How to Clean Mechanics Gloves With Oil in Them

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Mechanics gloves are typically thin, tough gloves designed to protect a mechanic’s hands while still providing dexterity in use. Because of the nature of the work, mechanics gloves are susceptible to becoming stained with oil and grease from an engine. It is important to clean mechanics gloves that have oil in them, because not doing so will cause the fabric to stiffen, and maneuverability will lessen as the oil hardens in the fabric, making it harder to work with the gloves on.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy-duty detergent
  • Hot water
  • Bucket

Put the gloves on, and place a generous amount of heavy-duty detergent on the gloves. Make sure the detergent is safe for use with bare skin.

Put your hands, with the gloves on, in hot water--as hot as you can stand, then proceed as if vigorously washing your hands. Make sure you really rub the detergent into the material of the gloves. Washing with the gloves on is the easiest way to ensure that all parts of the gloves have been covered with detergent.

Take the gloves off and leave them to soak in the hot water for about an hour.

Rinse the gloves thoroughly in clean water, then inspect for remaining oil stains. If there is more oil in the gloves, repeat the detergent washing process, and rinse them again until the oil is gone.

Leave the gloves to dry naturally in a shaded area--do not dry in a dryer, because the gloves will shrink and become unusable.

Tips & Warnings

  • A petroleum-based pretreatment solution can be sprayed onto the gloves prior to washing with detergent for extra grease-cutting power.
  • Do not put oily gloves directly into a washing machine--the oil will be distributed among other items in the wash rather than removed. Oil residue may also remain in the washing machine, so only hand-wash oily gloves.

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