Your baseball glove is starting to smell bad, and you may wonder if you can wash it in a washing machine. Baseball gloves are exposed to dust and sweat. This exposure can cause grime to build up and requires some cleaning, but what is the correct way to clean a baseball glove?
You cannot wash your baseball glove in a washing machine. The outside of a baseball glove made of leather can stretch, become disfigured, and crack. By washing your baseball glove in a machine, you can waterlog the rest of the material inside your glove.
After playing baseball for a while, you will certainly have a sweaty, dirty glove. Now some baseball players don’t mind having dirty gloves. However, if that’s not you, you might wonder if you can wash your dirty baseball glove in the washing machine, so let’s find out.
Can You Wash Baseball Gloves In A Washing Machine?
You should absolutely not wash a baseball glove in a washing machine under any circumstances. If you were to wash your baseball glove in a washing machine, it would severely damage your glove.
Your baseball glove is made of various types of leather, depending on the brand. Some baseball glove manufacturers line the inside with other materials like wool or fleece. No matter what leather your glove is made from, it is guaranteed to get damaged in a washing machine, making the leather fibers stretch.
In addition to the leather in the glove loosening, the glove will become waterlogged, which can lead to many types of mold growing inside the glove. Having mold growing inside your baseball glove could potentially cause health complications.
To avoid growing mold in the glove, you must dry it out completely rather quickly. If the glove has dried in time with no moldy growth, you could still have another potential problem as drying the glove too quickly could remove all the moisture from the leather fibers, resulting in very brittle leather.
So even though washing your baseball glove in the washing machine will save you some time, the cost of saving time could lead to buying a new glove because you can no longer use your baseball glove properly.
How To Wash A Baseball Glove The Right Way
Even though washing your glove isn’t as easy as throwing it in the washing machine, that doesn’t mean it is a complicated process. You can see how easy it is if you follow this step-by-step guide. Here’s what you will need.
- A soft bristle scrubbing brush.
- A bottle of leather cleaning spray or glove cleaning balm.
- A bottle of glove conditioning oil or balm.
- A pair of clipping pliers.
- Two bowls of warm water.
- Two old soft shirts or cloth rags.
Steps To Follow To Clean Your Baseball Glove
Depending on what type of cleaner and conditioner you use, the methods you use will be slightly different.
Step 1. Unlace your baseball glove, ensuring you don’t damage the laces. Set aside the laces to use later. You may want to take a picture of the laces before undoing them to make re-lacing easier later.
Step 2. There are two methods you could use for step 2, the spray method and the balm method.
- Spray. When using leather cleaning spray on your baseball glove, do not spray the glove. Rather, spray the product directly onto the cleaning cloth. Start cleaning the inner side of the glove going in small circles from the inner side of the pinky finger, working towards the inner side of the thumb.
- Balm. When using cleaning balm on your baseball glove, you will use two bowls of warm water, designating one as dirty and one as clean. Dip the brush in the water, then rub the bristles of the brush over the cleaning balm to collect the product and start scrubbing the fingers gently. Clean the brush and wipe any suds off frequently.
Step 3. After you have finished cleaning the inner side of the fingers of the baseball glove, repeat the process on the palm of the glove, the laces, and the piece of leather forming the net of the glove. Once clean, place both the leather net and laces to one side for later.
Step 4. Flip the glove over and clean the fingers’ tops, sides, and backs. Make sure to be very thorough as grime builds up between the fingers. Now that the tops, sides, and backs are clean, start cleaning the rest of the back of the glove as well as the exposed inner lining of the glove.
Step 5. If using the spray, you need to replace the dirty shirt or clothes with clean ones, and if using the balm, you need to replace the bowls of dirty water with clean water. Once the glove is clean, you must condition it so the leather doesn’t dry out and start cracking.
Step 6. Depending on if you are using a balm or oil conditioner, you will need either the soft brush or rag, respectively, but the conditioning process is the same. Gather a decent amount of product on the applicator (brush or rag) and start working it in, going in small circles starting from the inner side of the pinky and going towards the thumb.
Step 7. Once the front side of all the fingers has been conditioned, you will need to move to the palm, laces, and leather for the net. Take your time when conditioning the palm, as you need the leather to be extremely malleable to make opening and closing the glove easier.
Step 8. Now that the inner part of the glove is conditioned, you need to flip the glove over and start conditioning the backs, sides, and tops of the fingers. When conditioning the tops and sides, ensure that you get the product into all of the seams, working your way down to the wrist strap and inner lining. Don’t be afraid to use extra conditioner on the liner for flexibility.
Step 9. If you are happy with the conditioning of the glove, the only things left to do is re-lace the glove to your preferred tightness and snip off the excess leather. You can use the photo you took earlier as a reference to help you when re-lacing. Alternatively, you could watch a video, ask a friend for help or go to a sports shop and have them do it.
We have learned that you cannot wash your dirty baseball glove in the washing machine. You have also learned the correct way to clean your baseball glove as well as the correct way to condition it to prevent cracking.