Just got your hands on a new baseball glove and wondering why it feels so stiff? Unless you spent upwards of 400 dollars on a Kip leather baseball glove, chances are, your glove needs some breaking in before it becomes soft and comfy in your hands.
Now breaking in a new baseball glove takes time. Using a glove conditioner can help speed things up. However, glove conditioners can also be pretty expensive, and not everyone wants to spend more money on their glove. So, what’s the best way to proceed here?
Well, as it turns out, many players believe that using oil on a baseball glove can help soften it up and accelerate the break-in process. And mink oil is a popular choice for this job. But does that really work? – Yes, it does, with a few caveats.
Mink oil is a type of fat-based oil that is widely used in leather products. But when used on baseball gloves, it can sometimes have adverse effects. In this article, I will discuss these issues and help you decide whether using mink oil on your new baseball glove is even worth it.
Is it Safe to Use Mink Oil on Leather Baseball Gloves?
Mink oil, as the name suggests, is produced from the fat extracted from mink pelts. This oil is widely used in medical products, and it’s also quite popular in leather care and leather crafting. And since baseball gloves are made of leather, it seems like a natural candidate to soften up or break in your new baseball gloves.
However, there are some issues here that you need to know about. Mink oil is heavy, similar to any other animal fat-based oil. And applying it regularly on your baseball glove will make it heavier and also darken the color to some extent. Sure, the glove will soften up to some extent, but if it gets too heavy, it will be unusable for the player.
Mink oil is actually used most commonly as boot oil. Because of the darker texture it creates, it can give your leather boots a stylish look. But having the same effect on your gloves might not be appealing to most people.
That being said, it can help soften up your gloves if you don’t have any sports-approved glove conditioners that you can use right away. Just make sure you don’t go overboard in its application.
If you absolutely have to go with mink oil, make sure you apply it only on a small surface of the glove and rub it in thoroughly. You don’t want the leather in your glove to soak up any more mink oil than it has to.
How To Use Mink Oil On Baseball Gloves
- Apply the oil on that affected glove
- Rub it to make sure you’ve used it on the entire glove
- Let it dry for 12 hours
- Play some catch to make it game ready
- Make sure you are not using too much oil in a glove. Don’t apply this to your glove directly.
- Using a soft dumb cloth to apply it on the glove will be the best.
The Bottom Line
To keep up with the competitive scene, you need to make sure your baseball glove is perfect in your hands. If your gloves are working against you, you have no hope of making it big in the game.
As you can see, mink oil is quite effective at breaking in or softening up your gloves. But there are some tradeoffs that you can’t obviously ignore. If you ask me, I would always recommend sticking with sports-approved leather conditioners. But if you absolutely must use an alternative, there are better options than mink oil.
For instance, Lanolin oil can serve as a better replacement since most glove conditioners use this oil as their key ingredient. If you want to know more about your options, why not check out my article on what oil you can use to break in your baseball glove?
Hopefully, this article could help you understand the different issues of using mink oil on your gloves. Good luck!