The best baseball glove should be made of leather. Any other synthetic material is short-lived and creases easily. But with pure leather, there comes an additional maintenance requirement to keep the material supple and free from cracks. Oil treatment is hands down the best way to care for and soften baseball gloves.
Whether you are breaking in a new glove or maintaining an old one, this article will help you oil your baseball glove the right way.
The Benefits of Oiling a Baseball Glove
Oiling your baseball glove does the following:
Breaks in a New Glove
Breaking in a new glove is crucial because it eliminates the stiffness and rigidity of new leather. Rigid baseball gloves can hurt you as you play. You may get sore knuckles, bruises, and hand strains.
Relax the Glove Pocket
When leather absorbs oil, it softens and relaxes. The relaxed glove creates a deeper pocket, thus improving the grip on the ball. A relaxed pocket will hold the ball in place and is less likely to spill it over.
Improve Hand-Glove Connection
A good baseball glove should feel like an extension of your hand. It should not feel like you are wearing so much weight. A good oiling routine does that; it leaves your glove feeling light, hugging your hand, and lets you have total control over the glove.
Oil not only softens your glove material but also creates a waterproof coat. Leather cracks due to exposure to water and then drying out. Oil makes the glove surface supple and moisturized, thus preventing creases and crevices.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Baseball Glove Oil
You will find many oil brands promising to deliver the desired results on your glove, but not all are suitable. Some contain harmful ingredients that will ruin your glove and even cause allergies to your skin. Keep these factors in mind when buying a baseball glove oil:
Choose Oil Specially Made for Baseball Gloves
Most gloves come with instructions of recommended oils from the manufacturer. Please don’t use regular oils and conditioners. This Wilsons Pro Stock Glove Conditioner is recommended for various baseball gloves and will be worth your pennies.
Some ingredients in some of the oils can be detrimental to the leather in the long run. Please go for oils with natural ingredients such as beeswax, lanolin, and Neatsfoot oil. Although some people use petrolatum products such as Vaseline, they are synthetic and can ruin the material over time.
Ease of Application
When choosing baseball glove oil, go for bottle designs that can apply oil with minimal spillage. You can never go wrong with spray bottles because you don’t even need a cloth or use your fingers to spread the oil. In addition, some brands come with an applicator, making the application process clean and non-sticky.
Check out these brands that have some of the best modes of application:
The primary purpose of oil treatment is to make leather soft and water-resistant. Go for waterproof oils. Waterproof oil prevents cracks and keeps the leather from drying out. To know if oil will guarantee water resistance, look out for ingredients such as beeswax and mink oils. This Wilson Pro Stock Mink Oil Paste makes your leather sporting items water-resistant.
How to Oil a Baseball Glove the Right Way: Step by Step Guide
Oiling a baseball glove is a step-by-step process that can make your break-in or glove maintenance routine easy when followed by the letter. Before you start oiling your glove, please keep in mind that everything in excess is detrimental, so use the oil sparingly. Otherwise, you risk soaking your glove, leaving it dull, slippery, and even damage the material.
Follow these steps for an easy baseball glove oiling procedure:
#Step 1-Put the oil on the glove
If the bottle comes with a sprayer, hold the sprayer at a distance and spray the glove, starting with the area between the thumb and the first finger. If you are using your fingers or an applicator, put drops of oil on different spots evenly. Remember to add the oil sparing.
#Step 2- Rub in the oil
Spread the oil to cover every inch of your glove evenly. You can use your fingers, a piece of absorbent cloth, or the applicator that comes with the oil or conditioner. The coat of oil should be thin to avoid the glove from becoming greasy. Absorb the excess oil with a piece of cloth.
#Step 3-Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the rest of the fingers, palm, and the back
After covering the webbing area and the thumb area, proceed to add oil on the other fingers, palm, and the back of the glove. Please pay close attention to the spaces between the fingers because it is prone to creases and cracks. Rub in the oil to create a thin layer of the protective coat.
#Step 4- Leave the glove to rest
Leave the glove to rest and absorb the oil for a while. It is best to keep it in a dark and dry room. Sunlight will dry out the moisture and cause the leather to harden. After that, remove excess and unabsorbed oil with a dry cloth.
It is best to oil your glove before and after every season. You may oil it in between the season, but don’t overdo it.
If your baseball glove is new, playing catch for several days or weeks before a baseball game can help break in the glove faster. This technique is known as making a pocket. It helps the new glove conform to your hand and create the desired pocket to hold the ball in place.
Oiling a baseball glove is a crucial process. It helps get rid of rigidity in a new glove and maintain an old one. Don’t apply just any oil to your baseball gloves. To guarantee long life, choose oils and conditioners recommended by the glove manufacturer. In addition, buy oils made with natural, leather-friendly ingredients.