Baseball gloves are perhaps the most essential piece of equipment for any baseball player. However, they are prone to getting dirty from grass and dirt, and no one likes to play with dirty gloves. Below, I’ll explain the correct ways to answer to the question “How to clean a baseball glove” with step-by-step instructions.
Can You Put a Baseball Glove in the Washing Machine?
While some people may assume that using a washing machine is a clever way to clean your glove, they could not be more wrong. The washer can easily damage your glove, as soaked leather can cause the glove to become distorted, form cracks once dry, or take too long to completely dry.
Nowadays, quality baseball gloves can cost upwards of $200, so it would be wise to not throw your money away trying to give your glove a quick clean. Many alternatives exist that will clean your glove safely and effectively with no potential risk, and I’ll introduce these methods next.
Can You Wash a Baseball Glove by Your Hand?
Yes, you can wash a baseball glove by hand, especially for cleaning a light stain or a small mark. However, keep in mind that this may not be beneficial enough to remove profound stains or marks that are deeply ingrained.
If you choose to wash your glove using your hands, you will also need water and soap, but not too much of either to avoid damaging the glove. To clean the glove by hand, place the soap over only the mark or stain and gently rub it in. Next, wet your hand by placing it under running water or dipping it into a water bowl.
Once the soap is applied to the mark and your fingers are wet, rub into the mark for a couple of seconds and the glove should be cleaned. If the gloves mark is still there, you may need to use a more extensive method, which will be explained in the next section.
How to Clean a Baseball Glove
There are many approaches you can take to successfully clean a leather baseball glove, but I’ll detail two main ones. Before you proceed with either approach, make sure to remove any major dust or debris from your glove. This can be done by using a dry, soft brush to remove unwanted matter from the gloves’ surface such as clumps of dirt.
The first way to wash your glove is by using a leather cleaning agent. After you use a brush to remove any visible debris, you can remove the laces, which will allow you to clean areas that would otherwise be covered. Based on how your gloves are laced, you may not be able to remove the laces, in which case you can skip this step.
Next, use a bit of leather cleaner agent on a rag or a sponge and gently rub it into the glove in a circular and/or up and down motion. It’s important to focus around crevices and the finger holes, and if you didn’t remove the laces, make sure to thoroughly clean under the laces too.
Once you’ve applied the cleaning agent to all areas of the glove, you typically have to wait anywhere between a few hours to a day, but this depends on the type of agent you used. Something to note is that if you use too much cleaner, the agent could build up on the glove and clog its pores, so make sure to use the recommended amount.
Also, check how often it should be applied if you want to regularly clean your glove. If you complete the above steps correctly, your baseball glove should be looking sharp and will have increased durability down the road.
Another way to clean your glove is by conditioning the glove. Before you begin, you’ll need glove conditioner and a rag or sponge. Once the notable matter is brushed off of the glove, you can begin the steps that follow.
First, gently dab the rag or sponge in the conditioner and delicately apply it to the glove surface in a circular motion. The product’s label may have more specific directions for how to apply.
Next, wait roughly 24 hours as the glove needs time to absorb the conditioner. Make sure to only use a few dabs from the container a few times per season, as overuse could work inversely and attract dirt. By completing these steps, you will have a baseball glove that has cleaner and softer leather.
The above methods are designed to be used on standard leather baseball gloves, but some people use TPU synthetic leather gloves which are much more durable than regular leather gloves.
Before buying leather cleaning agent or glove conditioner, confirm that the products suit your gloves make. If the products can be used on your synthetic leather glove, you can follow either method above following the same steps, but I recommend applying a small amount of the product first to assure that it will work on your glove.
If you are looking for a simpler way to clean your glove without having to purchase any supplies, you’re in luck. This last method only requires you to have a cloth, water, and soap to effectively clean your glove.
First, put together a mixture of warm water and hand soap. Next, dab the cloth into the mixture and wring the cloth out as much as possible to not damage the glove. Gently scrub all sections of the glove and reapply the mixture when needed.
Once finished, dry the glove with a cloth or paper towel and let it air dry.
See more a related article about glove: Baseball glove vs Softball glove
How to Clean the Inside of a Baseball Glove
Now that you know how to clean the outside of a baseball glove, you’re ready to learn how to clean the inside of a glove, which is just as important. Just like cleaning the outside of your glove, you are going to use a dry tool such as a cloth or a toothbrush to remove any excess dirt or moisture. Also, shake out the glove to get rid of any dirt before you start cleaning.
First, acquire a container such as a bowl to hold a mixture of water and a few drops of soap. Next, grab a rag to dip in the container. Wring out most of the liquid and rub it all along the inner palm of the glove.
To reach the finger holes, use a pen or a tool similarly shaped. Once you’ve completed this step, get a bowl of cold water and dip a new rag or cloth into the bowl. Wring it out completely and clean all around the glove to remove any excess soap.
Finally, use a dry rag to carefully dry the glove out as moisture can cause molding and shrinking of the leather. Let the glove air dry for hours once no more moisture is left.
Special Cleaning Tips for a Dirty Baseball Glove
Even though the methods above thoroughly outline ways to efficiently clean baseball gloves, there are still many pointers to learn that will help keep your glove clean. Firstly, ensure that you have washed and dried your hands before using your glove to avoid any dirt or moisture building up while you play.
Another tip is to keep your baseball glove dry and in a well-ventilated area at all times. Doing so will maintain the shape of the glove, and wrapping the glove over another one will help as well. The last tip is to store your glove in a dry place with low humidity. This will avoid stiffness and any risk of it getting wet.
How to Clean an Old Moldy Leather Baseball Glove
It’s inevitable that over decades of using a glove, there will be periods of the glove sitting in a moisturized state, causing mold to form. Thankfully, there are steps to take to remove the mold and they’re similar to previous methods already mentioned in this article.
After you remove the laces (if you can) and dry brush the glove, create a mixture of vinegar, lemon juice, and water in a bowl. Dip a rag into the mixture and lightly wipe the glove, focusing on the areas of mold or mildew. The acidity should kill any spores that are on the glove.
Once the glove is cleaned, let it air dry in a warm area until completely dry, and gently wipe it down with water again to remove any excess vinegar or lemon juice. Now you can apply a leather treatment if you wish, such as leather wax or polish. This will help prevent any future mold from building up.
Make sure the glove completely dries and after it does, it will be clean and ready to use!
How to Clean a Baseball Glove With Shaving Cream
Perhaps you would prefer to use shaving cream to clean your glove, which is not a bad choice at all. Shaving cream will moisturize the glove and cannot cause damage in any way.
First, apply the shaving cream onto the glove in spread-out areas. Next, use a rag or cloth to rub the cream into the pocket of the glove using circular motions. Once fully applied, use a clean rag or cloth to remove any excess cream, as not doing so can result in unwanted mold and debris.
As always, when finished, store the glove in a cool and dry space to optimize the gloves’ longevity.
Cleary, many methods exist to successfully clean baseball gloves. Some methods take less time, cost more money, or contain supplies that not everyone owns, but there is a way to efficiently clean for everyone. Choose the method that fits you best and make your glove look and feel as good as new!
I hope that the article will be a great answer for the question “How to clean a baseball glove” which many baseball fans are looking for.
I am Harry La, CEO for BaseballHub.Net – a baseball website and I am also a Baseball Writer. I am responsible for the publication of such articles as game recaps and previews, player interviews, coaching updates, and in-depth previews of upcoming games or series.