Your Guide to Baseball Glove Care

In the world of sports, few things are as iconic and cherished as a well-worn baseball glove. Whether you're a seasoned player who has spent countless hours on the diamond or a newcomer eager to make your mark in the game, the relationship between a player and their glove is unique and irreplaceable.

A baseball glove is not just a piece of equipment; it's a faithful companion that bears witness to the highs and lows of every game. From making that spectacular diving catch to fielding routine grounders during practice, your glove is always there, ready to help you perform at your best. So, of course, you need to take care of it.

In this comprehensive blog, we will take you on a journey through the art of glove care, teaching you how to preserve and enhance the life of your baseball glove. Whether you're a player, a coach, or simply someone who appreciates the craftsmanship of this essential piece of baseball equipment, our guide will provide you with the knowledge and techniques you need to keep your glove performing like a pro.

Know What Type of Glove You Have

Understanding the intricacies of baseball glove care begins with knowing the type of glove you own. In the world of baseball gloves, simplicity often reigns supreme. Most baseball gloves are crafted from leather, which is renowned for its durability and flexibility. However, not all leather is created equal. 

According to, “Steerhide and cowhide are two of the most common types of leather used for baseball mitts.” Cowhide is renowned for its softness and quick break-in time, making it a popular choice among players who want a glove ready for action almost immediately. On the other hand, steerhide is prized for its toughness, ideal for those who prefer a glove that can withstand the test of time.

There are other types of leather, such as kangaroo leather. Kangaroo leather is very tough yet feels soft. So, it’s the best of both worlds. However, this is much less common since it’s very expensive. The type of leather used can indeed make a significant difference in your glove's performance and longevity. 

Cowhide gloves may be more forgiving in terms of comfort right out of the box, but they might require more frequent maintenance to keep them in top shape. Steerhide gloves, although initially stiffer, tend to last longer with proper care and offer superior durability over the long haul. Understanding these things allow you to tailor your glove care routine to suit your specific needs and preferences, ensuring that your glove remains a dependable partner throughout your baseball journey.

Cleaning Your Glove

Cleaning your baseball glove is not just about aesthetics; it's about preserving the integrity of the leather and maintaining peak performance. It’s very important to research your type of glove as well as the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning it. However, we’ve put together a general step-by-step guide to help you get started.



Step 1: Gather Materials

Soft-bristle brush or damp cloth - Leather cleaner - Clean, dry cloth - Mild soap (optional) - Water (for dampening cloth, if needed)

Step 2: Remove Loose Dirt

Use a soft-bristle brush to gently remove loose dirt and debris from the surface of the glove.

Step 3: Dampen Cloth (if needed)

If stubborn stains or dried-on dirt are present, dampen a clean cloth with water (or water mixed with mild soap) and wring it out thoroughly.

Step 4: Wipe the Glove

Gently wipe the glove's surface using the damp cloth. Be careful not to soak the leather; it should remain damp, not wet.

Step 5: Apply Leather Cleaner (if needed)

If stains persist, use a leather cleaner suitable for your glove's leather type. Apply it to a clean cloth, not directly on the glove. Follow the product's instructions and rub gently onto stained areas or the entire glove if necessary.

Step 6: Remove Excess Cleaner

Wipe off any excess cleaner using a clean, dry cloth. Ensure there's no residue left on the glove.

Step 7: Air Dry the Glove

Let the glove air dry naturally at room temperature. Avoid using artificial heat sources or direct sunlight, as they can damage the leather.

Step 8: Check for Dryness

After drying, check the glove for any signs of dryness or stiffness.

Step 9: Condition the Leather

If the leather feels stiff or dry, apply a suitable leather conditioner or oil according to the manufacturer's instructions. This helps maintain suppleness and prevents cracking.

Step 10: Properly Store

Store the clean and conditioned glove in a cool, dry place. For long-term storage, consider placing a baseball in the glove’s pocket to maintain its shape.


When properly cleaned and conditioned, your baseball glove will not only look great but will also perform at its best, helping you catch those game-changing moments with ease.

Oiling Your Glove

We talked a little about conditioning your glove above, but let’s talk about this more. Conditioning, also known as oiling your baseball glove, is an essential step in the care and maintenance process. It is vital for ensuring the glove’s longevity and performance on the field. Nations-Baseball says, “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!” So, you’ll want to follow a few steps when conditioning your glove.

  1. The first step is to research the type of oil that's best suited for your glove. Unfortunately, not all oils are created equal.  By using the wrong oil, you could do more harm than good. 
  2. Once you've selected the right oil, it's time to apply it to your glove. Use a clean cloth or sponge to distribute the oil evenly across the leather. The key here is moderation; you don't want to oversaturate the leather on your glove, as this can lead to a heavy, malleable glove that loses its shape. 
  3. After oiling, it's crucial to allow your glove to dry for at least 24 hours. This waiting period allows the oil to penetrate deep into the leather fibers, replenishing them and keeping your glove in top-notch condition.

Proper Glove Storage

How you store your baseball glove is just as crucial as how you care for it during the season. Whether you're taking a break during the offseason or just putting it away after practice, following some simple steps can make a huge difference in preserving your glove's shape and performance. If you're planning on storing your glove for an extended period, ensure it's thoroughly clean before doing so. Any dirt or sweat left on the leather can lead to deterioration over time. A clean glove is a healthy glove, so take the time to remove any dirt, grime or remnants of your last game before storing it away.

Utilizing LizardSkins' Glove Wrap or Glove Guardian can be a game-changer in this regard. These purpose-built accessories are designed to store and transport your glove seamlessly, and they offer a unique solution to keep your glove in top shape.

To maintain your glove's shape effectively, the Glove Wrap and Glove Guardian come equipped with an adjustable ball fixture. Simply insert a baseball or softball into the pocket, and watch as it not only prevents the pocket from collapsing but also encourages your glove to preserve its natural curve and form. 

When selecting the right storage environment, opt for a location that meets the glove's needs. Your choice should be warm, dry, and shielded from sunlight, dirt, and dust. Extreme temperatures, humidity, or direct sunlight can be detrimental to the leather. 

Keep your glove in a cool, dry place, well away from vents, radiators, or any direct exposure to sunlight. With the Glove Wrap or Glove Guardian by LizardSkins, you'll ensure your glove remains in peak condition, ready to perform when it's time to get back on the field. Properly storing your glove with these innovative solutions is the key to preserving its longevity and performance.

Transporting your Glove

When it's time to take your glove on the road, a little extra care goes a long way in ensuring it arrives at its destination in tip-top shape. Consider investing in proper ball glove storage. For example, a glove wrap or a glove guardian from Lizard Skins is the perfect way to store your baseball gloves. These purpose-built accessories are designed to protect your glove during transport. 

A glove wrap snugly encases your glove, preventing it from getting crushed or deformed in your bag. Alternatively, a glove guardian is a compact, hard-shell case that shields your glove from external pressures, ensuring it retains its shape and integrity. Whether you choose a wrap, a guardian, or a dedicated slot in your bag, these measures ensure that your trusty glove is always in game-ready condition, no matter where your baseball adventures take you.

As we wrap up our journey through the world of baseball glove care, it's clear that maintaining your glove is not just about keeping it looking good; it's about preserving its performance, extending its lifespan, and nurturing the special bond between player and equipment. 

So, whether you're a Little Leaguer just starting out or a seasoned pro, make glove care a part of your baseball routine. Treat your glove with the respect it deserves, and it will continue to be your faithful companion, ready to help you catch those game-changing moments for many seasons to come.

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