Baseball gloves, at least the decent ones, are supposed to feel soft in your hands once you break them in.
However, when you buy a new one or take one out of your locker after a couple of months, you will see that the glove feels extremely stiff and uncomfortable in your hands.
That’s not unusual, and it’s nothing to be worried about. This just means your glove requires a bit of breaking in. And the way to do that is pretty simple, apply a bit of leather conditioner and rub it on the surface. However, conditioners for baseball gloves can be expensive, and not everyone wants to buy new conditioners along with their gloves.
In fact, many people have come up with alternatives to leather conditioners, and cooking oil is a common one at that. But is it even safe to use cooking oil in your baseball glove? Well, yes – but there are some issues too.
Is it Safe to Use Cooking Oil on Baseball Gloves?
Cooking oil does not refer to one specific type of oil. It is an umbrella term that relates to a wide variety of oils extracted from the seeds of different fruits, plants, or vegetables. For instance, vegetable oil is a type of cooking oil, but there are other kinds out there too.
Now, not all types of cooking oil are suitable for application on the leather of your baseball gloves. But certain variants like olive oil, or vegetable oil for that matter, can be used as long as you proceed with caution.
Since these oils are extracted from plants and fruits and are edible, they are naturally non-toxic. That’s a good thing here. However, since these are not exactly designed for leather applications, they may not have the desired effect on your baseball glove.
I mean, if you want to slightly soften up your baseball glove on occasion, some forms of cooking oil can work. However, if you think of it as a direct alternative to sports-approved glove oil or leather conditioner, then you are in for a rude awakening.
Regular application of cooking oil on your baseball gloves can cause the leather to wear out pretty fast. You might also start noticing cracks in the leather sooner than you may have expected. But if you use it sparingly, it’s fine. Also, make sure you do not apply too much oil – just pour a couple of drops and rub it all over the surface of the glove.
If you ask me, though, I would always recommend getting a bottle of glove oil that is specifically designed for leather applications. You see, leather is an extremely permeable material, and it will soak up almost any liquid you apply to it. So even if the damage is not immediate, using cooking oil will cause your gloves to deteriorate in time.
The Bottom Line
Maintaining your high-end baseball gloves should always be your top priority if you play the sport regularly. Without the right products, you cannot really take good care of your gloves. And considering how expensive glove conditioners can get, I understand if you are looking for a cheaper alternative.
But the truth is, while cooking oil may help you out in a pinch, it is in no way a replacement for a proper leather conditioner. Sure, it will work to some extent, but over time, you will start to notice the damage that it does to your gloves.
So, even if you are planning to use cooking oil to polish or soften up your gloves, do so at your own risk. I hope my article can help you understand the potential risks of using it. Good luck!