
- DO NOT use any kind of CHEMICAL or scrub the leather
- Do not use a washing machine or high-pressure devices to clean the gloves, as high temperatures and pressure will damage the leather.
How to dry wet gloves?
- Dry the gloves by pressing softly with an absorbent towel after cleaning. You can also do this when your gloves get wet in the rain.
- Allow damp gloves to dry slowly, as this will prevent the leather from stiffening and cracking.
- Never dry wet gloves with a blow-dryer or put them on a radiator or direct sunlight or other heat source to dry – this will harden the leather and lead to damage. Also dry the gloves indoors away from direct sunlight where there is good ventilation.
- While your gloves are drying, periodically put them on your hands to stretch the leather and ensure they don't shrink.
- Just before the gloves are completely dry, put the gloves on and shape them to your hand while still damp. Remove the gloves gently, trying to retain this shape in the gloves and allow it to continue drying.
How to condition gloves?
After the gloves are completely dry, apply a good quality leather conditioner. This is very important. Properly treated and conditioned (oiled) leather will breathe and the internal microfibers will move freely in the leather.
- Use a good quality leather conditioner that will allow the leather to breathe.
- Apply conditioner and rub it into the leather.
- Allow the conditioner to soak into the gloves and reapply (if needed).
- Wipe off any excess conditioner and make sure the gloves are not slick on the motorcycle controls.
2. Textile/ Mesh Gloves
These gloves are made of a mixture of mesh and textile. These gloves won’t have leather in their construction, so the cleaning method is quite different compared to leather gloves.
- Clean the outside of the gloves using a damp cloth as soon as you are able to after your off-road session, this will make the stains easier to remove.
- Leaving the gloves un-clean over a longer period of time will make the stains tougher to remove.
- Do not wash gloves in a washing machine.
- Do not use any detergents, fabric stain removers, bleach or any chemicals for cleaning
- If there are stains which you are not able to remove using a damp cloth, use a soft bristled brush soaked in a mild ph. neutral soap and rinse off using cold water.
- Do not wring the gloves. Hang out to dry in a ventilated area out of the sun
- The fabric is quite efficient at sweat wicking. To counter any odour, use a mild glove deodorizer to spray inside the gloves.
3. Waterproof/ Winter Gloves
These gloves are generally made of waterproof materials on the outside to keep your hands dry. While the inside has insulation and therefore has some amount of density as compared to other gloves, as such they need a different approach to cleaning.
- Clean the outside of the gloves by hand using a damp cloth. Do not use hot water.
- Remove difficult stains by using neutral soap. Do not use any detergents, fabric stain removers, bleach or any chemicals for cleaning.
- Just before the gloves are completely dry, put the gloves on and shape them to your hand while damp. Remove the gloves while trying to retain this shape and allow them to continue drying.
- Do not allow your gloves to come in contact with harsh chemicals, solvents (do not use fabric softener!), petrol or cleaning agents.
- Do not place your gloves near, or let your gloves get in contact with a direct heat source.
Your motorcycle gloves play a crucial role in ensuring your safety and comfort on the road. Properly storing, caring for, and cleaning them not only prolongs their lifespan but also enhances your overall riding experience. Keep them in a cool, dry place, regularly inspect for wear and tear, and clean them gently following the guidelines for your specific glove type.
By giving your gloves the attention they deserve, you're not only protecting your investment but also ensuring a safer and more enjoyable ride!