How to clean Goalkeeper Gloves and maintain them
Goalkeeper gloves will inevitably deteriorate at a quicker rate when in use more often. This is why it is important to keep your gloves in the best condition possible. On average, a goalkeeper can quite easily need three or more pairs of goalie gloves per season, due to the continuous wear on the materials.
However, not all goalkeepers are the same and the amount of wear will depend on average use, how well they are cared for, playing surface and technique. To make sure that you extend and maximize the lifespan of your goalkeeping gloves, you should employ the following tips before, during and after use.
Essential maintenance tips for your goalkeeper gloves
- Before Play: Pre-wash your new gloves before using them for the first time and allow them to dry naturally (consult the washing instructions below). This is to ensure that any preservatives from the manufacturing process are removed from the latex, it will activate the latex and make sure that you are getting the maximum grip out of your gloves when you use them. If you want absolute confidence that they are ready, a second pre-wash is always a good idea. You can always add a Glove Glu prewash spay to this step.
- During Play: When your goalkeeper gloves are in use, occasionally dampen the palms of the gloves with water to get the best possible grip and durability from the latex palm. Latex is not designed to be dry. This is why you will often see pros on TV squirt water on them or even spit, to make the latex come alive.
- After Play: After using your goalkeeper gloves, make sure that you wash them immediately and leave them to dry naturally. However, if you leave your latex to dry out too much, it will become brittle which will have an impact on durability and grip which is not what you want (our guide on drying further down the page has you covered!).
How to wash goalkeeper gloves
- If you want to make the most out of your goalkeeper gloves, wash immediately after use in warm water (a maximum of 80º F).
- Rinse and soak the gloves in the sink, you can add a Glove Glu wash to this step.
- Make sure that you rinse off all of the glove cleaner if you have decided to wash with a solution, as leaving a glove cleaner on gloves can potentially cause damage.
- The gloves should be washed by hand, using your thumbs to scrub dirt off lightly – applying too much pressure can tear pieces of the latex. We do not recommend using a form of brush or scrubber for this reason.
- It is not necessary, but applying a Glove Glu cleaner to the gloves will help ensure that all of the dirt is removed and make the process quicker. Ensure you follow the instructions of the solution you have purchased.
- Leave your gloves to dry naturally, it should take around a day. For more information on the best way to dry your gloves keep reading.
How to dry Your goalkeeper gloves
Once you have washed your goalkeeper gloves and are ready to dry them, we recommend applying pressure with a towel to your gloves to soak up excess water, before leaving them to dry naturally. Do not wipe or scrub them with the towel as this may tear pieces of the latex. You can also hang them on a washing line or in the bathroom, but be careful not to leave them in direct sunlight or a humid environment.
Do not dry your gloves by using the following methods:
- On a radiator
- In front of a fire
- In a tumble dryer
- Using an iron
- Using an airing cupboard
- In direct sunlight
- By ‘wringing’ them out
All of the above methods may cause a loss of natural moisture in the latex and in turn, make them dry and brittle. Be sure to follow our steps on how to clean your goalkeeper gloves to minimize your chances of error.
Where to store your goalkeeper gloves
- If possible, store your gloves in a reasonably cool environment out of direct sunlight. Keeping your gloves somewhere humid can cause mould and bacteria to grow and ultimately damage your gloves.
- We recommend that you leave your gloves to dry overnight before placing them in one of our glove wallets. Leaving your gloves out to dry for too long can cause your gloves to become brittle and dry.
- Make sure that the palms of your gloves are NOT touching when left to dry. If you do this, you may find your palms stuck together when you return and peeling them apart can tear the latex.
- Our glove wallet holds two pairs of goalkeeping gloves, keeping them secure and protected no matter where you travel with them.
- Avoid storing your goalkeeping gloves away without having washed them first.
- Additionally, if you kept the thin plastic packet that each glove came in, once dried you can place them back in there to help lock the moisture in the latex – the ultimate storage solution is in these packets > inside a glove wallet > in a cool non-humid environment.
How to care for your goalkeeper gloves – recap
Let’s simplify and recap the core pillars of caring for your gloves and ultimately extending the life of them.
- Pre-wash the gloves before your first initial use.
- Occasionally dampen palms with water during use to help with the grip.
- Wash immediately after use in water under 80ºF.
- Leave the gloves to dry naturally
- Keep in a cool environment out of direct sunlight.
- TIP: When wearing your goalkeeping gloves in training or non-competitive environments, try and avoid using the palms to pick yourself up off the ground. Try to use your fists to push yourself back up to avoid the palms of your gloves seeing contact with the ground. Using your palm will help you spring back up quicker, but you can minimize wear during non-game situations using the fist method above.
- Goalkeeper gloves are predominantly designed for use on natural surfaces like grass unless specified (e.g. a specialist 3G/astro turf latex which sacrifices grip for durability). If you are using a goalkeeper glove on an artificial surface such as 3G or astro turf you will be placing a higher level of stress on the latex, therefore it will wear much quicker.
We only use the highest-quality latex sourced from Germany to offer the best possible grip in all conditions. However, latex is a very soft natural product that is subject to wear and abrasion over time, which cannot be avoided. At any point, latex can and will begin to show forms of wear and tear, it really can be as simple as an unlucky nick off the playing surface. And it can happen in your first game just as much as it can in your fifteenth.
Latex degradation will be affected by multiple factors including:
- Age of keeper
- Playing surface
- How they were prepared
- Were the care instructions followed
- Volume of saves and how busy your defence is making you!
With all gloves, the better they are cared for the more life you are likely to get out of them. If your latex begins to show signs of wear then don’t panic. Wear and tear on your gloves is normal and expected.
By The One Glove | Performance Goalkeeping | @performancegoalkeeping