How to Wash Dirt Bike Gloves

Motocross is amongst the most physically demanding sports in the world. The heart rate is pushed to its maximum and every single muscle in the body is pushed to its limits, making this sport one hell of a workout!

Believe it or not, it is estimated that over 400 calories are burnt every hour while riding dirt bike. And while this is quite phenomenal for the overall well-being of a rider, things can get pretty messy on the hygiene front.

Dirt bike gloves, for example, can get pretty dirty, not only because of the flying roost, but also because of the constant perspiration. And if unattended, bacteria can develop in these gloves, which can cause itchiness or dryness. In addition, a dirty glove emanates a foul smell that can gross anyone out.

So, in order to retain their characteristics and physical attributes, MX gloves have to be kept in good condition. To do so, here are some simple maintenance tips, depending on their construction.

How to handwash dirt bike gloves

Dirt bike gloves that have multiple padding and liners are generally washable, but should be done with utmost care. Although the outer layer is quite robust, in case the gloves incorporate a warm or a waterproof liner, they need to be protected from aggressive washing. The most ideal approach would be to wash them gently in a sink using your hands.

Things you will need

  • Sink
  • Sponge
  • Lukewarm water
  • Drying rack, hangers, or cloth stand
  • Mild detergent
  • Fabric conditioner (optional)

Steps to wash your gloves manually

  1. Take out your dirty gloves and put them inside a sink or a tub.
  2. Fill half of the sink or tub with lukewarm water and add a scoop of mild liquid detergent.
  3. Make sure that the detergent being used here is free from bleach.
  4. In case of heavy soiling, two scoops of mild liquid detergent or mild shampoo will do the job.
  5. Now allow the gloves to soak in this solution for 15 minutes.
  6. Remember, do not squeeze, wrinkle or turn the gloves inside out!
  7. After 15 minutes, grab one of the gloves and by using a soft sponge rub the entire area to clear off the dirt or grime on the surface.
  8. Do the same with second glove.
  9. Once done, you can drain the detergent solution and fill the sink or the tub with fresh water (lukewarm preferred). Gently clean the gloves again and replace the water again if necessary. Alternatively, you can hold them under running tap water.
  10. Once the soap is completely washed off, you can wrap the gloves in a towel and gently squeeze them out from the fingers to the wrist.
  11. Now allow to air dry in a well-ventilated room.
  12. Do not expose to direct heat or sun.
  13. Once they are half-dry, put on the gloves for a while and bring them back into shape.
  14. Lastly, allow them to completely dry before putting them back on.

How to clean your dirt bike gloves in a washing machine

If you are wondering if you can wash your gloves in a washing machine, well yes, you can do so in case your gloves are purely made from textile material (polyester / polyamide fabric). However, it is important to read the instructions on the care label attached inside the gloves before proceeding. If the manufacturer has advised against machine wash, it is best to follow their advice and perform a handwash. In case the manufacturer suggests machine wash, this is how you can do it.

Instructions

  • Detergent: Mild & without bleach
  • Water temperature: Cold / Luke warm
  • Cycle type: Gentle
  • Drying cycle type: Air-dry
  • Special treatments: Wash in laundry bag
  • Iron settings: Do not iron

Follow this step-by-step procedure to machine wash your soiled motocross gloves:

  1. Fasten the Velcro closures of your gloves.
  2. Put these gloves inside a laundry bag or in case you do not have one, use a pillow cover.
  3. Program the washing machine to gentle cycle.
  4. Remember polyester and polyamide fabrics do not tolerate excessive temperatures. Thus, you should limit the temperature of water to less than 30°C.
  5. Use a mild liquid detergent that is free from fabric softener, bleach or stain remover.
  6. Remember that detergents in a powdered form can damage the PWR shield of your gloves (if present). It is best to use a liquid detergent or a mild shampoo for cleaning.
  7. For smelly gloves, we recommend adding a tea-spoon of fabric conditioner in between the rinse cycle. The conditioner you use should be free from any bleach or whitening agent.
  8. Once they have been washed and rinsed, you can either air-dry the gloves at a lowest spin cycle or squeeze the water manually using a dry towel.
  9. In case you have air-dried them in a washing machine, wear the gloves immediately to retain their original shape.
  10. In case they are dried using towel, allow them to half-dry before bringing them back to shape.
  11. Post which, place them again on a stand / hanger and allow them to dry completely.

These 5 washing symbols are particularly important while cleaning your dirt bike gloves

The first thing to do before anything else is to read the washing instructions attached on the gloves. This label will include all the information about the material and how to wash the gloves (temperature, spin cycle, etc.). For your reference, we have explained in detail what these symbols on your dirt bike gloves mean.

Tub laundry symbol

Tub

The tub indicates specific information about the wash cycle. In some cases, there are values mentioned on it that is the maximum temperature at which the gloves can be washed and, in some cases, dots. So, in case there is a single dot, the maximum washing temperature that can be used for washing should not exceed 30°C, for two dots you can go up to 60°C, and for three dots the maximum washing temperature can reach up to 90°C.

Depending on the fabric and the brand of the gloves, there can also be horizontal bars below the tub symbol that denotes the intensity of the spin cycle. In case there are no bars present, then you can select maximum speed of the washing machine, one bar denotes gentle spin, whereas two bars denote no spin at all.

If there is a hand symbol denoted over the tub, this means that the gloves can only be washed manually. Furthermore, if there is a cross mark over the tub, then the gloves cannot be washed at all and will require professional dry cleaning.

Bleach symbol

Triangle

Coming to the triangle, this symbol stands for bleaching. So, if the triangle is empty, bleaching is allowed. If the triangle is divided by two lines, you can use oxygen instead of chlorine for bleaching. And in case the triangle is crossed out, it means that you are not allowed to bleach the gloves at all.

Tumble dry symbol

Square with circle

The square with the circle refers to the dryer. When the circle is empty, the gloves are suitable for dryer and you do not need to worry about anything. Whereas, one dot denotes low heat, two dots denote medium heat, and three dots denote high heat setting.

If the circle is completely crossed out, the pair of gloves are not suitable for dryer at all. Instead, you should dry them on a hanger or a stand.

Do not iron symbol

Iron

An iron symbol is always crossed out on the gloves. This means that you cannot iron the said fabric in any case.

Dry clean symbol

Circle

Circle stands for dry cleaning or professional wet cleaning. An empty circle stands for gentle dry cleaning. An “A” in the circle stands for dry cleaning with general solvents, a “P” for perchloroethylene, an “F” for hydrocarbon solvents and a “W” for professional wet cleaning. In case the circle has been crossed or is not present altogether, you can wash the gloves at home.

Tips for drying your dirt bike gloves

The best way to dry your wet gloves is to hang them in an upright position by clipping the index finger to a rope. The following tips will explain how this can be done most effectively:

  • Wrap wet gloves in a towel and gently squeeze from the fingers towards the wrist.
  • Carefully shape them once by wearing after most of the water has been soaked by the towel.
  • Subsequently, stuff some tissue/newspaper inside that will help soak excess water out of them. This is optional and might be useful in case you wish to dry your gloves quickly.
  • Allow to air dry in a well-ventilated area by clipping the index finger to a rope. Alternatively, you can place them on a flat surface as well.
  • Never place gloves next to a heater or in the sun. However, you can dry them under a ceiling fan if necessary.
  • In between drying, when the gloves are damp, wear your gloves occasionally to bring them back to shape.

This is how you can eliminate odor from dirt bike gloves

In case of severe sweat odor, you should by all means prefer manual wash to remove the odor-causing bacteria inside the gloves. However, if the smell persists even after washing, then you can use this trick to neutralize the odor:

  1. Take your choice of baking soda, activated charcoal, or coffee and place it inside a bowl.
  2. Now take a plastic bag or an air tight container and place the bowl inside the container.
  3. Subsequently, put your gloves inside the container as well and close the lid. If you are using a plastic bag, you can staple the edges after folding the open end.
  4. Leave them overnight so that the baking soda/coffee/activated charcoal can neutralize the odor.

Advice: Please note that spraying perfumes or antiperspirants on a smelly glove is not at all recommended. The only way to get rid of foul-smelling bacteria is by washing and then neutralizing the odor through this technique.

Things to note

Different materials may require different washing techniques. Therefore, first and foremost, it is important to determine the material from which your gloves are made before you start washing them. However, if you are unsure of the material used, we recommend washing the gloves manually instead.

Now based on the fabric of the gloves, there are certain things to be kept in mind. These are as follows:

Polyester gloves

Polyester is a synthetic fabric commonly used for making clothes. It is quite comfortable and very easy to care for. So, in case your gloves are made from polyester, they can be washed at a temperature of up to 30°C in a washing machine. However, due to its properties, polyester can be washed in cold water quite efficiently.

You can also use fabric conditioners after washing to give your gloves a soft feel. Furthermore, your gloves won’t require air-drying as they dry up pretty quickly under a ceiling fan.

Polyamide gloves

In case the gloves are constructed from polyamide fabric, you can wash them at a maximum temperature of 30°C. Going beyond this temperature might cause the fabric to shrink. And in case of lightly soiled surface, a mild soap can do the trick.

If you are washing them in a machine, a gentle spin cycle is recommended for both washing as well as air drying. A fabric conditioner can also be used while rinsing.

Polyester mesh

Polyester mesh is very sensitive to high temperatures. For this reason, it is important to wash the gloves in cold water and more importantly using your hands. And if you do wish to clean them in a machine, remember to use a laundry bag and the most-gentle setting.

Leather

Not all leather gloves are the same. In fact, each type of leather requires specialized care. For this reason, any leather care product should first be tried on the inside of the gloves. Oftentimes, manufacturers will indicate which agents are suitable for the specific leather. For a detailed guide, please refer to our section on leather gloves maintenance where we have explained in detail how this can be done.

Mixed fabric

Typically, a dirt bike glove is made from a combination of polyester, polyamide nylon, polyurethane, polyvinyl chloride and neoprene. This mixed construction makes them more durable, allowing them to be washed in the machine. However, in case of trail riding gloves, we recommend manual wash, as these gloves have rubber reinforcements on the top to protect the rider against obstacles. As such, a machine wash is likely to damage them.

A dirt bike glove is made from multiple fabrics mixed together as one. Extreme care must be taken while washing so as to retain their inherent properties
A dirt bike glove is made from multiple fabrics. Extreme care must be taken while washing so as to retain their inherent properties | Image: Fox Racing

Bottom line

So, these were some of the recommended procedures for cleaning your MX gloves. Keep in mind that regardless of material, you should never treat your gloves with harsh chemicals, aggressive detergents or whiteners. And while the best way to clean your gloves without damaging their properties is to wash them with hands, but if you absolutely do need to wash your gloves in a machine, remember to use a laundry bag and a gentle spin cycle. Happy cleaning!