How to Wash Ski Gloves and Mittens

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At the end of a long, fun day on the slopes or at the end of the season, your ski gloves or mittens may need a wash.

Washing your gloves not only keeps them clean, but it also prevents the build-up of bacteria which can cause funky smells and helps to keep them fresh and conditioned. But, before you go throwing your gloves into the nearest washer, modern materials and construction of gloves and mittens mean regular washing isn’t necessary nor recommended. Wash them when they are dirty and a spot-clean hasn’t worked and before you pack your ski gear away at the end of the season.

Wet gloves that aren‘t dirty, just wet from a day on the slopes will be fine to dry your gloves out overnight without washing them. 

Smelly gloves that aren’t dirty, will be fine after a quick sprinkling of baking soda inside each glove or mitten. Shake well and empty into the bin or sink; the baking soda or you can use cornstarch too, absorbs the bad smells for a fast freshen-up.

Read on for some hints and tips on how to wash your gloves and mittens.

First, it’s a good idea to check the care label on your gloves or mittens. The label will show the correct washing instructions for example if they need to be hand-washed or the washing cycle to use.

Washing care label

Next, regardless of which material or materials your gloves are made from, avoid:

  • Harsh chemicals or bleaches.
  • Fabric softeners.
  • Dry cleaning.

Before you wash your gloves or mittens, try to spot clean just the dirty area with a clean, damp cloth. This might be a better choice for the short-term than washing them.

Should I Turn my Gloves Inside Out?

A debate you will find over many sites and over many Après-ski discussions! Consensus says unless it is essential, you shouldn’t turn your gloves inside out. Apart from being a pain to turn back out again, it can damage the delicate stitching in the fingers.

To clean the inside of your gloves, turn out the palms only.

How Should I Wash my Ski Gloves and Mittens?

Wash per the manufacturer's instructions in your domestic washer but be mindful of using on-site commercial washers as these may be too hot.

  • It is preferable to wash by hand though as it allows you to manipulate and wash your gloves without the continual rotation of a washer which might cause damage.
  • Choose a gentle detergent, you can get great handwash detergents such as Woolite or an infant detergent which will contain less harsh chemicals than a regular washing detergent.
  • The easiest way to clean your gloves is to wear them, this allows you to wash between the fingers across the palms and the cuffs.
  • Don’t apply too much pressure, wring, twist or knead your gloves, this could cause rips in the stitching and isn’t necessary to get them clean.
  • Make sure you rinse your gloves to wash away any remaining detergent.

After you’ve washed your gloves and mittens:

  • Squeeze them to drain any excess water
  • Place onto a towel and roll up to mop up as much moisture as possible.
  • Place them somewhere away from direct sunlight or heat and allow to dry naturally.
  • Place your gloves fingers up and make sure they are dry before you wear them again. Moisture or damp inside a glove could quickly turn your fingers and hands cold when you get on the slopes.

How Should I Wash my Water-Repellent Gloves and Mittens?

These are best washed by hand using a mild detergent.

Don’t forget that you should spray a water-repellent spray onto your synthetic gloves after washing so they are ready for the slopes again.

How Should I Wash my Leather Ski Gloves and Mittens?

Leather is a natural product which behaves differently than wools or synthetic materials. If you look after leather it will last for years. Remember to treat it regularly and handle with care when washing and drying.

  • If you have only lightly soiled or marked gloves, use a leather cleaner on that spot and don’t clean the whole glove.
  • If you must wash your leather gloves or mittens use a gentle detergent and be careful not to wring or twist the fabric. The easiest way is to wear your gloves and gently rub between the fingers to loosen any dirt before rinsing well.

After you washed your gloves or mittens:

  • Don’t place your leather gloves on a heat source as this can cause cracking and damage the leather.
  • It is vital that after your leather gloves are completely dry, you treat them with a good-quality wax or conditioner to keep them supple and waterproof.

How Should I Wash my Ski Glove Liners?

Most glove liners can be washed in your washer but, check the washing instructions first to make sure. If you throw them in the washer, follow these tips:

  • An infant or mild detergent such as Woolite should protect the delicate fabric of your liners.
  • Use cold water, or a cool cycle to avoid shrinkage.
  • Avoid washing with rough fabrics or items that might cause snags such as buttons or zippers.

Can I Put Ski Gloves and Mittens in the Washer or Washing Machine?

Check the manufacturer's guidance on the correct care of their gloves, it will depend on the material or materials used in the gloves. Follow their instructions on the washing cycle and temperature to use. Use a gentle detergent or a specialist detergent such as Woolite to keep them in good shape.

Don’t forget, wash your gloves and mittens at the end of the season before you pack them away; no one wants a smelly surprise when they unpack their gear again next year!

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