4 Ways to Care for Baseball Gloves

Updated: Dec. 07, 2021

Get a new — or old — baseball glove game-ready with these 4 tricks.

Bath Oil

Apply several drops of bath oil in the midsection of the glove and a few more drops under each finger. Lightly spread the oil around with a soft cloth. Place a baseball in the pocket of the glove and fold the glove over the ball, keeping it in place with one or two belts or an Ace bandage. Let it sit for a couple of days, then release the constraints and remove any excess oil with a clean cloth. The glove should be noticeably more pliable.

Olive Oil

If your beloved, aging baseball glove is showing signs of wear and tear — cracking and hardening of the leather — you can give it a second lease on life with an occasional olive oil rubdown. Just work the oil into the dry areas of your mitt with a soft cloth, let it set for 30 minutes, then wipe off any excess. Your game may not improve, but at least it won’t be your glove’s fault. Some folks prefer to use bath oil to recondition their mitts.

Petroleum Jelly

Got a new baseball mitt, but it’s as stiff as a dugout bench? Soften it up with petroleum jelly. Apply liberal amounts. Work it into the glove, then tie it up with a baseball inside. Do this in the winter, and by the spring you’ll be ready to take the field.


Use WD-40 instead of neat’s-foot oil to break in a new baseball glove. Spray the glove with WD-40, put a baseball in the palm, and fold it sideways. Take a rubber band or belt and tie it around the folded glove. The WD-40 will help soften the leather and help it form around the baseball. Keep the glove tied up overnight, and then wear it for a while so it will begin to fit the shape of your hand.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest