How to Take Care of Baseball Gloves: Learn What to Do and What Not

In the first few months of my journey as a baseball player, I faced so many problems choosing any equipment like a pair of baseball gloves. 

Even if I manage to find one that suits and fits perfectly, it got damaged soon.

And I hated throwing my favorite pair of gloves, especially the expensive one. It happened so frequently. I wondered what I was doing wrong.

The problem was pretty simple. I wasn’t taking care of my baseball gloves. 

It’s a rookie mistake. As a rookie, I did all. However, in the meantime, I learned how I can protect my gloves effectively.

So, here I am to help you find out the most effective ways to take care of baseball gloves. 

Let’s get started.

Do I Need to Take Care of My Baseball Glove?

For sure a good quality baseball glove is costly and finding a comfortable pair is pretty difficult.

So, whenever a player finds his best pair of gloves, he never wants to replace them. And the only way to ensure its durability is to take proper care of the gloves.

Increase Its Longevity

Proper care can significantly extend the lifespan of your glove. A well-maintained glove will last for many seasons, and you can use it for the best performance.

Ensure a Better Performance

Regular maintenance helps your glove maintain its shape, flexibility, and performance. If it is in good condition, it will offer better control and feel, contributing to your overall playing experience.

Ensure Comfort

A well-conditioned glove is more comfortable to use. It also reduces the risk of blisters and discomfort during extended periods of play.

Save Your Money

High-quality baseball gloves can be an investment. And if it is in good condition for a longer time, you don’t need to buy a new one. Also, proper care helps maintain the glove’s value in case you decide to sell or trade it in the future.

Reduce the Risk of Complete Crack

Once your gloves are taken care of properly, it will simply prevent them from getting cracked. So, you don’t need to replace it so soon.

Even though baseball gloves are designed to endure rugged use, proper care ensures that they continue to perform at their best. At the same time, they offer the best possible experience on the field.

Make a Routine for Baseball Gloves Maintenance

Well, if you want to take good care of your baseball gloves, you should make a routine. Commonly, we forget the last time we cleaned our gloves.

So, if there is a routine with a checklist, we can easily track when to try the maintenance tasks.

Regular (After Every Use) Routine

In your checklist, make a list of things to do after each use, And include the following tasks:

  • Remove dirt, dust, and debris from the glove’s surface using a soft brush or cloth.
  • If the glove gets wet, air dry it at room temperature.
  • After playing, reshape the glove by placing a ball or softball in the pocket.

Weekly Routine

Whether you don’t use the gloves for a while or just use it daily, you need to ensure the following tips once a week.

  • Apply a leather conditioner or cream to keep the leather supple.
  • Inspect the laces for any signs of wear or fraying.
  • Use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior and interior of the glove.

Monthly Routine

Once a month, you should try the following maintenance hacks to keep the gloves in good condition.

  • Remove excess dirt and stains by gently scrubbing with a leather cleaner.
  • Check the laces again and re-tighten or replace any that show signs of wear.
  • Apply a leather oil with more care focusing on areas that experience the most flexing and stress.

Seasonal Routine (Beginning And End Of The Playing Season)

At the beginning of each season, you should ensure the following tasks:

  • Carefully examine the glove for any significant damage or issues that need repair.
  • Repair if required.
  • If the laces are worn, consider replacing the glove.

And at the end of the seasons, make sure to check the followings:

  • Perform a deep cleaning using a leather cleaner.
  • Store the glove in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

By following this routine, you’ll keep your baseball glove in top condition, ensuring that it remains reliable and comfortable throughout its lifespan.

Learn to Clean Your Baseball Gloves

Finally, you should learn how to clean your gloves properly. First, check the things you will need, and then, I will tell you how to do that.

Tool Check List

  • Soft brush
  • Damp cloth or sponge
  • Glove leather cleaner (like Lexol leather cleaner)
  • Glove-friendly oil products (such as Lexol leather conditioner, Kelley Glovolution, or a lanolin-based product)
  • Glove conditioner

Step 1: Dirt and Dust Removal

First, you need to remove all the dirt and dust from the gloves. Use a soft brush to gently remove dirt and dust from the surface of your glove. It will prevent abrasion during the cleaning process.

Step 2: Leather Cleaning

Now, dampen a cloth or sponge slightly with water and then apply a small amount of glove leather cleaner. Lexol leather cleaner is a suitable choice in this case.

Gently wipe down the entire glove and focus on the areas with visible dirt or stains. The cleaner will help remove grime without damaging the leather.

Step 3: Rinse and Dry

After applying the cleaner, you need to use a clean damp cloth or sponge to wipe off any residual cleaner from the glove’s surface.

Then let the glove air dry naturally. Avoid using heat sources like hairdryers, as excessive heat can damage the leather.

Step 4: Oil And Conditioner

Once the glove is completely dry, you should apply baseball glove oil to the entire glove. There are SARNA, Glovolium, Nokona, and a lot of other products. 

Try to use a clean cloth or your fingers to rub the conditioner into the leather. It will help restore moisture and suppleness to the leather and prevent it from becoming brittle and cracked.

Storing the Gloves Matters

Storing your baseball gloves in the right place is crucial for maintaining their quality and longevity. YOu should choose a storage area that is cool, dry, and well-ventilated.

At any cost, you have to avoid places with extreme temperatures, humidity, or direct sunlight, as these can damage the leather and cause it to become brittle or fade.

It is always a good idea to keep your gloves elevated from the ground to prevent moisture absorption. Moisture can damage the leather and lead to mold growth.

To maintain the glove’s shape, you can insert a ball or softball into the pocket and secure it with rubber bands or a glove-shaping tool while storing. It simply prevents the leather from collapsing or becoming misshapen over time.

Make sure not to stack heavy objects on top of your gloves, as it can flatten the padding and affect the glove’s performance.

Also, before storing the glove for an extended period, ensure that it’s clean and conditioned. Besides, don’t store your glove in a completely airtight container or plastic bag.

Periodically check on your stored glove to ensure there are no mold, mildew, or other issues developing. This is especially important in humid environments.

Essential Products for Baseball Glove Maintenance

Maintaining a baseball glove requires a few essential products and tools for sure. You’ve already got introduced to some of them while learning how to clean the gloves.

Well, you need to make a list of products that you’ll need. I can help you in this case too. Here is the list you need to cover.

  • A specialized leather cleaner, such as Lexol leather cleaner, is essential to remove dirt, sweat, and grime from the glove’s surface.
  • A quality leather conditioner like Lexol leather conditioner, Kelley Glovolution, or lanolin-based products will help keep the leather supple and prevent it from drying out or cracking.
  • Baseball glove oil is formulated to penetrate deep into the leather, maintaining its flexibility and preventing stiffness.
  • A soft-bristle brush is essential that you need to use while removing dirt, dust, and debris from the glove’s surface.
  • You should also have a damp cloth or sponge to apply the leather cleaner and wipe down the glove.
  • While applying conditioner or oil to the glove’s surface you should use a lint-free cloth.
  • If you’re breaking in a new glove, a glove mallet or baseball can help you shape the pocket and form the glove to your hand’s contours.
  • A UV protector can help prevent the leather from fading, drying, or becoming brittle.

Also, you should have gloves, a mesh bag, and a carrying bag too.

7 Common Mistakes in Baseball Gloves Maintenance

So, I have made a list of mistakes that you should avoid at any cost. Let’s check them out.

  1. Using Just Any Cleaners

Never ever use just any cleaner besides your hand to clean the gloves. The harsh chemicals, solvents, or household cleaning products on your glove can damage your gloves badly.

  1. Excessive Moisture Is a No

While some moisture is necessary to maintain the leather’s suppleness, excessive moisture from wet storage conditions or direct exposure to water can cause the leather to become weak, moldy, or cracked.

  1. Over-Conditioning Is Dangerous

Applying too much leather conditioner can lead to a greasy or sticky residue on the glove’s surface. You need to use conditioner sparingly and follow the product’s instructions.

  1. Direct Heat Is a Big No

You must avoid using direct heat sources like hairdryers, radiators, or direct sunlight to dry your glove. High heat can cause the leather to shrink, crack, or lose its natural oils.

  1. Skipping Cleaning Is Dangerous

Regularly cleaning the glove helps remove dirt, sweat, and oils that accumulate during play. If you skip cleaning frequently, it can lead to a buildup that affects the leather’s quality and appearance.

  1. Neglecting Laces Is Not a Good Thing

The laces play a vital role in the glove’s structure. Neglecting to check and tighten or replace worn laces can lead to structural issues that impact the glove’s performance.

  1. Improper Storage Is Dangerous

Storing the glove in damp, humid, or extremely hot places can lead to mold growth, leather deterioration, and loss of shape. Additionally, hanging the glove by its laces can stretch and damage the leather.

Besides, you shouldn’t apply leather dyes or paints to change the glove’s color as well. Ignoring seasonal maintenance can lead to great damage as well.


How Often Should I Clean My Baseball Glove?

You should clean your baseball glove at least once a season. But if you use the gloves too often, you should clean them more frequently especially when they become visibly dirty or sweaty.

How Do I Prevent My Baseball Glove From Getting Stiff?

You can regularly apply a leather conditioner or glove oil to prevent your baseball gloves from getting stiff. These products help to keep the leather soft and flexible. You should apply a small amount and work it into the leather using a clean cloth.

Is It Okay To Store My Baseball Glove in my equipment bag?

No, you shouldn’t store your baseball gloves in an equipment bag. It’s better to store your glove separately to prevent it from getting crushed or misshapen. You can use a glove conditioner and store it in a cool, dry place.

Wrapping Up

Whether you use your baseball gloves occasionally or regularly, you should take care of them properly to ensure it lasts longer. Remember that finding a comfortable and at the same time, suitable pair of baseball gloves is difficult.

No matter how expensive it is, there is no guarantee that you can break into it comfortably.

So, you should ensure that the gloves that already fit well will last longer. For that, follow a proper routine, clean them regularly, and store them properly.

Also, be careful of the mentioned mistakes as I did at the beginning of my career. Best wishes.