How to dry a wet baseball glove properly?
You see, baseball gloves are among the most exposed and abused equipment in any sporting activity. It is always at the mercy of the elements; it accumulates dust, dirt, and debris. If the weather isn’t that bright, your gloves are exposed to rain and snow.
Of course, I can empathize with people who have baseball gloves that have been soaked wet. These things are not that easy to dry. And if you attempt to dry them incorrectly, you’ll end up damaging the material and very difficult to repair-especially if the glove is tailored from leather. After all, leather and water are not compatible with one another.
Specifically, if your leather glove was left under the rain or got soaked by water accidentally, its quality reduces. Water strips off the protective oil that clads the leather fabrics. In turn, this causes the glove to lose its durability and responsiveness. Furthermore, it can also cause cracking of leather laces. That would eventually lead to the glove’s webbing becoming loose.
In this case, drying a glove becomes an immediate responsibility for baseball players and parents. Otherwise, you might end up ruining a valuable investment.
Fortunately, there’s a good way to do this task properly.
How To Dry A Wet Baseball Glove?
- Dry Up The Moisture
- Deep Drying
- Conditioning The Glove
- Leave The Baseball Glove Overnight
Just follow the instructions below so that you will be able to dry up any leather glove that has been drenched by water, sweat, and other liquid. You don’t need skills to do this. Patience and diligence are already enough.
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Dry Up The Moisture
A leather glove that has been drenched with water will leave moisture. This is true even if there’s no squeezable water coming out from the leather. You should wipe off the moisture before you can proceed with the drying process.
To do this, you need several pieces of towels and use them to pat the surface of the glove. Rub and massage the glove’s surface thoroughly, ensuring that you are putting enough pressure. In this way, you will be able to absorb as much moisture as you can. Use different towels for the following parts:
- Finger stalls – One of the hardest-to-reach components of a baseball glove is its finger stalls. The holes are not accessible unless you drive a towel on a screwdriver (or similar tool) to them. But if you leave the finger stalls unattended, moisture will gather there. It causes mold growth and other damages to the leather. Hence, you need to wipe each stall with a clean towel to remove the water residues on them.
- Pocket – You also have to work thoroughly on the mitt’s pocket. You’ll never know, but moisture and water tend to linger on this part for an extensive period. Use a separate towel and wrap it on a baseball glove. After that, you can roll the ball on the pocket, which is an effective method of absorbing moisture without causing any unwanted damage.
- The rest of the glove – Use another towel to wrap the whole glove. Pat and rub the towel gently to the glove, ensuring that you are not leaving any part untouched. Even the wrist or opening should be wiped, too.
If the towel gets too wet, replace it with a new dry one. Don’t use damp towels as they don’t help in absorbing moisture. In fact, using a wet towel may spread the water further from the baseball glove.
In this process, you are free to use unused paper and paper towels. But it is still recommended that you clean towels if you have them. And I’m pretty sure that you got a stash of towels and rags in your home, right?
Step 2: Deep Drying
After you have finished wiping your wet baseball gloves with towels, it is time that you proceed to the next drying procedure. Here, you will need to use a fan to dry the leather as deeply and thoroughly as possible. If you don’t have a fan, you can already skip this step. However, I suggest that you do this as it is essential in ensuring that you can really eliminate the water residues and moisture from the glove.
You can buy cheap fans in the market today. There are even options that cost 20 bucks or less, and they are already enough. You don’t need to use a commercial fan here, so there’s nothing to worry about.
Once you have your fan ready, switch it on and hang the baseball glove in front of it. Keep the fan steady, so the stream of air will gradually dry up the leather. You can also place the baseball glove directly on the surface of the fan. This will make the drying process a lot faster. Let the glove stay there for several hours. Moreover, you need to check the glove from time to time; take it away from the fan if it gets too cool or hot.
Step 3: Conditioning The Glove
After air-drying the baseball glove using a fan, it is time that you condition it. Many people skip this process, but this is downright the most crucial aspect of the drying process. If you don’t condition your glove, it will eventually lose its luster. It will become stiff, firm, and hard to move. As I’ve said earlier, water deteriorates the natural properties of leather. By conditioning or oiling them, you are restoring them back. The best oil for baseball gloves can work on this matter; they can effectively restore and rejuvenate the glove’s leather.
When applying leather oil to the glove, make sure that you don’t use too much. Otherwise, you might cause discolorations to the glove, which is an unlikely sight. Better, just follow the instructions on the oil’s label.
In choosing oil for baseball gloves, pick those that are all-natural formulations. Synthetic ones can do the job, but if you misuse them, they can cause unwanted damages to the leather itself. On the other hand, these natural oils are designed to perform wonderfully on leather equipment. They are not harsh to the skin either.
Step 4: Leave The Baseball Glove Overnight
After you have applied the oil to the glove, you are still not allowed to use it. Don’t rush things here. If you want your baseball glove to get its game-ready performance, you’ll need to let it sit overnight indoors. In this way, the oil will properly seep into the leather’s fabric.
Don’t expose the glove to extreme temperatures. Moreover, avoid direct sunlight exposure and other elements that can disrupt the breaking-in process. Once you can do this successfully, the glove will feel brand new again!
There’s nothing wrong if you want to repeat the process all over again. If you are not satisfied with the results, you can redo the steps that I’ve listed here.
- Measure the pounds – Before you start drying your glove, you should weigh it first. Take note of the number. Doing this will help you figure out the volume of water that you have taken out after you have dried your baseball glove. If possible, you should have an idea about the original weight of your glove, too. The difference between the original weight and the weight of the water-soaked glove should be the amount of water that you should take out.
- Don’t apply heat – Direct heat is a big no when it comes to drying baseball gloves. You want your leather to be dried from water, but you can always do this without involving any heat. Leather and heat don’t work well with one another. Don’t ever use hairdryers and microwaves, as they can destroy your glove’s architecture. Don’t be impatient when drying your glove. That’s a piece of advice that you can ponder upon.
- Don’t squeeze the glove – Your leather glove is not similar to your clothes. When you want to dry your clothes, you wring them to squeeze out the water from their fabrics. It seems that it is the rational way to go with your leather gloves. But it is not. Wringing your glove can ruin its structure since you are stretching the fabrics unnaturally.
In learning how to dry a wet baseball glove, you must keep in mind that patience is always the key. You do the steps diligently and religiously, ensuring that you don’t miss any nook or cranny. Over time, you’ll realize that this procedure is quite simple. And also, don’t forget to invest in high-quality baseball glove oils. They can help you restore the game-ready quality of any leather glove.
That’s it for the meantime. If you have other inquiries, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comment section below.