Breaking in a baseball glove
After choosing the right size of glove and breaking it in, it is very important to take care of your glove. Breaking in a baseball glove isn’t the only process to soften stiff parts of your glove. It is also recommended that you oil your glove to keep the leather soft. When we talk about oils for glove softening, we are talking about oils specific to leather and glove care, not your household oils.
Most glove manufacturers have different recommendations as to what kind of oil you should use for your glove. Whatever brand or label of glove’s oil, it really depends on your preference.
You can actually purchase glove oils directly from the manufacturer of your gloves, they will definitely have one!
Oiling your glove does not just aid the breaking in process, but also helps your glove last longer by lubricating your glove and preventing cracks.
Some players oil their gloves once a month depending on how often they use their gloves. Any amount of oiling will help your glove last longer though.
How to Oil a Glove: Recommended Methods
When you purchase your new glove, one thing to consider is the lifespan of your baseball glove. It is best to be knowledgeable about maintaining the shape and texture of your glove so it will last as long as possible.
As someone who wants to get the most out of his or her glove, you will need to know the proper ways to oil your glove. You can follow these simple steps to oil your gloves.
1. Choosing the right oils
As said previously, we only use oils recommended by the manufactures. As gloves are made from leather, it is important to choose the oil suitable for a leather product.
Most of these oils can be easily found and purchase from a sporting goods store. Applying oil to your glove can also improve the water resistance of the leather. However, it is very important to choose the right oils to avoid deterioration of your gloves.
2. Clean your glove
If you are going to oil your gloves, it is good to keep it clean first. You can wipe off your glove with a clean cloth to prepare it for oiling.
3. Applying the oil to your glove
When applying the oil you can either use your hand or a clean and soft cloth. It is advisable that you only pour a little oil into the cloth and gently rub it to your glove.
You may want to rub a little oil into the pocket and spaces between the areas where you catch the ball. Remember that too much oil can also deteriorate your glove faster. A fine coating of oil will be enough.
4. Dry your glove
After rubbing the glove with oil, you can let it sit for hours or overnight, so that the oil can fully soaked inside the pores of the leather. Keep your glove in a warm area between 70-90 degrees.
On the following day, you can wipe off remaining oil from the glove. You will notice that your glove has begun to shine.
5. Form the pocket
This is a part of the breaking in process, but it is also important to do after oiling your glove. You may want to squeeze shut your glove so you can feel more comfortable with it.
Other Products to Soften your Glove
Aside from recommended oils by the manufacturers, you can oil your baseball gloves using these cheaper materials that can be found in your home – baby oil, shaving cream, saddle soap.
It has been shown that the used of baby oil, shaving cream or saddle soap can substitute the special glove oils. According to some players who use these materials, oiling your glove is a matter of moisturizing your leather-based glove, so it is okay to use these materials.
The use of shaving cream, for example, instead of glove oils can be used both as conditioner and softener. However, it is advisable to be aware of the effect of whatever material you use in oiling up your gloves.