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Baseball Glove Oil

Information on Baseball Glove Oil Usage, Alternatives, and Care

Heard of baseball glove oil? Learn through this article how to apply and take care of your baseball gloves.
Saptakee Sengupta
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
A baseball player without his glove is like a fish out of water. The glove must provide comfort to the player while playing. Sometimes new gloves are very stiff and slippery. This creates trouble while playing and even makes him awkward. If the gloves are not broken naturally, then its effectiveness is reduced, hampering the consistency of the player. Sometimes pre-broken gloves are available in garage sales, sport stores, thrift stores, etc. However, if your gloves are brand new, you need to accelerate the breaking process, to make it user-friendly. One of the methods to break baseball gloves is the application of baseball glove oil.
Applying Baseball Glove Oil
The first thing that you need to take care of is to always go in for good leather quality for your baseball gloves. You can break the glove with oil. The following steps will let you know about easy application of baseball glove oil.
  • Glove conditioning oil or glove treatment oil is available in the market, generally in sports stores. Apply the oil on the surface of the glove and not to the interior. This oil is non-absorbing and remains on the surface of the glove, thus providing it a long-lasting condition.
  • Now leave the gloves untouched overnight. Test the firmness and check if they have softened or not. In case they are still stiff, apply treatment or conditioners and leave for a few hours. Put a baseball in the pocket and try to fold the glove at the thumb and fingers to hold the ball.
  • The glove should not expand outwards after applying the oil. To avoid this, secure the position by tying a cluster of rubber bands around it.
  • Keep it as it is for the next few hours. Now slowly wear the gloves and check for the movements. If it is still stiff and hard, oil it and condition once again to make it flexible in the same way.
  • Application of oil and conditioners helps maintain the flexibility for the first few days. You can continue applying it to soften the gloves further.
  • Use the glove frequently and wrap it for few days after use, so as to accelerate the breaking process.
Sometimes, the oil or baseball conditioners may not be available immediately at hand. There are alternatives for this. Petroleum jelly or Vaseline is a good alternative for baseball oil. It makes the glove supple and flexible. Other alternatives include linseed oil, mink oil or neatsfoot oil, tanners glove oil, foam shaving cream, saddle soap, etc. Lanolin is a good lubricating agent and helps easy breakage of the glove. Lexol products contain lanolin and are available at hardware stores. The method of application for these alternatives is the same.
It has been touted for more than 100 years that the best baseball glove oil is neatsfoot oil, the oil extracted by boiling the leg bones of cows. This oil has been used by baseball players for a long time.
Care Required
There are a few things that should be taken care of before applying this oil. After applying the oil, rub it all over and let it dry at least overnight. This helps the oil to get absorbed completely on the surface of the glove. Be careful that the oil doesn't drip inside the glove. Do not over oil the glove and leave the leather wet. Wet leather gets damaged quickly. Even application of too much lubricant and conditioner deteriorates the leather and hinders the breaking process. Wrap the glove with tight rubber bands initially after use.