How to Soften Leather Gloves?

How to Soften Leather Gloves?

Leather gloves are a winter staple, but they can often be stiff and unyielding. If you’ve ever struggled to get your gloves on in the morning, you know what we mean!

But there’s no need to suffer – there are a few simple tricks you can use to soften up your gloves and make them more comfortable to wear.

Whether you’re wearing them to keep your hands warm, avoid injuries when biking or operating machinery, or simply make a fashion statement, a pair of brittle gloves will most likely not be suitable and may even cause abrasions/blisters.

In this blog post, we will teach you how to soften leather gloves using a few simple methods.

The Best Products to Help Soften Leather:

1) Leather Honey

This great product will help to soften your leather gloves and make them look new again. Simply apply a small amount of this onto your gloves and rub it in using a circular motion. This can be done once or twice a week, depending on how often you wear your gloves.

Leather Honey is a great product because it not only softens your gloves but also conditions them and helps to extend their lifespan [1].

Leather Honey

Another plus is that it’s made of all-natural ingredients, so you can feel good about using it on your gloves.

If you’re looking for a great product to help soften your leather gloves, then look no further than Leather Honey.

2) Leather Milk

This product is designed to clean, condition, and soften all types of leather. It can be used on gloves, purses, shoes, jackets, and more.

Simply apply a small amount of the conditioner to a clean cloth and rub it into the leather in a circular motion.

Allow the product to soak in for at least 30 minutes before wiping away any excess. Repeat this process as needed until you’re happy with the results.

If you’re looking for an easy way to soften your leather gloves, then you should try using Leather Milk. This product is specifically designed to clean, condition, and soften all types of leather.

3) Neatsfoot Oil

Neatsfoot oil is a natural lubricant that can be used to soften and condition leather. It is made from the rendered fat of cattle and horses and has been used for centuries to treat leather goods.

Neatsfoot oil will darken light-colored leather, so it is not recommended for use on white or pastel gloves.

To use neatsfoot oil, simply apply a small amount to a clean cloth and rub it into the leather in a circular motion. Allow the gloves to dry completely before wearing them. You can find neatsfoot oil at most hardware stores or online retailers.

Put on your leather gloves and rub them with neatsfoot oil. Wear the gloves as much as possible after applying the oil to break them in. Neatsfoot oil will make the leather gloves waterproof in addition to providing a benefit [2].

4) Shaving Cream

Shaving cream has been found to soften leather work gloves. This is due to the presence of lanolin and glycerin in this product.

Lanolin is a preservative that can be used to moisturize dry materials and skin. Meanwhile, glycerin can help relieve and soften the itchy sensation [3].

Using a shaving cream that has been warmed, apply it to a soft clean, slightly damp cloth. Following the leather’s grain, massage your gloves with the cloth.

When the cream has been absorbed by the leather, it will begin to soften. If necessary, repeat the procedure until your leather gloves are soft.

5) Water

It is possible to use water to break in your gloves. Wet the gloves thoroughly inside and out. Next, put the gloves on and shape them to fit your hands comfortably. Wear the gloves until they are dry. This may take a few hours or even overnight depend on how much water you used and how thick the leather is.


Do not worry if the gloves feel a little stiff when they are first dry, this is normal. The leather will soften up again with wear. If you find that your gloves are still too stiff after trying this method, you can repeat it or try another method.

6) Vaseline and Rubbing Alcohol

Another way to soften your leather gloves is to mix equal parts of Vaseline and rubbing alcohol. Apply this mixture all over your gloves, working it into the leather.

Then, put on a pair of cotton gloves over top and let the mixture sit overnight. In the morning, remove the gloves and buff them with a soft cloth.

This method is great for really stubborn leather that just won’t seem to soften up no matter what you do.

How to Soften Leather Gloves:

Clean Your Leather Gloves

The first step to softening your leather gloves is to clean them. You can do this by using a mild soap and water solution. Rub the gloves gently with a cloth until they are clean. Then, rinse them off with cool water and allow them to air dry.

Once your gloves are clean, you will need to prepare them for the softening process. To do this, you will need to remove any dirt or debris that may be on the surface of the leather. You can do this by using a soft brush or a damp cloth. Once you have removed all of the dirt and debris, you will need to apply a conditioner to the leather. This will help to protect the leather from damage during the softening process.

Condition Your Leather Gloves

You can do this by using a leather conditioner or a cream that is designed for use on leather. Apply the conditioner to the gloves and then rub it into the leather. Allow the conditioner to soak into the leather for at least 15 minutes before proceeding to the next step.

Once your gloves are conditioned, you will need to apply a softening agent to them. You can use a commercial leather softener or you can make your own by mixing one part vinegar with two parts water. Apply the softening agent to the gloves and then rub it into the leather. Allow the softening agent to soak into the leather for at least 30 minutes before proceeding to the next step.

Rinse the gloves

After the softening agent has had time to soak into the leather, you will need to rinse it off. You can do this by using cool water and a damp cloth. Once you have rinsed off the softening agent, you will need to allow your gloves to air dry.

Apply the protectant

Once your gloves are dry, you will need to apply a protectant to them.

This will help to keep your gloves looking new and prevent them from damaged in the future.

Apply the protectant to the gloves and then rub it into the leather.

Apply the protectant

Allow the protectant to soak into the leather for at least 15 minutes before wearing your gloves.

Train Your Leather Gloves to Form-Fit Your Hand:

1) Baseball Method:

  • Start by putting on your new hard leather gloves.
  • Next, grab a baseball or anything that is round in form (and firm);
  • Finally, tie your gloves with rubber bands to keep the grip on the ball;
  • You may now remove your leather glove (with the shape preserved and still holding the ball) from your hand and go about your everyday life;
  • After leaving your leather gloves to sit for 2–3 hours, undo the gloves and put them on. Repeat the procedure as many times as required [4];

Waterproof Your Leather Gloves

If your gloves are made of untreated leather, you can waterproof them with a beeswax-based cream or spray. This will help to protect the leather from water and prevent it from drying out.

You can also apply a conditioner to your gloves to keep them soft and supple:

  • To soften your gloves, start by soaking them in warm water for about 15 minutes. This will help to loosen the fibers of the leather and make them more pliable. Then, use a soft cloth or brush to work in a small amount of saddle soap or another mild cleanser. Rinse off the soap with clean water and pat your gloves dry with a towel;
  • Next, apply a generous amount of leather conditioner to your gloves. Work the conditioner into the leather with your hands or a soft brush. Allow the conditioner to soak in for at least 15 minutes before wiping off any excess;

Apply the protectant

  • Finally, buff your gloves with a clean cloth to restore their shine. You can also apply a small amount of beeswax to the leather to help protect it from water and dirt;

Comparison of Methods to Soften Leather Gloves

Leather gloves are a popular accessory known for their durability and timeless style. However, new leather gloves can often be stiff and uncomfortable, requiring some softening to enhance their fit and flexibility. This table provides a comparison of different methods used to soften leather gloves, highlighting key indicators such as effectiveness, time required, and the overall impact on the gloves’ appearance and quality.

The table below presents a comparison of various methods for softening leather gloves. Each method is evaluated based on its effectiveness, time required, and impact on the gloves’ appearance and quality. The table aims to provide insights into the different techniques used in softening leather gloves, helping individuals make informed decisions based on their preferences and desired outcomes.

Method Effectiveness Time Required Impact on Appearance Impact on Quality
Conditioner High 1-2 days Minimal Positive
Vinegar Solution Medium 3-4 days Slight darkening Neutral
Warm Water Soak Low 5-7 days Slight stretching Neutral
Oil Treatment High 1-2 days Temporary darkening Positive
Steam Softening Medium 2-3 days Slight moisture marks Neutral

Please note that the table above is for illustrative purposes and the effectiveness, time required, and impact may vary depending on the specific leather glove type and condition. It is recommended to follow the instructions provided by the glove manufacturer or consult a professional for personalized advice on softening your leather gloves.


How do you soften hard leather?

The greatest approach to softening leather is with a leather conditioner. The surface of the leather should be dampened before applying the conditioner. Water, natural oils like coconut or olive oil, and Vaseline may all be used as well [5].

Can you use WD40 on leather?

Don’t be scared to spray and buff your leather gloves with WD-40. This solution can clean and preserve your leather goods. Your children’s paintings should be completely removed from the surface of the leather. WD-40 can be used to soften hard leather goods, allowing them to be reworked.

A spray of WD-40 makes tough leather items soft and pliable.

Collars, baseball gloves, work boots, shoes, and sandals are all improved by treatment with WD-40 [6].

How do you keep leather gloves from getting hard?

The number one enemy of leather gloves is dryness. When the leather becomes dry, it will become hard and stiff. The best way to prevent this from happening is to keep your gloves well-moisturized.

There are a few different ways that you can do this. One option is to use a leather conditioner on your gloves on a regular basis. This will help to replenish the natural oils in the leather, keeping it soft and supple.

Another option is to store your gloves in a humid environment when you’re not wearing them. This could mean placing them in a zip-lock bag with a damp cloth, or simply keeping them in your bathroom while you shower (the steam will help).

How do you condition leather driving gloves?

There are a few things you can do to help soften and condition your leather gloves:

  • First, you can apply a leather conditioner or cream. This will help to moisturize the leather and make it more pliable;
  • You can also try using a hairdryer on low heat to warm the leather up before putting them on;
  • Finally, if your gloves are still stiff after trying these methods, you can try gently stretching them out with your hands;

What causes the cracking or breaking of leather work gloves?

The oil-soaked leather work gloves may be broken in comfortably with ease. When the leather is oil-soaked, though, it can darken and acquire a scent.  You may also notice the gloves feel softer and more pliable.

However, if you over-soak the leather, it can cause the gloves to crack and break. If this happens, you’ll need to purchase new work gloves [7].

What should be done for your leather gloves after softening?

After you’ve softened your leather gloves, you should be sure to regularly condition them. This will help to keep the gloves supple and prevent cracking. You can find leather conditioners at most stores that sell leather goods. Be sure to follow the instructions on the conditioning product you choose, as some may need to be applied more often than others.

With proper care, your leather gloves will last for many years. By following these simple tips, you can keep your gloves looking and feeling their best.

How long does it take to soften leather gloves?

The time required to soften leather gloves can vary depending on the type and condition of the leather. In general, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days to achieve the desired softness. Patience and regular maintenance are key to effectively softening your leather gloves.

What is the best method to soften leather gloves?

One effective method to soften leather gloves is by using a leather conditioner. Apply a small amount of conditioner onto a clean, lint-free cloth and gently rub it into the leather in circular motions. Allow the conditioner to penetrate the leather for a few minutes, then wipe off any excess. Repeat this process periodically to maintain the softness of your gloves.

Can I use oil to soften my leather gloves?

While some oils, such as neatsfoot oil or mink oil, can be used to soften leather, it’s important to use them with caution. Oils can darken the color of the leather and may leave a greasy residue if not properly applied. If you decide to use oil, apply a small amount onto a cloth and gently massage it into the leather. Test the oil on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t cause any adverse effects.

Are there any natural methods to soften leather gloves?

A natural method to soften leather gloves is by using a mixture of water and vinegar. Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle, and lightly mist the gloves. Allow the mixture to soak into the leather for a few minutes, then gently flex and manipulate the gloves to help soften them. Avoid soaking the gloves, as excessive moisture can damage the leather.

Can I use a hairdryer or heat to soften leather gloves?

Using heat, such as a hairdryer, can be a risky method to soften leather gloves. Excessive heat can cause the leather to shrink, crack, or become distorted. It’s best to avoid direct heat sources and allow the gloves to naturally soften over time through regular wear and conditioning.

What should I do if my leather gloves become stiff again after softening?

If your leather gloves become stiff again after softening, it may be necessary to repeat the softening process. Apply a small amount of leather conditioner and gently massage it into the leather, allowing it to penetrate and moisturize. Additionally, make sure to store your gloves in a cool, dry place when not in use to help maintain their softness.

Are there any specific care instructions to follow after softening leather gloves?

After softening leather gloves, it’s important to continue regular maintenance to keep them in good condition. Avoid exposing the gloves to excessive moisture or heat, as these can cause damage. Clean the gloves with a soft, damp cloth when needed and apply a leather conditioner periodically to keep the leather moisturized and supple.

Useful Video: How to Care for Leather Work Gloves || Black Gumbo