How to Oil a Baseball Glove? – Easy Steps in No Time

Batting Gloves Written by MICHAEL ROGERS / Fact-checked by LEO HAGENES

how to oil a baseball glove

How to oil a baseball glove remains a common question for new baseball glove owners.

Oiling a baseball glove allows an easier break-in and helps maintain the leather’s durability and flexibility. No one wants their expensive Wilson or Rawlings baseball glove to last only several games!

Doing this wrong will only cause the gloves to deteriorate quickly. Don’t freak out yet. Oiling your new gloves is fun and easy to do, and we’ll teach you just how.

If you are looking for correct and detailed instructions for DIY oiling, you’ve come to the right place.

​​Best Ways to Oil a Baseball Glove

The process of oiling a baseball glove shouldn’t be complicated as long as you know what you’re doing. It’s an easy and cheap way to keep the mint condition of your expensive gloves, even if used.

What to Prepare

  • Baseball glove (New and used gloves can enjoy the benefits when you apply glove oil)
  • Glove oil
  • Soft Cloth – This is a must if you want to keep your fingers oil-free.
  • Soft Ball – It helps break in a baseball glove quickly.

Now, before you debut your new gloves in the field, follow each step below and be amazed at the results!

Step 1: Decide which oil to use.

baseball-glove-oil-vs-conditioner

There are lots of oils in the market, but they generally differ on where the glove oil is made of: natural and synthetic.

  • Mink oil – Natural oils such as mink oil have been used to oil gloves and other leather products for centuries. Mink oil is light and effectively penetrates the glove fibers when applied correctly. Thanks to its high percentage of unsaturated fatty acid, it effectively increases the glove’s flexibility.
  • Neatsfoot oil – It is another natural oil good for the short term but can damage the glove’s leather and is used extensively for a long period of time.
  • Lexol – You can also try Lexol, a water-based conditioner, if you want to try synthetic oils but hate the strong chemicals. It’s proven to reach deeply and evenly into the leather! You’d find Lexol gentle, easy, and safe to work with. No wonder why it’s such a popular synthetic baseball glove oil alternative.

See, you don’t have to stick with only natural choices when you use glove oil, it’s a matter of picking the best component that will work great for your glove’s leather.

If you still need help picking which one to choose, there are specialized leather glove oils you can purchase online.

Step 2: Correctly Apply the Oil

oiling-a-baseball-glove

Depending on your oil or baseball glove conditioner, you can follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions, so make sure to read their packaging.

Now, if you want to do it the master’s way, here is how you should apply the oil according to Shigeaki Aso himself:

  • Make sure that your glove is clean. Use a cloth to take the dust off your gloves.
  • You can use the same cloth to pick up a tiny bit of the product. Pounding and usage make gloves softer, so there’s no sense in using a lot of oil.
  • Apply oil lightly all around the gloves

That’s the simplest way to oil a baseball glove, according to a pro!

Step 3: Let the oil do its magic.

Remember the patience you brought in before doing step 1? It will come in handy in step 3. However, you shouldn’t shove away a newly oiled baseball glove as this can damage its form.

It’s best to place a baseball in the palm of the glove and store it in a well-ventilated bag to keep its shape.

Now, if you’re not in a rush, leave it overnight before using it. This will give ample time for the oil to break in the deepest fabrics of the leather.

Step 4: Put the glove to work

The last step to break-in a baseball glove with oil is to use it regularly.

Playing with your oiled glove every day, even for just a few minutes, will help it be more flexible and feel like an extension of your arm after a few weeks. You don’t necessarily need to be on the field! Ain’t nobody got time for that unless you’re a major leaguer.

A quick game of catch with your roommate or kid can do wonders for a stiff glove. Bonus points if they play with their kid’s baseball glove while you play with yours!

Besides feeling snugger, you’ll also notice that your glove pockets will develop the shape fit for your baseball.

Difference Between Glove Oil and Glove Conditioner

baseball-glove-oil-alternatives

The difference between glove oil and glove conditioner lies in their purpose:

  • Oils allow for an easier break-in.
  • Conditioners are used to maintain the leather’s pristine condition.

If you’re wondering who will make the homerun between baseball glove oil vs. conditioner, that’s another subject we’ll have to tackle on another blog.

One thing remains clear: both products are effective in extending the lifespan of your gloves when appropriately used.

What Oil to Use to Break in a Baseball Glove

Here are a few oils to help you break in your new gloves fast:

  • Baseball mitt oil
  • Mink oil
  • Neatsfoot
  • Linseed oil
  • Glovolium

Other Tips

Excited to treat your new gloves with oils? Read these tips first!

  1. A little amount of glove oil is all you need. Using too much oil will only lead to more damage to your new gloves, plus it makes them feel heavy and sticky. That’s an absolute game-killer!
  2. Avoid using vaseline and coconut oil. They are not meant to be used on leather and will contribute to the premature damage and discoloration of your gloves.
  3. Extreme heat and humidity are your worst enemy, so make sure to never expose your gloves to these for a long period of time.

Frequently Asked Questions

baseball-glove-rawlings

Let’s answer some FAQs about Citi Field!

What does glove oil do?

Glove oils penetrate the leather fabrics and keep them moisturized and flexible. This in turn prevents breakage or peeling, plus it helps you to quickly break in the gloves.

What shouldn’t I do when breaking in my glove?

You should never put your newly oiled gloves in the oven unless you’re trying to destroy them. Also, wrapping them tightly right after applying too much baseball glove softener will make them feel greasy and uncomfortable to play with.

Instead of risking your glove to damage, purchase real leather oil and skip creating homemade solutions.

How often should you oil a baseball glove?

To loosen a stiff, newly purchased glove, apply the glove oil the night before taking it to the field. For both new and used baseball gloves, oiling them after the end of each season is recommended.

Conclusion

Everyone can learn and practice how to oil a baseball glove with the four steps we mentioned. Choosing a glove oil from our list and using it correctly will help your gloves last for years and cut the time of the break-in.

So, do you still have an excuse to not oil your baseball gloves? We hope this article inspired you to take good care of your gloves and be consistent in using them. Break a leg!

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M. Rogers

Rogers is a hardcore baseball enthusiast. He plays with a team in his neighborhood three days a week and spends the rest either watching baseball games or reading the news about it. He joined Nations Baseball as a writer to share his knowledge and help others realize their passions for the sport

Michael Rogers

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