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Gardening can be tough on your hands. All that digging, pruning, and weeding can leave your hands looking and feeling sad and neglected. A good set of gardening gloves is one the most important tools in a gardener's tool shed. Here are some tips for finding the perfect pair.
Spend just one glove-less day working in the garden and you'll probably come up with dozens of good reasons why you should wear them. Here are just three:
No matter what the gardening task is, a perfect glove exists to help with the job.
When trying on gardening gloves, they should fit "snug" but never feel restrictive or tight. Men's and women's hands are shaped differently. To prevent blisters and avoid excess bulk, it's always best to select a glove that is made specifically for your gender.
A good pair of women's gloves will usually be cut narrower across the palms and slightly longer in the fingers to accommodate contours and fingernails of a woman's hands. If possible, try before you buy. If you're buying gloves blind (e.g. from a catalog or from an online store) try to choose among brands that feature a sizing chart.
At minimum, any gardening gloves you buy should be flexible, breathable, washable, and the appropriate weight for the job. For those who like a little more luxury, here are some other special features to look for:
The best way to care for your gardening gloves really depends on the type that you have. Some can be machine washed; others will shrink and bleed. Check the manufacturer's care instruction on the label first. If the label is missing, try searching for the manufacturer on the Internet.Unless the care instructions specifically advise against it, nearly all gardening gloves can be machine washed in cold water using a mild detergent and dried on a low setting in the dryer.
Gloves made from cotton can be bleached. Leather and bamboo gloves can also be machine washed (cold water, mild detergent), but should be air dried. To restore their shape, squeeze them a few times and slip them on when they are nearly dry. Gloves with combination fabrics and rubber gloves should also be air-dried rather than placed in the dryer.
Another way to clean leather gloves is to gently scrub them with a pumice-based soap, such as Lava (you can do this while you're wearing them). Rinse them in a bucket of warm water and then hang the gloves on the line to dry. When they are nearly dry, put them on to restore their shape.
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It will be three years at the end of August that I have been fighting a rash caused from garden gloves made in China. The inside seams were not finished. After seeing several doctors I have about got it licked. My hands will still develop small cuts, like paper cuts, if I don't put a prescription cream on my hands and wear non-latex gloves all night 3-5 times a week. It hasn't been easy.
So here is my advice: Put on good hand cream (Vaseline or Crisco works too) then put on a pair of exam gloves (I wear two pair) BEFORE putting on your garden gloves. I sincerely hope none of you have to go through the pain I have had. Please, learn from my mistake and be happy gardening.
By Vi Johnson