Best Gloves for Car Detailing and Cleaning

Wearing the right gloves for car detailing and cleaning is essential in order to protect your skin from all the chemicals and to stop your hands from getting dirty. Gloves are also essential (for me at least!) in the winter to keep my hands nice and warm.

I wear a good pair of gloves every time I clean the interior or exterior of a car, so here is a quick guide to my favourite types.

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Best Gloves for Car Detailing:

Best Gloves for General Detailing

For general car detailing and cleaning nitrile gloves are the best choice.

Nitrile Gloves are Better Than Latex

  • Nitrile gloves are resistant to chemicals and solvents, unlike latex gloves
  • Nitrile gloves are much more durable and less likely to rip compared to latex gloves
  • Nitrile is also less likely to cause allergies compared to latex

Go with nitrile instead of latex gloves for car cleaning, as latex gloves don’t actually provide proper protection against chemicals. Even though latex gloves cover the skin, they are very thin and more permeable. They can also easily break down when exposed to chemicals.

Powdered vs Powder Free?

Powdered gloves usually have a type of corn starch inside them to help improve grip, reduce sweating and make them easier to take on and off which can be very useful in the warmer weather or when the gloves get wet. However, some people may have a reaction to powdered gloves.


Nitrile gloves come in many different colours, but the most popular choice for detailing is often black. The colour of the glove doesn’t affect the quality or protection.

Best Nitrile Gloves

There are loads of different brands of nitrile gloves on the market, but some of the best are the Black Mamba Super Strong Nitrile Gloves (Amazon link).

They’re not the cheapest but they are very durable so can work out a bit more cost effective overall as you don’t need to keep swapping them out as often as you will probably end up doing with cheaper gloves which are more prone to tearing.

Best Gloves for Winter Detailing

If you live in a colder climate then you’ll need some more heavy duty gloves to stay warm when detailing. Although nitrile gloves are waterproof, they are very thin so provide no protection against the cold. This is why it’s a good idea to get some warm, waterproof gloves to make the cleaning process a lot more enjoyable!

There are two main options that I’ve tested and would recommend:

DexShell ThermFIT NEO

Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Lightweight

Both these choices are waterproof, meaning you can put your hand in a bucket of water without it getting wet. Some gloves are only water-resistant, and not waterproof, so make sure you go with the latter for washing cars.

In terms of the differences between these two gloves…

DexShell ThermFIT NEOSealskinz Waterproof All Weather Lightweight
Thinner so provide more manual dexterityBulkier feeling (despite the name)
Extend past the wristOnly go just past the wrist
Do not provide as much protection from the coldFeel very warm and cosy
Touch-screen compatibleNot touch-screen compatible

Essentially, for jobs like cleaning wheels where you want more dexterity and grip, then the DexShell gloves are best. However, for colder temperatures and maximum waterproofness then the Sealskinz Lightweight gloves are an excellent choice.

Personally, I bought the Lightweight gloves first and then the year after bought the DexShell gloves as I wanted something a bit thinner and provided more dexterity.

If I was just to buy one type, I think the DexShell gloves are the best option for car detailing, but if you want something super warm and waterproof then the Lightweight gloves are also a good choice and useful for other activities as well.

Here are links to each version on Amazon:

Note on Sealskinz Gauntlet Gloves

The DexShell ThermFIT NEO Gloves are very similar in design compared to the Sealskinz All Weather Ultra Grip Gauntlet Knitted Gloves (link to Amazon).

There are two reasons why I prefer the DexShell gloves after trying them both:

  1. The Sealskinz gloves were very baggy on the palm which felt uncomfortable whereas the DexShell gloves fit better on the palm. After reading many reviews it seems like this is a common issue for most hands, where the gloves fit on the fingers but are loose on the palm.
  2. The DexShell gloves are significantly cheaper but do the same job as the Sealskinz gloves.

If you like the look of the Sealskinz Gauntlet Knitted Gloves then I’d strongly recommend trying them on in-store as they run large on the palms and small on the fingers so might not fit comfortably. This is something I experienced and the main reason why I prefer the feeling of the DexShell gloves.

Cheaper DIY Alternative

Waterproof gloves are great, but they’re not cheap. If you’re a professional detailer then I think they’re well worth the investment, but I completely get why weekend warriors might frown at the price tag.

Another option that I used to go for, is wearing a pair of regular (fairly thin) knitted gloves and then putting a pair of nitrile gloves over the top.

This will essentially waterproof the knitted gloves but also means your hands stay much warmer compared to wearing just regular nitrile gloves on their own.

It’s a cheap and decent solution for keeping your hands warmer in winter, however the nitrile gloves can tear pretty easily (especially if you’re trying to squeeze on your regular size over the knitted gloves) and then water can breach the knitted gloves underneath. And as soon as they get wet, your hands will be freezing very quickly!

It’s best to keep a spare pair on standby if you go for this option.



Heather is a professional car detailer & valeter based in Cheshire and the owner of Auto Care HQ. A familiar face in the car detailing community, she has written over 200 car detailing guides on and has produced over 165 videos on the Auto Care HQ YouTube channel.

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