Baseball gloves can often stiffen up if you don’t take the time to care for them. And what do you do with a stiff baseball glove? Do you throw that away and leave it at that? No, you soften it up, of course.
The truth is, even when you buy a new baseball glove unless it is made with high-end leather like Kip leather, chances are, it will require a bit of a break-in. Now, people have come up with different solutions to this, and while some people debate on whether you should even use oil to soften up your leather baseball glove, I had no issues with it before.
If you check your kitchen, chances are, you will find a bottle of vegetable oil tucked in somewhere that your mom uses to cook your food. Well, what if vegetable oil could help here? Is it a good product to use on your leather baseball glove? Well, vegetable oil can work to some extent, but there are a few issues here.
In this article, I will talk about all the dos and don’ts of using vegetable oil in your baseball glove so that you can decide for yourself whether it is a safe option to go with.
Is it Safe to Use Vegetable Oil on Baseball Gloves?
As you may know, there are different types of oils out there. And while some oils may work wonders for your gloves, others can deteriorate your gloves and cause the leather to wear out faster. The devil is in the details, and before you apply any oil to your leather, it’s important to check the ingredients used to make the oil.
Let’s talk about vegetable oils first. It is a type of cooking oil made from a blend of extracts from plant and vegetable seeds instead of animal fat. So, it is a non-toxic oil that does not contain any fat components, which should be good for your leather gloves, right?
Well, to some extent, yes. Using vegetable oil or other types of cooking oil, for that matter, does seem to work wonders on baseball gloves. However, you need to be careful with how much oil you apply to the surface of the glove.
Yes, giving your glove a rub down with a bit of cooking oil is fine and can soften up the leather. But applying too much of it can also make your glove heavier than usual. In addition, frequent application of vegetable oil can also cause the glove to get heavier over time.
So, if you do decide to use vegetable oil to soften up your leather gloves, make sure you apply only a dash of oil in one spot and use your hand or a clean cloth to wipe it across the entire surface.
Then leave it out to dry away from direct sunlight. Make sure you put a baseball in the pocket of the glove and tie a shoestring around it to help the glove retain its shape.
Some Parting Wisdom
Applying oil to lubricate or moisturize your baseball glove is a pretty controversial topic. While I have had no issues with it, people often claim that using oil on their gloves can damage them. The gloves getting heavier or cracks in the leather are just two of the many complaints I have heard.
If you ask me, though, a minimal oil application on the glove can enhance its durability. And yes, oil can be good, but it is not an alternative to specialized glove conditioners designed for baseball leather gloves.
I hope my article could help you decide whether using vegetable oil on your baseball gloves is something you feel comfortable doing. Good luck!