Last Updated on July 22, 2023 by Matt Musico
All baseball players are attached to their gloves. It serves as an extension of them. If you really love your glove, then you know the importance of cleaning it regularly. Dirt and sweat can build up and cause the leather to dry out and crack. Cleaning your glove can also help break it in and improve its performance. Here are some tips on how to clean a baseball glove.
- Remove any dirt/debris from the glove with a stiff-bristled brush or cloth
- If possible, remove the laces to clean them separately
- Use mild soap and warm water to clean your glove, but not too much because it can damage the leather
- Let your glove air dry naturally while avoiding direct sunlight or using a heat source
- Once that’s done, apply a leather conditioner to keep the leather soft and supple.
Below, we’ll go into more detail about why it’s important to clean your baseball glove and what you need to keep in mind.
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Why Clean Your Glove
Cleaning your baseball glove regularly will extend its life and improve its performance. Dirt and grime can accumulate on the glove, making it stiff and less flexible. If left that way, it can become damaged and lose its shape.
A clean, well-maintained glove looks and feels better than a dirty, worn-out one. It can boost your confidence on the field and make you feel more prepared to perform at your best. You know what they say — if you look good, you play good.
Selecting Cleaning Materials
Choosing a Conditioner
Make sure you’re choosing a conditioner specifically designed to be used on leather. Avoid using petroleum-based products since these can damage the leather. Look for a conditioner that contains natural oils, such as lanolin or mink oil. These will help keep the leather soft and supple. Apply the conditioner sparingly, using a soft cloth, and work it into the leather in a circular motion.
Selecting a Soft Cloth
Use a soft cloth that won’t scratch or damage the leather. Avoid using abrasive materials, such as steel wool or rough sponges. These can cause permanent damage to the leather. Instead, use a soft, lint-free cloth, such as a microfiber cloth or an old t-shirt. Before using the cloth, dampen it slightly with water to help remove dirt and grime from the glove.
Remove Loose Dirt
This can be done by using a soft-bristled brush or a dry cloth to gently brush away any dirt or debris on the surface of your glove. Be gentle during this phase to avoid damaging the leather.
Check for Damage
After the loose dirt/debris is removed, it’s time to check your baseball glove for any signs of damage. This includes tears, holes, or other damage. If you find something, repair it before cleaning to avoid causing further damage.
Rub a small amount of conditioner onto a clean, dry cloth. Then, apply a thin layer of the conditioning treatment to your glove.
Cover all areas with the conditioner and rub it in well, including the palm and top sides. Use a circular motion to rub it in, making sure to get into all the crevices and seams.
Let the glove sit for 20-30 minutes before shaping it. Then, put a baseball inside the fold of the glove and shut it gently using a shoelace.
After cleaning your baseball glove, wipe away any excess conditioner with a soft cloth.
Allow the glove to dry naturally. Don’t use a hair dryer or place it in direct sunlight. This can cause the leather to dry out and crack. Once it’s dry, store it in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing it in a damp or humid environment since that’s a prime opportunity for mold/mildew to grow.
Maintaining Your Glove
To keep your baseball glove in good condition, clean it regularly. Follow the steps we’ve outlined above to make that happen.
Proper storage –which is also outlined above — is just as important as regular cleaning. To prevent your glove from losing its shape, use a ball or glove mallet to maintain its form.
By following these simple steps, you can keep your baseball glove in great condition for years to come. Between cleaning it regularly and storing it properly, you’ll always be ready to make awesome plays once your next game rolls around.
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