by Julie Finch-Scally
I am always disappointed with oven gloves. They look so lovely when new but once washed they never quite look the same; they lose their shape and get that bedraggled look.
We have two pairs of oven gloves in our house. One set is material; the others have a rubber exterior. The rubber pair is a longer glove and over the years I have found these to be safer; mainly because when I wear the wrist length gloves I somehow manager to hit my arm on the shelving when taking things out of the oven and burn myself. The longer gloves eliminate this.
But washing the gloves has always been a problem. Is it a hand wash job or will they wash in a machine cycle? Is it better to turn the gloves inside out when washing? All these questions are upper most in my mind when I look at the dirty gloves sitting by the stove.
Over the years I have discovered with material gloves it doesn’t matter whether they are turned inside out to wash and I usually put them into the washing machine with my towels. I do prefer the gloves to be the right way round when washing because I feel the lining inside gets battered around too much during the wash if inside out. But I always turn the gloves inside out to dry. This way the thick lining will get the sun and dry out properly.
With the rubber gloves, I find regularly taking a damp cloth and wiping over the outside of the gloves removes any debris that has ended up drying on the surface. This actually works and allows a longer cycle between washes.
The lining in the rubber gloves is quilted fibre whereas the lining of the material gloves is fibrous padding. This means the rubber gloves if washed in the machine can be turned inside out, but I find they are easier to wash by hand. I turn them inside out and wash them in a bucket of hot soapy water. After that I place them in a bra bag and put them through one rinse cycle in the washing machine. This way most of the moisture is removed.
Rubber gloves must be turned inside out to dry in the sun. The rubber gets soft in the sun so the lining inside protects the rubber, and is the only part of the glove that has to dry. Once the lining is dry and the gloves turned the right way out, because the rubber is stiff and stays in shape the rubber oven gloves still look reasonable.
Unfortunately this is not the case with the material gloves. Once washed material gloves become quite shapeless. But it is horses for courses. I find the wristlet gloves better for removing hot pots and pans from the stove whereas the long rubber gloves are just perfect for taking casseroles and cakes out of the oven. But keeping them clean is the art.