The best leather conditioner for baseball gloves will keep your gear in perfect shape for every game. However, you must know how to use it properly to prevent over-conditioning. In this post, I discuss how to apply a baseball glove conditioner so you wouldn’t waste any product. Also, I reviewed my two favourite leather glove conditioners: Wilson Pro Stock and Nokona NLT. The process is simple and can be done in your home without special tools.
Table of Contents
- 4 Steps To Apply Leather Conditioner For Baseball Gloves Properly
- Step 1. Dust the glove off
- Step 2. Apply a small dab of conditioner
- Step 3. Let it dry a bit
- Step 4. Store the gloves properly
- Best Leather Conditioner for Baseball Gloves
- 1. Wilson Pro Stock Glove Conditioner
- 2. Nokona NLT Classic Leather Glove Conditioner
- How often should I condition my baseball gloves
- Does conditioning fix cracked leather on baseball gloves?
- How do you soften a baseball glove
- Is there such a thing as over-conditioning a glove?
4 Steps To Apply Leather Conditioner For Baseball Gloves Properly
Step 1. Dust the glove off
It’s always necessary to clean the baseball gloves before applying any conditioner. Remember that conditioning with dirt on the surface will only defeat the purpose of doing so. With that, you must perform the following steps first:
- Get a clean towel and remove the dust off your baseball glove
- If your baseball glove is soiled, you should use a glove leather cleaner to remove deep-seated dirt.
- Avoid using bleach or any abrasive detergent in cleaning your gloves.
- After using a leather cleaner, let the glove air-dry before conditioning.
Step 2. Apply a small dab of conditioner
Once your baseball gloves are all nice and clean, the next step is to condition. Here’s what you need to do:
- Get a clean cloth and dab it into the glove conditioner.
- Never wipe the conditioner directly into your glove because it will weigh it down.
- Take note that a little goes a long way when it comes to baseball glove oils.
- After taking a small amount using the cloth, wipe it to the glove shell thoroughly.
- Start at the back of the hands then through the fingers. You should also condition the pocket.
- The conditioner doesn’t make the leather baseball glove softer, but it prevents premature damages.
- Too much conditioner will make the baseball glove heavier and slippery.
- Just use a small layer, and you’re good to go.
- Re-apply the baseball glove conditioner about 3 to 4 times during the season so the leather won’t dry and crumble.
Step 3. Let it dry a bit
- After applying the baseball glove leather conditioner, let your glove air-dry.
- Never place your gloves under direct sunlight or sources of heat.
- After a few hours, wipe your gloves using a clean towel to remove any excess conditioner.
Step 4. Store the gloves properly
Aside from conditioning, storage is yet another factor that will impact the lifespan of your gear. You must store it properly so you won’t defeat the benefits of having it conditioned regularly. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:
- Always put a baseball on the pocket before you store it.
- This will keep the glove in shape inside your gear bag.
- Never fold the baseball glove into two
- Consider placing the baseball gloves inside a mesh before putting it into your main gear bag.
- If it’s off-season, make it a habit to aerate your baseball gloves from time to time.
- Play catch while using the baseball gloves off-season so it wouldn’t lose its form and pliability.
Best Leather Conditioner for Baseball Gloves
If you’re in the market for tried and tested leather conditioner for your baseball gloves, you’ll never be disappointed by these two options:
1. Wilson Pro Stock Glove Conditioner
One of my favourites is the Wilson Pro Stock Glove Conditioner. It contains Vitamin E and lanolin that help condition your leather gloves. Wilson, being a sports brand, will surely deliver the best results. I always keep this 2-ounce canister in my gear bag so I can condition my gloves right away.
Although this glove conditioner is a champ, I also want to mention some minor niggles. This formula is a little heavy, and it’s easy to overweigh a glove if you indulge too much. This isn’t really a disadvantage, but a very important reminder to apply it moderately. Also, expect that this conditioner will darken the leather of your baseball gloves. For me, it’s not a big deal, but it could be for some who are focused on the aesthetics of their gears.
On the upside, the Wilson Pro Stock Glove Conditioner helps clean and restore an old pair. It’s very easy to apply, and it doesn’t have an overpowering smell. My baseball gloves actually smell like new leather after using this.
Aside from baseball gloves, this conditioner is also useful for other leather products like gloves and leather. Overall, this conditioner really does well in reviving an old glove by giving it a nice color while making the material pliable. And for its low price, there’s nothing else I could wish for.
If you’re looking for a trusty glove conditioner, you’ll never go wrong with the Wilson Pro Stock. It’s affordable and very effective, so it’s a must-have for every player.
2. Nokona NLT Classic Leather Glove Conditioner
Another option I swear by is the Nokona NLT Classic Leather Glove Conditioner. Instead of a wax canister, this one comes in a squeeze tube, making it easier to apply. The Nokona glove conditioner is useful for maintenance and when breaking in a new glove.
Before you use the Nokona NLT conditioner, know that this one has a greasier texture. It may attract more dirt, so make sure that you dry your gloves in an enclosed and clean area. Aside from that, Nokona is more expensive than Wilson, which some users find intimidating.
But overall, I can count on Nokona when it comes to making my leather baseball gloves supple. It has a petroleum jelly-like texture, which absorbs well into the gloves. In fact, I’ve been using this conditioner for years, and I rarely encounter any problems. It’s also tried and tested by many baseball players, which is added peace of mind.
I also like that there’s no strong odor coming from the conditioner. Every application of the conditioner breathes new life to my gloves. This makes me feel like the king of the mound on each game.
How often should I condition my baseball gloves
During a season, you may need to condition your gloves between uses. However, you should factor in the dryness and temperature level. Old gloves many need frequent conditioning as the leather is prone to cracking and chipping.
You may only need to condition your baseball gloves once a month or every other month during the off-season. Take note that aside from conditioning, it’s important to use the baseball gloves so it will remain in good condition. Even though conditioned, some baseball gloves that have been stored for long will become stiff and difficult to use.
Does conditioning fix cracked leather on baseball gloves?
Applying a baseball glove conditioner may help slow down the cracking. However, baseball gloves will soon reach the end of their lifespan, where you’ll need to get a replacement. If the leather of the gloves is cracking, crumbling, and falling apart, no amount of conditioning can fix it. It’s best that you invest in a new pair instead of slathering layer after layer of glove conditioner.
You can actually prevent cracking by keeping your baseball gloves conditioned from the very start. Proper storage and cleaning are also necessary to delay the damages your gloves may sustain, both on and off-season.
How do you soften a baseball glove
Contrary to some beliefs, baseball glove leather conditioners don’t soften the material. It will only keep it moisturized so the leather won’t crack or peel easily. If you want to soften or break in your new baseball glove, the best solution is to play with it.
You can also pound the pocket with a wood mallet to mimic the impact of the ball. Although some amateurs put their baseball gloves in the oven, I don’t recommend it because the intense heat will damage the material.
Aside from that, it’s important to shape the baseball glove. Place a baseball inside the pocket, then tie it tightly. You can put this under your mattress for a day or two to allow the gloves to mold into the ball.
Remember that there’s no shortcut in softening or breaking in a glove. Aside from conditioning, you must allow the gloves to break in using a natural process.
Is there such a thing as over-conditioning a glove?
Yes, over-caring for your gloves can be more detrimental than helpful. The excess product will make the baseball gloves heavier. Also, the leather will feel too oily and slippery. In fact, using too much leather conditioner may shorten the lifespan of your baseball gloves.
The best leather conditioner for baseball gloves will keep your gear in playing condition. Make sure that you apply the product properly to avoid weighing the glove down. Also, it will prevent the wastage of the conditioner.