Having your softball equipment in proper conditions is essential for great results on the playing field. One piece of accessory that needs special care is your glove, since it accumulates a lot of dirt during the season and can end up lasting less than you would like it to if you don’t give it proper maintenance.
Before jumping into the steps to have a clean glove, you have to understand why taking care of it is important. Most gloves are made of durable organic leather, which is a material that requires good conditioning to deliver a great performance during the game. A glove that isn’t taken care of will most likely deteriorate before the end of the season. This is something you certainly don’t want to experience frequently after investing so much time and effort trying to break in your glove.
To clean your softball glove, you will first need a dry cloth to remove dust and other excess dirt from the outside. Make sure you pay special attention to the inner palm area and the finger holes.
Once you have done this, fill a bowl with warm water and mild soap or leather safe cleaner. Dampen a new cloth—a cotton rag would be better for this step—and wring out any excess water. Remember to be gentle and to pay attention to the areas that tend to get more dirty.
Take a dry cloth and wipe away all the remaining moisture from the glove, then apply a glove oil to give it a nice finishing touch.
How to clean the inside of a softball glove
Cleaning the inside of your glove isn’t that different from the outside, but you certainly have to pay extra attention to mold growth since the finger holes collect sweat. After you have thoroughly wiped away all the dirt with your wet cloth, take the dry cloth to remove excess moisture. Once you have finished, apply glove oil to the inside area to maintain the health of your glove.
Make sure you apply a small quantity of glove oil, since the excess can weigh your glove down and collect more dirt and debris. Our two favorite glove oils can be ordered online:
Now that you have cleaned up your glove, place it in a cool, dry place for at least a week if the circumstances allow it. Avoid placing it under direct sunlight or heat, since this will break down the leather fibers and completely ruin your glove.
Besides cleaning your glove, there are other ways you can keep it in great condition. Don’t put it at the bottom of your gear bag, since you may damage its shape. You may want to leave it in a cool place between practices. During the off-season, store it with a ball rolled inside to keep the pocket shaped.
Now your glove is as good as new! Follow these steps any time you feel like it needs good conditioning and make sure to store it in proper ways so that it can last more than one season.