Before I begin cleaning my batting gloves, I double-check which material they’re made out of. Usually, a batting glove is made from leather, synthetic materials, or a combination of the two.
I have to use a different cleaning method depending on the material that the batting glove is made of.
If the batting glove is made of leather, then I have to be extra careful. I can’t use any cleaning agents that have alcohol in them because alcohol can damage the leather of the batting glove.
You can’t just put a leather glove in a machine wash either as it can get damaged. Also, when you use a brush to clean a leather batting glove to remove dirt, you need to brush lightly; otherwise, you can damage the leather fibers of the glove.
But if the batting glove is made from a synthetic material, like polyester or nylon, then it’s much easier to wash.
Most synthetic batting gloves can safely be put in a washing machine. But I make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions just in case.
When my dad gave me my first pair of baseball gloves, I didn’t know anything about taking care of them.
I never cleaned them, and soon the baseball gloves began to smell pretty funky. There was even dirt stuck in the velcro straps.
Eventually, my mom couldn’t stand it anymore, and she demanded that my dad teach me how to get my batting glove clean. So my dad took me aside and told me everything I’m about to tell you.
He told me that keeping your batting glove clean isn’t just good for hygiene; it also increases the life span of the gloves. So now I’m going to tell you, step-by-step, how to clean batting gloves.
Cleaning a Leather Batting Glove (Fast Way)
- First, I whack the gloves together a few times to get rid of any dirt and clay that’s sticking to the fabric. I make sure that I don’t hit them together too hard because I don’t want to damage them.
This will get rid of any loose dirt, but it won’t do much more than that.
- Next, I take a special dry leather brush and gently rub it over the leather glove. I’m careful not to use too much pressure as this can damage the leather fibers of the glove.
Make sure you use a soft-bristled brush so that you don’t damage the leather.
I bought my dry leather brush from a sports goods store, but you can find one at a shoe store or a leather goods store too.
- Finally, I take some special leather wipes, or leather cleaner with a soft cloth, and rub the whole glove.
Just make sure that whichever wipes you use don’t have alcohol in them, and they’re safe for leather. It’s best to avoid using baby wipes and liquid cleansers.
After I cleaned my leather batting gloves this way, I noticed that they still smelled. So I asked my dad for some suggestions.
He told me that the method I was using was fine for light cleaning, but if my gloves were really filthy, then I had to use a more thorough cleaning method. He called it the “deep-clean method.”
Cleaning a Leather Glove (Deep-Clean Method)
- First, I pour some lukewarm water into a large dish, and I add some alcohol-free detergent to it. You can try a commercial leather cleaner as long as you make sure that the detergent is alcohol-free, or you can use two or three drops of mild dishwasher soap.
Then I swirl around the detergent until the water is nice and soapy. After that, I take a piece of clean cloth and soak it in the warm-water solution.
Then I gently rub the entire glove with the soapy rag on the outside until both gloves seem cleaner. And finally, I turn the gloves inside out and wipe again.
- Next, I rinse the soapy glove in cool water until the soap suds and any loose dirt is gone. It’s important not to let the glove get completely soaked, as that can be bad for the leather.
Then I turn the gloves inside out again and rinse.
- After that, I take a soft cloth and wipe the wet glove. And I turn the gloves inside out again and use a dry cloth to dry that side too.
When that’s done, I hang the gloves up somewhere for a few hours so they can dry naturally. You can air dry them but avoid putting them in direct sunlight.
- The last thing to do is to get some leather conditioner and use a cloth to rub it into the leather palms of the gloves. And I also make sure to use a fresh cloth to wipe up any excess conditioner from the gloves afterward.
I bought my leather conditioner and leather cleaner from a sports goods store, but you can find it at almost any supermarket.
After using this cleaning process, I found that the smell was completely gone from my leather gloves—they smelled just like new. But as you can see, it is quite a hassle.
Fortunately, it’s much easier to clean synthetic gloves. The process is pretty simple, but still, I’m going to give you a step-by-step cleaning guide for synthetic gloves just in case.
Cleaning Synthetic Batting Gloves
- First, I look for the manufacturer’s tag. Usually, the tag tells me if they are suitable for machine washing or not.
Many batting gloves made from synthetic material are machine washable. But if you’re not sure, then you should use the handwashing method above just to be on the safe side.
- After checking the label, I put my gloves in the washing machine and select the cold-water setting. Then I put in some detergent and a few antibacterial tablets.
You can even put an antibacterial denture cleanser tablet into the wash because, believe it or not, they are excellent at getting rid of strong odors in synthetic fibers.
I’m careful not to use bleach or fabric softener as these can cause damage.
- Once the washing machine has done its work, I take them out and use a soft, dry rag to gently wipe them dry, and then I air dry them too to soak up excess moisture, but I don’t put them in direct sunlight.
I don’t machine dry the gloves because that’s not good for them. After toweling them dry, I hang them up and let them air dry the rest of the way.
Whether you prefer machine washing, or doing a hand-wash with some dishwasher soap, as a baseball player, it’s important to regularly remove all the dirt from your batting gloves according to the care instructions.
Make sure you use the right cleaning agents, store your equipment in a cool place, and wipe the gloves down with a cloth or use a dry leather cleaning brush as often as possible.
Looking after all of your baseball equipment well, including little things like your baseball batting glove, makes all the difference when it comes to ensuring its longevity. Batting gloves protect your hands, and keep your hands warm in winter, so it’s important to keep them in good condition for your next game.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should you clean your batting gloves?
There are two main reasons to keep your gloves clean. The first reason is basic hygiene.
When you put your gloves on and take some swings, you start to sweat. The sweat is then soaked up by the gloves.
Over time, bacteria and fungi can begin to grow on the sweaty batting glove, making it smell bad.
If you don’t wash your gloves and get rid of the excess dirt, you could get a nasty skin infection because of the sweat-loving bacteria and dirt. So, wash your batting gloves regularly.
The second reason to wash your gloves is because it helps to keep the gloves in good condition, and that can extend their life span. If you take proper care of your gloves, they will definitely last longer.
How often should you wash your batting glove?
I wash my batting gloves every week or so. But I live in a temperate climate, and the frequency of washing should depend on what kind of climate you’re playing in and how long you are wearing gloves.
If you’re playing in Texas and it’s summer, then you need to wash your gloves more regularly. Say, every three days, or so.
The more you sweat, the more dirt the glove accumulates.
Do people actually wash their batting gloves?
Yes, people do wash their batting gloves. Washing your glove is, admittedly, one of the less romantic aspects of baseball, but it’s a process every serious player is familiar with.
People may not admit that they wash their own gloves but trust me, they do. And don’t think that your teammates won’t notice if your gloves are full of dirt.
Baseball is a cutthroat sport, and no opportunity to mock a fellow teammate is ever passed up. So, make sure your gloves are fresh and clean – unless you want to be the butt of everyone’s jokes for the foreseeable future.