How to Clean Golf Gloves to Make Them Feel Brand New
Written by Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens started playing golf at the age of 4 when Rory Sabattini's father put a 7-iron and putter in his hand. He has experienced all the highs and lows the game can throw at you and has now settled down as a professional golf writer. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for 28 years. Current Handicap: 8

Updated on December 12, 2023

Filthy golf gloves are a common sight for amateurs who pay no attention to them. The dirtier a glove grows, the less traction it provides and the shorter its lifespan.

In this article, I will teach you how to clean golf gloves to help you look the part and improve friction.

The majority of designs do handle machine washing as they are fragile creations. Therefore, you typically need to hand wash golf gloves. I will take you through each step to execute this delicate cycle without damaging your property.


Can You Wash Golf Gloves?

Yes, you can wash gloves. However, they are delicate products, requiring most to be hand-washed with care. Although some designs allow for machine washing, it is suggested you induce a delicate cycle. Otherwise, it can lead the material to rip or peel, reducing the lifespan of even a new golf glove.

In addition, your washing machine may swamp your golf glove with excess moisture, which reduces traction and flexibility.

Furthermore, you can prolong the lifespan of your golf gloves, if you maintain, clean, and care for them.


How to Clean Your Golf Gloves in 9 Easy Steps

Step 1: Brush Off Surface Dirt

Before adding soap and water to the equation, you must prep your glove for cleaning. Grab a soft-bristle brush and gently remove top layer debris, dust, and grime. The most effective approach is to wear your glove so that it is totally outstretched, to reach every nook and cranny.

This clears the path for you to thoroughly remove the deep-seated mud, perspiration, and grime mixture on the glove.

Step 2: Rub Dirt Stains With Mild Detergent

Once the top layer of dust is removed, turn your attention to the visible dirt marks on the material. Apply a light dosage of liquid soap to the stain, and activate your elbow grease to remove it.

I find that it is easier to execute this step while you are wearing the glove. If it fits on your left hand, use your right index finger to rub the detergent. In the event that your fingers prove futile, employ an old toothbrush. The bristles will work the soap into the dirt and remove glazed filth from the mark.

Should the detergent fail, there is always the option of coating the glove in a cocktail of vinegar and water. Others suggest salt or baking soda, but vinegar remains my most reliable backup plan.

Another trick my wife taught me is to add a dash of mild bleach to a damp cloth and rub it into the stain. Alternatively, you can squeeze a touch of bleach onto your fingertip and work your elbow grease.

Step 3: Fill A Bucket With Cold Water and Soap

Some golfers forego the bowl of soapy water and simply throw a glass of cold h20 onto the glove while wearing it. Then, you rub your hands together like you’re washing them with sanitizer or soap. In addition, some players brush their gloves to loosen deep-rooted dirt.

This technique helps remove elements of dirt and sweat, but like any shortcut, it does not offer a long-term fix.

I suggest conducting a thorough cleaning for optimal results. Pour approximately 8.5-ounces of cool water into a bucket, sink, or bowl. Never use hot or warm water because it can damage the golf glove’s shape, size, and traction. Source the mildest of cleaning detergents, and stir in approximately 2-tablespoons of the product.

Step 4: Swish Your Glove Through The Soapy Warm Water

Now that my cool soapy water is ready, it is time to bust some grime. I have witnessed many peers suggest soaking the glove in the water, which I do not recommend. My main gripe boils down to the excess moisture that builds up on the glove because of this method.

It increases your washing time because you need to thoroughly squeeze out the water from the palm and fingers of the glove. Failure to remove this water can impact its texture and fit in the long run.

I hold the bottom of the glove between my index finger and thumb and gently splash it through the soapy concoction. This layers my mitt with sufficient liquid and detergent to get the job done. Swish it through the water until it is damp and soapy enough to execute a clean.

Step 5: Rub The Glove Gently Against Your Other Hand

There are two ways to initiate this step. The first is to put your glove on while the other sees you hold it in the palm of your hand. If you are a lefty, place the glove on your right hand, then splash your left mit across the water.

Rub your hands together as if you were washing them. This helps you dislodge underlying grime and ensure clean golf gloves.

The second option is to hold the glove in the palm of your hand and rub it against your other palm. As with the first approach, this loosens deep-rooted debris and sweat. If dirt remains, pull out a toothbrush or soft-bristled brush and tenderly scrub the area to lift the remaining gunk.

Step 6 – Press The Remain Water From The Fingers and Palm Area

Cease the washing process, and focus on removing additional water from the interior of your golf glove. Start from the top of the pinky finger, and press all the way down, repeating the process for each finger.

When the fingers are cleared of excess moisture, turn your attention to the palm area of the glove. Ensure that the glove is no longer soaking, and prepare for the drying process.

Step 7: Place It on a Towel

Open a dry hand or golf towel, and place your clean glove in the middle. Fold the towel twice, and squeeze it between your palms, to extract any remaining water or soap. Then rub the towel in your hands mildly to dry the surface of the mit. Unfold the towel, and remove the glove for the penultimate step.

Step 8: Turn Fingers Inside-Out

Once the first round of drying is complete, you need to turn your glove inside out. This step is purposed to drain water that may be hiding in the glove’s interior. The easiest way to execute this task is to put the glove off and dislodge it from the wrist area upwards.

Press the glove between your two palms and extract the remaining moisture from the inside. Once it is no longer soaking, you can proceed to the final task.

Step 9: Pull The Fingers Down

The final step, post-cleaning, is to return the glove to its original form. Insert your hand, and lift the material from the wrist up. Turn the glove outside-in to achieve the original shape, and ensure that the glove is outstretched as if you were wearing it.

You are ready to enter the drying process at this stage, which I will touch on below.


Tips for Drying Your Golf Gloves

Air Dry

There is only one way to dry your glove without impacting its feel, fit, and traction. This is the good old air dry approach. That means you must leave your glove in a room overnight to dehydrate. You can add a fan into the mix if you wish to speed up the process slightly.

Although you may feel tempted to throw the glove in the tumble dryer, I forbid you from such reckless behavior. The dryer will speed up the process, but it can damage the composition of the glove, causing it to shrink in some cases.

While a hair dryer is less damaging to a glove, I recommend avoiding this shortcut as well. Excess heat on the glove may shrink or damage its texture and feel.

Leave the glove out overnight, and allow the air to get to work. Make sure that you plan in advance to clean your glove. Do not do it the morning before a round. Because it will likely remain damp during your round of golf.

Furthermore, do not leave your glove in the sun to dry, as the UV rays can induce color disfiguration. That leaves you with a glove that looks like it should be in a museum.



How Do I Stop My Golf Glove From Smelling?

Frequently following the steps in this guide, and washing your glove, will prevent foul odors from overrunning it. In addition, you can always sprinkle a dash of baby or foot powder into your glove after your round. It has worked to freshen up my glove in the past.

The reason most gloves smell bad is because of sweat build-up. My advice is to search for a glove that encourages maximum breathability. In addition, take off your glove in between shots to air the hand out.


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Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens started playing golf at the age of 4 when Rory Sabattini's father put a 7-iron and putter in his hand. He has experienced all the highs and lows the game can throw at you and has now settled down as a professional golf writer. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for 28 years. Current Handicap: 8