How To Clean Beekeeping Gloves? A Complete Guide!

how to clean beekeeping gloves

This guide helps you to learn: how to clean beekeeping gloves.

To begin, wash the gloves in hot water using hand dishwashing liquid. Using a cleaning solution on very dirty areas can also be effective.

After that, properly rinse the gloves, apply the suitable oil on them and let them air dry. Do not put gloves in the washing machine or dryer.

Gloves are an important piece of equipment these not only cover your hands from stings but also keep your hands free of dirt.

The gloves may get dirty if you don’t properly clean them.  Handling bee tools or other equipment, in especially, requires extreme hygiene.

Washing your hands properly and cleaning the beekeeping gloves regularly help preserve hygiene.

In this article, we have discussed some simple methods that help you to clean your gloves properly.

So without further ado, let’s get started!


How To Clean Different Types Of Beekeeping Gloves?

Beekeeping may be a nasty job. When you enter a hive, your hands become wrapped in propolis, dirt, and wax.

You’ve got a sticky mess on your hands, so it’s essential to clean your beekeeping gloves for your next hive check.

As a beekeeper with expertise and experience, concerned with all types of gloves because they harvest around 40-60 pounds of honey per year from a single hive.

how to clean beekeeping gloves

To do this, they use good-quality fabric gloves that suit their work.

Leather is the preferred material, and it’s the most difficult to clean; however, it lasts for years and provides the best protection from stings.

Let’s find out how to clean beekeeping gloves:


Synthetic Gloves

To be more precise, we’ll begin with synthetic gloves, but why? Synthetic gloves are the most easily cleaned. They are made of:

Neoprene – a chloroprene-based synthetic foam rubber.

Nitrile – a synthetic rubber derived from an organic component.

Latex – a natural rubber produced by the rubber tree.

There are also synthetic latex rubbers. Your less expensive latex gloves will be synthetic as instead of natural.

But that’s okay. All of them clean quickly.

Warm water and soap are sufficient for cleaning nitrile, latex, and neoprene. Most beekeepers keep a pail of warm water handy, so they may rapidly rinse off many times while working their hives.

This type of stuff makes the final cleanup easy. If it’s simpler, toss your synthetic gloves in the washer with the bulk of your clothing.

On the other hand, synthetic gloves should never be dried in the dryer. The intense heat will damage them.

Here is the ultimate guide to work gloves!


Fabric gloves

Fabric gloves are often gardening or labor gloves constructed from various fabrics. Cotton, polypropylene, and polyester mixes are all options.

These gloves provide a bit more sting protection than thin synthetics. The most challenging aspect of cleaning fabric gloves is the quickness with which propolis, wax, and filth enter the fabric.

(Do you know Beeswax can be used to make a variety of products, including candles, lip balm, and furniture polish).

How To Clean Different Types Of Beekeeping Gloves

A single hive session may be left a brand-new pair of gloves filthy, discolored, and sticky. So, how do you keep them clean?

You should avoid cleaning your gloved hands with a paper towel.

This helps to drive debris and grime into the fabric’s fibers, making cleaning the gloves much more arduous. Instead, grab a scraper or a sharp knife.

This is what you do:

Start by cleaning the gloves of any extra honey. A knife or a spatula can be used. Scrape the surplus honey from the outside inside. This will prevent the honey stain from growing more.

Wipe away only the extra honey spots, taking care not to press them into the cloth. If the stain starts to form a layer, use a dull knife to scrape it off.

Run hot water over the discoloration on the glove. Attempting to remove the spot from the back by turning the glove inside.  Thus, the stain will become more pliable and easier to remove.

Apply a prewash stain remover. You may also try minimal liquid laundry detergent in the area.  Allow it to settle for a few minutes before going on.

Launder uses the highest water temperature possible and bleach that is safe for the material. If the discoloration does not go, try washing it many times until dry the gloves are. are

The outcomes of this approach may or may not be pleasing to you. Do not give up. If your gloves simply don’t come clean, there are alternative options.

Gloves made of leather

Last but not least, we had the most challenging task. Leather gloves are popular among beekeepers as they are tough enough to protect bites from entering the skin.

Alternatively, stingers can embed themselves in leather. They smell when they begin to decay.

Another disadvantage of leather would be that stingers emit a scent that alerts other bees to the presence of danger. It just takes one sting to agitate a whole colony.

As a result, while leather can protect from stings, it may also promote them. After inspecting an active hive, the gloves may become rather filthy.

How To Clean Different Types Of Beekeeping Gloves

Cleaning leather beekeeping gloves removes residue, gooey propolis, and sticky honey from the bee frame. Read this refer to guide on how to clean leather work gloves.

Because of its resilience, leather can withstand everyday filth and particles. However, because they’re so sticky, the above three chemicals cling to leather and refuse to move.

Here is the measure taken to clean leather gloves:

To begin, scrape gently with a spatula or dull knife. Eliminate all loose stuff as possible. Hand washes the gloves in warm water with hand soap or a light detergent.

Immerse the gloves in cold chlorinated water to remove any lingering dirt or dislodge marks. Wash the gloves well before laying them out to dry in the sun.

Because leather is highly durable, you don’t have to be concerned about inciting harm to your leather things by cleaning them frequently.

Use caution when handling icy chlorine water. Chlorine is very corrosive, by definition. It might cause skin irritation if you’re not attentive.

After touching it, always thoroughly wipe your hands. So, after applying any type of alcohol upon that leather, condition, and oil it.

The best time to oil the gloves is immediately after cleaning when they are still slightly moist.

This helps the oil to permeate the leather more deeply and thoroughly. Check that the chemicals in the leather conditioner and its scent will not affect or irritate the bees.

Natural cleaning methods

Dirt and debris can occasionally be quite difficult to remove. After attempting the above procedure, you can re-treat your gloves with more natural ingredients.

White vinegar and lemon juice are the best. Both can be quite effective in removing embedded stains and dirt.

White vinegar is so effective as an all-purpose cleaning that it is frequently suggested.

Another alternative is hydrogen peroxide. Many beekeepers dislike working with it because they are concerned that it would hurt their bees.

Worker bees are responsible for collecting nectar and pollen, building and repairing the hive, and caring for the young. Lemon juice and white vinegar will not cause any problems.

Finally, after treating your fabric gloves with lemon juice or vinegar, allow them to dry in the sunlight.

Sunlight will combine with vinegar or lemon juice to sterilize your gloves, leaving them clean and smelling fresh.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

We know that you all want to learn more about beekeeping gloves, so we have answered your questions through a frequently asked question.

Read below to find them out!

#1. What type of gloves do you need?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the type of gloves you need will depend on the specific job or task you are working on.

For example, if you are working with chemicals, you will need to use gloves resistant to those chemicals.

If you are working with food, you must use food-safe gloves.


#2. How do you store your gloves when they are not in use?

Assuming you are referring to winter gloves, I like to store my gloves in a drawer with other winter accessories like hats, scarves, and earmuffs.

I make sure to put them in a drawer that is not too hot or too cold, so they don’t get damaged.


#3. How do you know when your gloves need to be replaced?

It’s hard to say when gloves need to be replaced because it depends on many factors, like how often you wear them, what kind of activities you use them for, and how well you take care of them.

However, there are a few general guidelines you can follow. If you notice any holes, rips, or tears in the fabric of your gloves, it’s time to get new ones.


#4. What are the consequences of not cleaning your gloves?

The consequences can be pretty severe if you do not clean your gloves.

Not only will your gloves become stained and discolored, but they will also become significantly less effective at protecting your hands from the elements. In addition, your gloves will likely develop an unpleasant odor over time.

If you wear your gloves without cleaning them regularly, you risk developing skin infections or other health problems.


#5. What are the consequences of using the wrong cleaning solution?

Using the wrong cleaning solution could damage your surfaces or make them dirtier than before.

In some cases, using the wrong cleaning solution can also be dangerous. If you use a cleaning solution that is too harsh, it can cause burns or other injuries.


If you use a cleaning solution that is not strong enough, it can allow bacteria and other contaminants to remain on surfaces, which can lead to illness.

Male bees, or drones, do not have stingers; their sole purpose is to mate with the queen.



To summarize, honey is both a sticky material and a natural antiseptic. Don’t be alarmed if you find honey on the gloves.

Blindly follow the techniques outlined above to clean and eliminate any spots. If you discover that removing the honey is tough, you may always use a solvent.

Ensure to use it in a well-ventilated location and adequately wash your hands later. We hope this article on how to clean beekeeping gloves will assist you greatly.