You must love your glove! When you are a vetted shortstop, champion catcher, or even just an every day patron to the classic game of catch, your baseball glove is your heart and soul. It is pivotal we make sure we are taking care of our gloves so they continue to take care of us.
Baseball mitts and gloves are tough and durable because they are made mostly from leather or other organic animal hides. Naturally, these organic materials are vulnerable to deterioration. That’s why if you want your glove to last as long as possible, it is important to give it the proper love and care to keep it in fighting shape!
This guide will offer tips on how to properly care for your baseball glove in order to keep her catching fly balls and fielding grounders for years to come.
7 Tips for Proper Baseball Glove Care
Follow these tips when caring for your baseball or softball glove!
1. Manufacturer Care
First things first, always check the manufacturer’s instructions. Oftentimes specific glove brands will include what they believe is the best way to care for the glove they have provided.
Some manufacturers make their gloves from specific materials and therefore include their recommended method for conditioning and cleaning.
If that is the case, go ahead and follow what they direct you to do alongside this guide.
Here we will be providing you with general information and practical pointers for keeping your baseball glove in prime condition.
2. Break Her In Naturally
First things first, break in your glove! A broken in glove makes life on the diamond run much smoother.
You’ve probably heard it before, but that’s because it’s true: the best way to break in your glove is to play with it! New glove? Get to catching and throwing! What better way to break in a glove then to actually use it.
Breaking in your glove is crucial to honing its playability. It will also lend a hand in forming your hand to your baseball gloves specific attributes and behaviors.
Breaking in a baseball glove can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to half a season of play. Be patient. Once your glove is comfortable and performs well, you’ll know it’s been properly broken in.
It’s pivotal to not try and force the issue with so-called quick fixes such as soaking, baking, beating etc. The list goes on. These will not break in your glove, they will ruin it.
3. Shaping and Reshaping
Shaping, or reshaping, is something that you will definitely want to include in your routine.
Doing this will help your glove maintain the proper shape needed to catch baseballs. We recommend you reshape your baseball glove at least once a season. Some players even insist on doing so every night. It’s up to you and your feel for the glove.
Shaping should really be done with the proper tools. WebGem Glove Care offers the perfect kit to shape and reshape your baseball gloves. They provide a glove glaze and specific shaping pieces that fit into your glove to form the perfect glove shape.
It’s as easy as 1-2-3! Glaze your glove, choose and wrap your block (roll form or flare form), squeeze glove and block into the WebGem protective velcro bag, store at room temperature for 48 hours and voíla!
No Errors carries a variety of WebGem’s gloves for catchers, pitchers, and outfielders. We especially love the catcher’s gloves, The Deuce and The Square.
You can also easily shape your glove by placing a baseball inside of it and wrap it tightly with a rubber band or something of that nature.
4. Check the Ties and Laces
Laces and ties are a huge part of what makes your glove usable. If one lace snaps the entire glove can be rendered useless. That’s why it’s important to check and adjust your laces daily.
Check for open seams, broken laces, and gaps between the fingers. The web and knots of the glove are easy to inspect. Be sure to run your fingers along the knots to confirm they are strong and tight enough for game play. If you find any issues be sure to have your glove repaired as soon as possible.
Ripped ties and laces can result in loose gloves and more often than not injury. Checking your laces, and keeping up on repairs can prevent such mishaps.
5. Protect the Inside
When it comes to playing baseball it’s no secret, our hands get filthy. Most players don’t think twice about the inside of their baseball glove, but it is a haven for sweat, bacteria and dirt.
The simple solution to keeping the inside of your baseball glove clean is to wear a lighter glove inside of it. It’s best to keep a separate and specific piece to wear in your glove, but even your batting glove will do.
Be sure to do a quick wipe down of the inside of your glove after use as well. This will reassure the opening is kept dry and void of lingering dirt.
6. Store your Glove Properly
Storage is an important part of keeping a ready baseball glove. Be wary of how and where you store your leather.
We recommend storing your glove on a shelf in a cool, dry place. Room temperature will do. Avoid shelves that are by heaters or located outside and keep your glove from getting hot and wet. Moisture and heat will work to eat away at the hide your glove is made from.
If your glove gets wet, dry it off as well as you can with an absorbent towel or cloth and let it air dry naturally. Wet and dried baseball gloves often tend to stiffen up. If that happens, apply a leather conditioner to soften the glove once it has dried.
Never blow dry or use a heater to dry your glove because this can dry out the surface and crack the leather.
7. Clean and Condition
Be sure to clean and condition your baseball glove!
Your glove is likely made of leather, so be wary when using any cleaners or conditioners. Some people polish their gloves with leather cleaner, but you could also go with the less conventional method of using shaving cream!
Shaving cream is lighter and fluffier and won’t weigh down on the leather like a Lexol or leather cleaner will over time. It’s also easier to see where you’ve applied the cream and naturally won’t use too much of it, saving the glove from oily ruin.
After cleaning, it is important to condition your glove with a lanolin-based product. We recommend Kelley Glovolution, or Lexol leather conditioner.
Below is a short step by step on how you should go about cleaning your baseball glove.
How to Clean Your Baseball Glove
- Brush off any dirt and dust with a light brush. A clean toothbrush is perfect for brushing away residue and dirt that builds up in between the fingers and laces of your glove. If you can’t brush away a piece of dirt it is likely ingrained and will need to be dampened with leather cleaner.
- Use a damp sponge or cloth to apply a quarter-size amount of shaving cream (or leather cleaner). Be conservative with your cream or cleaner. A little goes a long way and can be stretched to buff out dirt across the glove.
- Wipe the cream or cleaner over the entire glove with a cloth. Be sure to get the cleaner or cream into hard to reach crevices and seams where dirt is most likely to collect.
- Remove the cleaner from the glove with cloth and allow it to air dry.
- Rub glove conditioner into leather. Use circular motions to massage the glove with a recommended leather conditioner.
4 Things to Avoid When Cleaning Your Glove
There are, of course, things you should never do when taking care of your baseball glove. Below is a list of some simple DO NOTs:
- DO NOT force the issue when breaking in your glove! Take your time and have fun actually playing with your glove instead of resorting to quick tricks like ovens and soaking methods.
Again, this is where the WebGem glove care system and their uniquely designed gloves come in handy! Their product is specifically made to help you break your glove in FAST without causing damage, so you can speed through those first few months of using a new glove.
- DO NOT use too much cleaner or shaving cream!
- DO NOT over oil. Make sure you are conditioning with a lanolin-based product. Seed oils, silicon, petroleum jelly and products like these are huge NO-NOs. When it comes to conditioning, stick to baseball related products that are intentionally made for gloves.
- DO NOT blow dry or electric heat your glove when it is wet.
There are many ways to take care of your baseball glove and extend its life. We are fortunate to live in a time where baseball glove care has been taken to the next level. From shaping tools to proven conditioning formulas, there are products available to us that breathe new life into our catching mitts and fielding gloves.
Where some manufacturers give you the details on how to take care of your glove, others leave it to us. Hopefully this guide will help you create the perfect routine for you and your baseball glove! Let’s play catch!
No Errors is a proud supplier of WebGem gloves and accessories. Check out our site for only the top quality baseball and softball products, including catchers bags like the NoE2 catchers bag. You’ll also find coaches bags, softball backpacks, True diamond science bats, and much more.