Baseball gloves, like almost anything made of quality leather, take a little while to break in. New ones that you pick out from the store often feel stiff and uncomfortable in the hands. But once you break them in, the leather becomes soft and comfortable.
People tend to have different opinions over the best way to break in their gloves. Some prefer going to town with a rubber mallet, hammering the glove until it becomes soft and tender. Others think that playing catch and rubbing glove conditioner on the glove’s surface is good enough to break it in quickly.
If you fall in the latter category, but don’t want to get a bottle of glove conditioner (they can be quite expensive, after all), then Vaseline might be a good alternative. People have been using Vaseline to break in their gloves for ages, and it does get the job done pretty well.
But is there any issue with using Vaseline on your gloves? Or what is the best way to apply it? Don’t worry. I will address these questions and help you understand whether using Vaseline on a baseball glove is a good idea.
Is Vaseline Good for Baseball Gloves?
Vaseline is a petroleum-based gel designed to protect, preserve and clean human skin. Since baseball gloves are made of leather, which is, in fact, animal skin, Vaseline can work perfectly well to clean and preserve the quality of the glove.
In fact, many players do use Vaseline to break in or soften up their baseball gloves. This can serve as an affordable and efficient alternative to the more-expensive glove conditioners available in the market. But it all comes down to the way you are using Vaseline.
While it is great at moisturizing your baseball gloves and protecting them against heat and dirt, too much of it can damage the leather. Applying too much Vaseline on the leather of your glove can cause it to wear out faster. The trick is to apply only a bit of Vaseline and rub it all across the surface of the glove.
You should also wipe off any excess Vaseline left over on the glove after applying it. As long as you do not push things too far, you should be fine using it to soften up your baseball gloves.
How to Use Vaseline on Baseball Gloves?
Using Vaseline to break in baseball gloves isn’t exactly a new trick. Petroleum jelly has always been a top candidate for players to soften up their gloves, and Vaseline is basically petroleum jelly in a bottle. Here are the steps to breaking in a baseball glove using Vaseline.
Apply Vaseline to the entire surface of the glove. You can use a cloth to wipe it across the surface and get rid of the excess residue. Leave the Vaseline on the glove for one or two days.
After two days, use the baseball glove to play some catch. You can also use a rubber or wooden mallet to beat into the pocket to make the leather nice and soft. When you want to put the glove away for the day, apply another layer of Vaseline.
While storing the glove, make sure you put a baseball in its pocket and wrap a rubber band or belt around it. This will help the leather get a nice structure and accelerate the break-in process. Your gloves should be broken in within a few days.
Of course, it can take longer, depending on the quality of the leather. Make sure you do not expose the glove to direct sunlight for long periods of time during the break-in process.
Some Parting Wisdom
People have been using Vaseline to break in their new baseball gloves for ages. There isn’t any major risk to it. But you need to know where to draw the line. I mean, if you bought a new glove and want to break it in faster, use Vaseline as much as you need.
But there’s no need to rub Vaseline on your glove after every game before you put it in the locker. That can cause the leather to wear out faster and make the glove heavier. And if you want to use oils to get the job done, that’s an option as well. But again, you have to be careful. The thing is – as long as you know your limits, Vaseline is a great product to use on your Vaseline. Good luck!