I have a pair of leather gloves that I use at work ... they're made from cowhide, smooth in some places, suede in others. The inside is unfinished leather, no cloth lining or anything. They are designed for dexterity.
They get quite dirty during the course of a week's work from handling cardboard boxes and what not. A lot of dust, but no chemicals or grease or anything. I've had them about a month now, and its time for a good cleaning.
My last pair of leather gloves were made of pigskin ... I tried cleaning these with some leather conditioner made for car seats, and I just put the gloves on and squirted some conditioner on and washed them under the kitchen faucet like I was washing my hands, wrung them out and set them up to dry ... they didn't really get any cleaner, and they fell apart on me a few weeks later.
How should I care for these cowhide gloves? They were only $12 at the hardware store, but I hate the thought of replacing them every month. I have to buy these out of my own pocket, since the cheap rubber gloves the company provides are murder on my hands.
Can I just toss them in the washing machine when I do my work clothes? Should I wash them by hand? What sort of detergent should I use? Can I use some sort of conditioner on them?
I'm not worried about how they look. If the cleaning process stains the leather, its not a problem ... but I'd like to be able to clean the dirt from them once a week or twice a month, and make them last longer than my pigskin pair did.
Any comments, ideas or suggestions?