How to Dry Neopreme Gloves


My wife and I car a couple of novice sea kayakers and need any effective methods to dry inside the fingers of neopreme gloves?

Thanks in advance.



cardboard tube or rolled up newspaper
You can speed it up some by sticking a cardboard tube (like what you have when you use up all the paper towels on a roll) inside the wrist part as much as possible, to hold it open. Rolled up newspaper could also work. You are trying to get air in, to allow it to dry. But it is possible the finger area will still be wet.

If you can turn the gloves inside out, that could also help. The outside (which is now the inside) may stay wet, but the part yous tick your hands in to will be dry.

Air circulation
As you know, you need to get air circulation to the inside of the gloves. I just bought NRS Toaster Mitts and have the same problem. I put them on a stick (to keep the wrist open) and propped them next to the dehumidifier fan (so it blows into the mitt). It worked. A boot dryer might also work.

You could improvise,
as Peter described. But if you’re going to be needing to dry them a lot (as I do), you might want to look for something like this…

I turn them most of the way inside-out
and leave them in the car with the finger openings facing up.

Seems to work pretty well for me.

If I do that, they just freeze.

get some clips
clothes line clips or one of those hangers for pants and hang from the wrists.

If they get stinky, I dunk them in some Natures Miracle diluted in a bucket. Pet supply places sell it for cleaning up after your pet.

Depends on the gloves
If they’re floppy enough, turn them inside-out–a difficult thing to do–and put them near a hot-air register or wood/gas stove. Not TOO close, though! Prop them up off the floor so that the open wrist faces down; that way, moisture on the inside (formerly the outside) will drip down instead of soaking into the fingertips. Once they’ve become merely damp instead of drippy, you can put them directly OVER a hot air vent but keep checking to make sure the air isn’t too hot for the neoprene.

If they’re the kind of gloves whose fingers are precurved and stay open (such as Glacier’s ice -climbing gloves that happen to be great for kayaking), don’t turn them inside-out. Just prop them up as above.

In CO, I would take the almost-dry gloves and put them out on the 2nd-story porch to get direct sun into the fingers. If you live in an area with strong sun and dry air, this is a good finishing step because the wind and sun help kill odor-causing bacteria. It’s still best to give the wet gloves a wash with soap first, though. They’re already wet, so you might as well clean them before drying them.

Boot Dryer
Here is what I use - it dries your boots, too!


Sun and Wind
I often just leave them on a railing for a day, the sun and wind almost always get them dry even if they aren’t inside out. Yeah, UV is bad for them, but they will probably be worn out from use well before the sun causes any real harm.


Peet Boot Dryer
with Glove attachment, do your boots & gloves…works great

boot dryer
I do quite a bit of scuba diving, so my gloves a soaked inside. My gloves are 5mm thick so turning them inside out is not much of an option. A day or so on the boot dryer (w/the glove adaptor) and they are good to go.

glove dryer
you can look at ski boot/glove dryers(one without heat). They use a small fan to circulate air.

I usually just hang them so air can circulate.

As with my neoprene boots, I use
cardboard from a box, cut it accordingling to the depth and diameter needed, make it into a roll, then place into my neo socks, boots, gloves and/or NRS mitts before clipping them, tube side up, to the hanger for drying.

We have hot water heat and occasionally the registers (not the big, old fasioned type), in whatever manner works for my use, items are placed above the units for faster drying. ‘Clip’ clothespins are still handy fasteners with many uses.

PS: I do not place my neoprene items directly on the heater surfaces. Over time, it’s not good for the components used in the fabric.

If you do much paddling, …

– Last Updated: Nov-02-12 2:45 PM EST –

... you'll really appreciate having a boot dryer. I wouldn't want to be without one just in terms of drying various other outdoor boots, but getting into paddling just makes having a boot dryer that much nicer than it already is. As others have pointed out, a boot dryer will also work on gloves. They work slowly though (overnight is about the right amount of time).

A really slick way to dry either boots or gloves in an incredibly short time is to use a shop vac or any "old-fashioned" canister vacuum cleaner that allows you to attach the hose to the air outlet. Use the machine to blow into boots or gloves, and they'll be dry very soon. Of course, you can only dry one item at a time unless you feel like being inventive and devise a way to feed two blower nozzles with one hose (which wouldn't be difficult).

Another trick not many people think of works while driving back from your paddling trip. Put gloves, socks, whatever, up on the dashboard and blast them with the defroster. For neoprene gloves, it's the heat that does the trick, warming up the whole glove and vaporizing the moisture inside. For socks and non-waterproof gloves, the air flow into the fabric is a big factor too, and most such items will dry in just 15 minutes if you position them properly and turn them once or twice.

Why not a hair dryer?
I have a boot dryer, but for gloves, I would think a regular hair dryer would do the trick in short order, but one might want to keep it on low heat, or no heat.

Can’t use it for long
(I tried.)

The hairdryer will automatically shut itself off if you keep using it longer than as if you were drying your hair. Neoprene gloves won’t dry in just a a minute or two of blow-drying.

Leaving them over a forced-air heater vent works pretty well. We have a home-made boot dryer made from PVC tubes inserted upright in a wood base; the tubes are drilled throughout to let heat rise up and moisture escape. If you could drill very skinny tubes you could make a glove dryer.

I gave up futzing around with it
and I just wear them wet. I will set them out on the stone wall in the sun sometimes. Booties have same problems. When the stench gets overwhelming I’ll try to wash and dry them and it works some but ultimately the day comes when I chuck them and get new ones.

Your car’s defroster vents
Dear PJM,

I do a lot of winter fly fishing wearing Glacier gloves. If I remember to dig them out prior to hitting the water I find that tossing them up on the defroster vents for 10 or 15 minutes does a great job.

Insulating ability is based on keeping air gaps in the material warm. If you warm the air gaps up prior to putting on the gloves you don’t have to rely on your hands to do all the work.

If the gloves are absolutely sopping wet just give them more time. If you remember to dry the gloves on your ride home you should be all set with a brief warm up on your ride to paddle.

You can also set them on a heat register at home if you have forced air heating in your house after you get home.

My gloves are about 20 years old and they smell awful from fish slime but they are dry and they work well when I remember to follow a couple of simple steps.


Tim Murphy AKA Goobs