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Best Baseball Glove Oils & Alternatives: Glove Softening Methods

Modified on April 12th, 2024

Best Glove Oils | Glove Oil Alternative | Applying Glove Oil

Why use glove oil?

Glove oil is essential for conditioning baseball gloves, enhancing flexibility, helping break gloves in, and preventing leather cracking. It also offers weather protection, improves performance, maintains color, slows aging, reduces wear and tear, and improves overall feel. Some oils also help clean the glove’s surface.

Similar: How to Clean A Baseball Glove

Best Baseball Glove Oils & Conditioners

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Nokona is a well-respected brand in the baseball industry, known for the quality of its products. Their glove oil is no exception. It’s highly effective in softening and preserving the leather of your glove, while reducing the break-in period. It’s worth noting that while it does condition the glove, it may not be the best for cleaning.

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Sarna Baseball Conditioner ~ $16

Sarna is another top choice due to its superior conditioning properties. This conditioner primarily moisturizes and protects the glove, but it does not act as a cleaner for removing dirt and grime. This product provides excellent value for money through its ability to maintain the soft feel of the leather.

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The Pro Stock Glove Conditioner conditions and restores the glove, enhancing the longevity of the leather. It’s easy to apply and is known for not altering the color of the leather, even on lighter colored gloves. At a slightly lower price point, it offers great value, making it an excellent choice for regular use. However, it doesn’t primarily serve as a cleaner.

Best Baseball Glove Oil Alternative

Leather conditioner is the best baseball glove oil alternative because it is specifically formulated for leather care. Leather conditioner soften and condition the leather, keeping it supple and preventing it from drying out and cracking.

Best Gifts for Baseball Players (2023)

Other Glove Oil Alternatives

To keep your glove in prime condition, consider these top baseball glove oil alternatives:

  • Vaseline/Petroleum Jelly: These products create a protective barrier on the glove’s surface, preventing drying out and cracking. They’re an affordable and readily available option.
  • Lanolin Oil: Derived from sheep’s wool, lanolin oil moisturizes leather and prevents cracking. It’s an excellent choice for maintaining your glove’s suppleness.
  • Mink Oil: Extracted from mink skin, mink oil waterproofs leather while softening and conditioning it. This oil is perfect for protecting your glove from the elements.
  • Coconut Oil: As a natural lubricant, coconut oil softens and conditions leather while reducing dirt and sweat buildup. However, use it sparingly and ensure that it’s properly absorbed to avoid any potential damage to the glove.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil is another natural option for conditioning your baseball glove. While it may not be specifically designed for leather care, it can still provide some benefits when used in moderation.
  • Shaving Cream: Shaving cream is a popular choice among baseball players for breaking in and conditioning gloves as it is commonly found in households. It often contains lanolin, which is beneficial for leather care.

While these alternatives may offer some benefits for baseball glove care, they may not provide the same level of comprehensive care and protection as a leather conditioner specifically formulated for this purpose.

How to Apply Baseball Glove Oil

To properly apply baseball glove oil, follow these steps:

  1. Use a small amount of oil: A little goes a long way, so start with a dime-sized amount and add more if needed.
  2. Work oil into the leather with your hands: Massage the oil into the glove, focusing on areas that need the most conditioning, such as the palm and webbing.
  3. Avoid over-saturating the leather: Excessive oil can weaken the leather and affect your glove’s performance. Apply just enough to moisturize the leather without making it greasy.
  4. Wipe away any excess oil with a clean cloth: After allowing the oil to absorb for a few minutes, use a clean, dry cloth to remove any remaining oil on the surface.

Harmful Oils & Techniques to Avoid

When conditioning your baseball glove, it’s important to know which oils and techniques can be damaging. Avoid using vegetable oil, coconut oil, motor oil, and cooking oil, as they can deteriorate the leather. In addition, never use an oven, microwave, or steam to condition your glove. These methods can cause warping and damage to the leather.

Final Thoughts

Using the right baseball glove oil is essential for proper maintenance and care. By choosing the best oil based on your specific needs and preferences, you can prolong the life of your glove and keep it in peak condition. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results, and remember that consistent care is key to preserving your glove’s performance on the field.

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Zach Kerr


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