Caring for your baseball gloves should never take a backseat if you are serious about the sport. I know between hours of practice and games every week, it can get pretty difficult to find the time to sit down with your gloves and give it the attention that it craves.
But if you want your gloves to survive for a good while, you need to put in the time. You need to sit down, grab your leather conditioner, and give it a gentle, thorough cleaning from time to time. Some people also use linseed oil as an alternative to glove conditioners.
Is that really a wise idea, though? Does using linseed oil on your baseball glove extend its lifespan? Well, the truth is, linseed oil is the last thing that you want to use on the leather of your gloves. While it may seem good in the short term, it can lead to cracks in the leather.
In this article, I will talk about this in greater detail and help you understand the adverse effects that linseed oil can bring to your baseball glove.
Table of Contents: Can You Use Linseed Oil on Baseball Gloves?
Is Linseed Oil Good for Leather Baseball Gloves?
Linseed oil comes from the dried and ripened seeds of the flax plant. In its edible form, it is referred to as flax oil. This type of oil is most commonly used as a binding agent for oil paints or as a wood finisher. However, when it comes to leather crafting or leather care, linseed oil is really not a great choice.
Raw linseed oil is heavy, and it can also take a long time to dry. Both of these properties are bad for leather. And to make matters worse, linseed oil often degrades whatever it is drying on, to begin with. This means, over time, it will deteriorate the leather in your baseball gloves.
Sometimes linseed oil is boiled before use, and you might think that can be helpful for the leather on your baseball glove. And it does show some positive signs in the short term. For example, boiled linseed oil on leather baseball gloves can help add some moisture which can, in turn, prevent cracks.
However, as time goes by, the short time effects disappear. It is quite harsh on the leather and can lead to the fibers in your baseball glove leather wearing out or cracking faster than normal. Instead of using linseed oil, it is always better to go with leather-specific oil such as Lexol.
So to answer the question, in short, linseed oil is not good for leather baseball gloves. It does show some promising effects in the short term, but for the long-term health of your baseball gloves, it is best to go with sports-approved, leather-specific oils.
Why Use Linseed Oil on Baseball Gloves?
To be honest, there are no real good reasons to use linseed oil in baseball gloves. I believe the people who do use it do so out of a lack of information. Since you can quickly see some positive outcomes when you use linseed oil on baseball gloves, it is pretty easy to overlook what it is actually doing to your gloves.
Personally, I would recommend only using off-the-shelf oils designed specifically for baseball gloves. Sure, you can go with different types of oils, but going with a manufactured product by a reputed brand eliminates a lot of the confusion and ensures your glove remains in peak condition when you are done with it.
Hopefully, I could help you understand why using linseed oil on baseball gloves might be a bad idea. Good luck!