Aaaaand it happened. You left your glove wet for a long time and did not dry it properly. Or you did not take care of it and did not use the correct oils to condition the leather regularly. Maybe you did not condition your glove at all.
Whatever happened, now you have the problem of a cracked baseball glove in front of you.
But don’t worry. There is an easy solution to this. Read my post about the best baseball gloves and buy a new glove. Easy as that. Great.
Get home safe,
Okay but seriously. You can of course buy a new glove immediately, but it is not necessary. There are actually a few things you can do to revive the leather of your beloved but cracked baseball glove.
There are things you can do to prevent further cracking and damage to your glove and also ways to seal any cracks that happened.
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Preventing further cracks and conditioning your glove
What you need:
- dry and clean rags
- saddle soap
Many players are scared to condition their glove themselves. Let me tell you, it is a pretty straightforward procedure and super simple.
I will break down the process into easy to follow steps for you, so you can easily condition your beloved glove.
Step 1: Degreasing the glove
Before you condition your glove, you have to clean it thoroughly. Do this by using a clean rag and saddle soap. Don’t put your glove under water or use simple hand soap. This will damage the leather and dry it out.
Instead use a clean rag and saddle soap. Put a small amount of saddle soap onto the rag and work it into the glove with slight pressure and a circular motion. This will degrease the glove and pull all the dirt and contaminations to the surface of the glove.
Make sure that you clean the whole glove and not just the palm area. Also clean the spaces between the fingers.
Step 2: Cleaning the glove
Take a new rag now and swipe off all the excess saddle soap, grease and dirt, that has been pulled to the surface. If you forget this step and start the conditioning process immediately. you will work all the dirt into the glove again. Pretty stupid, so clean your glove first!
Step 2.5: Rinse and repeat
Okay I am joking here. Please don’t rinse your glove in water. This will destroy the leather.
But if you feel like it is necessary, you can surely repeat the degreasing and cleaning steps again. Just be careful not to dry out the leather too much. This is more harmful than beneficial.
Step 3: Take a breath
Breathing is important. Not just for you, but also for your glove. Give it some time after the intense cleaning and degreasing to breath. Let it sit somewhere (NOT in direct UV light) for two to three days, before you apply any kind of oil or conditioner.
During that time you can start bending and forming the glove already. Just be careful, as the leather is not super soft and can break and crack.
Saddle soap does act as a conditioner in a way, but it is nowhere near as effective as a specific leather conditioner. So be really careful when working on your glove during that step in the conditioning process.
Step 4: Apply the conditioner
Now it is time to apply the conditioner to the leather. Make sure to use a small amount of conditioner. You do not want to drown your glove in leather softener. It is best to use a sponge or a new rag to dab the conditioner onto the glove.
You don’t want to forcefully rub it onto the glove’s leather. Leather is skin, and I bet you would not like somebody applying conditioner onto your face with lots of motion and pressure. This does no good and just damages your skin.
The same goes for the glove.
Dab (and I am not talking about the dance move) and don’t rub.
Step 5: Wait
Now it is time to wait again. Give the conditioner some time to work its magic. Let the glove rest for two to three days again, before doing anything else with it. The leather needs time to absorb the beneficial oils and to become softer. You can surely help this process by placing the glove somewhere warm (but not in direct sunlight) and forming it gently.
Step 5.5: Repeat
This step is by no means mandatory, but if you feel like your glove needs more love, or it has been a few years since the last conditioning, you can go for a second round of dabbing.
Read step 4 again, if you forget how to apply the conditioner. After that, call your doctor and make an appoint, because most likely there is something wrong with your memory…
Step 6: Enjoy the game
There we go. The conditioning process is finished and you can start using your glove again. I bet you feel an immediate difference in the way the glove feels like. Moreover you have increased the durability of your beloved mitt massively by following these simple steps.
Can I use vaseline to condition my baseball glove?
I feel like this is the elephant in the room. I have been asked this question so many times, but my answer stayed the same.
Yes, you can use vaseline to condition your glove, IF you do not have any other product at hand, which means you are not prepared properly.
Even though you can use Vaseline, I would not recommend doing so.
Vaseline is oil-based and if you use too much, it will only clog the pores of the leather. Your glove will be greasy afterwards and you need to redo the whole process of degreasing and cleaning the glove.
Moreover Vaseline will make the leather slippery, as leather does not properly absorb the Vaseline. Be prepared to have a lot of easy catches slip out of your glove.
Can I use shaving cream to condition my baseball glove?
There are literally millions of resources online that all state different things. “Shaving cream is awesome for your baseball glove!” “Never use shaving cream on your glove.” “Shaving cream does not do anything for your glove.” BLA BLA BLA. So what are you to believe?
Let’s apply some common sense here. Shaving cream is made for shaving. That is the sole purpose of it. You would probably not use butter to shave your face, so why should you use shaving cream to condition your glove?
I never understood why you would use a product that has a different purpose to condition your glove, if there are product for that special use out there. Especially since they don’t break the bank.
So even if shaving cream does not harm a baseball glove, better get a product that is designed to condition your glove.
How do I fix a cracked baseball glove?
As I already said, conditioning your glove is pretty easy and straightforward. It is really no science and everybody should be able to manage it.
But maybe your glove is in a really bad condition. The leather is cracked, the lacing is ripped apart, the padding is basically non-existent and the glove leaves flakes on your hand after using it..
There is a simple step to solve that problem: Buy a new glove.
Sadly, I am not joking this time. If your cracked baseball glove is in a similar condition to the one described above, you should definitely buy a new glove asap.
I know that there are millions of ways to restore leather and fill it up etc. Most of these ways work great and are super useful, but only for leather that does not have to perform, fold and endure stress like the leath baseball glove has to. Got a broken and cracked leather seat in your car? Use some sand paper, a filler and a sealer and it will look great again.
You could do the same thing with a baseball glove and it will also look great afterwards. The thing with baseball gloves is, that looks don’t matter. Feeling and performance does. Leather filler is not meant to be used to catch 110 mph fastballs, and your glove will fall apart soon after you “fixed” the leather.
If your glove is in a bad condition, but not falling apart, you can search on google for a glove repair service.
But this wasn’t lastbase, if I did not already do this for you.
Check these three glove repair services, if your mitt is in a bad condition, but might still be saved by the hands of glove masters.
Another reason why you should not start repairing your glove yourself: You need professional grade products and more important, you need to know how to use them.
Professional grade products are the only way to revive your beloved glove again. But if you do not know how to use them, you will most likely damage the leather beyond repair, as these products are very aggressive.
Better have professionals work on your glove!
All in all it is really easy to condition your glove yourself. It just involves proper cleaning and the right products. The process itself is not complicated.
As soon as it comes to repairing your glove, you should consider if it is worth it (depends on the kind of glove you have). Maybe a broken glove is a sign to upgrade to a higher quality glove with better craftsmanship and superior leather quality.
If you feel like your mitt has to be repaired, be it for emotional or other reasons, better send it to specialists.
Get home safe,