Complete glove cleaning guide
So, a while back I was at the field watching some talented young kids playing catch with each other.
The thing that caught my attention was how they threw and kicked their glove around after playing catch.
I mean, at some point in time or still to this day we’ve all made this mistake.
Eventually one day they will realise the importance of their glove.
I mean, just think about it,
Baseball and softball gloves are such an important part of being a great defensive player.
It isn’t enough to just buy a glove, wear it on the field, and hope it does its job.
You need to break your glove in, take care of it, condition it, and help maintain it so it extends beyond just a single season.
And it isn’t just about the cosmetics of a new glove – properly caring for your fielding glove will ensure you realise if it’s in danger of breaking down when you need it the most.
In this glove care guide, we’ll discuss:
- Why gloves need to be kept clean.
- Some different ways to clean your gloves
WHY YOU NEED TO CLEAN YOUR GLOVE
Proper softball and baseball glove care is essential to ensuring your glove lasts longer than just one season. Take your coach for example, I’m pretty sure he or she has a glove that’s at least 7-10 years old and still in good condition.
Why his glove is to this day still functional isn’t because he just dumps it in his coaching bag and then in the trunk of the car but because it sees less playing time than your glove. Sorry coach!
Why clean your glove..?
In case you didn’t already know, most baseball or softball gloves are made from tough and durable organic leather. This organic leather is, the treated skin of an animal be it cow, pig or snake and just like our skin can sometimes be cut and bruised, so can the leather of your glove. In short, leather products are vulnerable to deterioration if not properly maintained.
Going through an entire season without proper care for your glove will turn your investment into one that’s guaranteed to be short term.
And let’s face it, once you spent all that time to break in your glove, the last thing you want to do is have to start the whole process over again a few months later.
DIFFERENT WAYS TO CLEAN YOUR GLOVE
You may think cleaning a baseball or softball glove is as simple as wiping off the excess dirt that builds up in the palm, but it’s a little more than that. Consider the parts where your hand goes but you don’t necessarily see, like in the finger stalls or the thumb and pinky loops.
Here are some tools that you can use to help clean a baseball or softball glove the right way. Those tools include:
- Soft bristle brush (like a toothbrush)
- Cotton rag or microfiber cloth
- Leather cleaner (be sure to read reviews before buying as some may leave a slick surface that may gunk up on the exterior or interior of your glove)
- Glove conditioner (only use those that approved for use on baseball and softball gloves)
The process to clean a glove is simple and can be completed as follows:
With your soft bristle brush, remove excess dirt and debris from your fielding glove by gently scrubbing using small circular motions.
After scrubbing all dirt and debris from your glove, you would want to wipe all fine dust off the glove with your dry rag.
Once glove is free from dust and debris, add a little leather safe cleaner to a small area on the cotton rag and gently wipe off any dirt that still remains. (Remember, you only want to use a little cleaner at a time as some cleaners may change the color of the glove.)
Let your glove rest for some time as it dries from the previous steps.
Use your preferred conditioner to moisturise the glove, but just like in step 3 you want to start with a small area before going to the entire glove. Remember, when it comes to conditioner less is more!
Using the conditioner, will help prevent the leather from deteriorating and give it that added layer of protection that will expand the life of your glove.
To conclude this article, the next time you see a kid throwing and kicking their glove around, you can explain them that there is a higher purpose for their glove and that it should be taken care of if they want to use it to its fullest potential. Maybe, you can even try some of the tips described in the article for your own use.