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Just curious as to how any of you treat/clean or keep clean leather gloves. The propilis really does a number on them. I go through a pair a year. Would love to figure out how to get at least 2 years out of them.
 

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I hand wash them in warm water. Then rub a glob of leather dressing that I bought a long time ago. When I was doing a lot of muzzeloading building. They are going on four+ years. They get wash a couple of times a year. But the last couple of years I have been doing more bare handed.
David
My-smokepole
 

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I switched to vinyl/latex gloves and pitched the pairs of leather gloves that I purchased last year. They don't stop all the stings, but at least most of them. I don't think the bees can tell that there is skin underneath them.
 

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My day job is working with leather, including horse tack and harness. Mineral oil, "harness oil", neatsfoot oil, or neatsfoot oil compound are all suitable for leather that sees hard use, but I sure wouldn't use any of them on nice leather items. They can leave the leather greasy and permanently darkened. Lexol and Leather Therapy conditioners are lighter products that won't leave the leather quite so greasy, but that isn't always a concern with work gear.

I'd start with Michael's method of hand washing the gloves with hand dishwashing soap and warm water. If you have some Simple Green cleaning solution, you can use it full strength on the worst spots, then rinse well.

Propolis dissolves in alcohol, so ethyl alcohol (ethanol) or wood alcohol (methanol) would be another possibility to try if you need even more cleaning power on the propolis. Alcohol will dry the leather out, since it also dissolves the fats and oils that keep leather pliable, so plan to condition the leather well if you do use alcohol on it.

I would suggest oiling the gloves while they are still slightly damp. The oil will soak into damp leather faster and more thoroughly and the break in process will be a bit more comfortable, because the leather won't be so board-stiff when it's dry. If the leather isn't pliable enough when dry, add more oil.

Michael says he soaks his gloves in mineral oil and that works for him. Even on work gloves or boots, I prefer leather that is only lightly oiled, so I condition lightly when damp then add more oil if the leather needs it after its dry. But YMMV.
 

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I throw mine (Long sleeved) in the washing machine:eek: Then sun dry.:eek: Leather is a little stiff for a while. I only use them for a quick, in and out with t shirt and veil. Not to really do hive inspection. Cumbersome.
 

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I use a little dish washing liquid and warm water while wearing the gloves, just rub them together like I'm washing my hands. For the upper sections I rub a little soapy water on them to pull of the dirt then rinse everything off with the hose and mop them dry with paper towels. I just let the dry without any oil so they are stiff the first couple times I put them back on.
 
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