How to Clean Dirt & Grime from Batting Gloves
Batting Gloves serve both form and function, helping a baseball or softball player look stylish, while protecting their hands from the various blisters, scrapes and cuts that come from taking extensive batting practice and playing in games.
| Read: 3 min
They also help a hitter grip the bat.
Useful in baseball and softball, Batting Gloves are typically made of leather or synthetic leather, and help hitters reduce vibrations off the bat from balls not struck on the sweet spot. By nature of their velcro enclosure, Batting Gloves trap sweat and dirt on the inside. And, much like common hockey equipment, they can start to develop an unpleasant odor.
Batting Gloves are not as expensive as your premium leather baseball glove, but that doesn't mean that they don't need some love and care from time to time. So let's figure out how to clean and maintain them properly.
One person who probably cleans them well is Dusty Baker. Dusty is constantly wearing batting gloves when he is coaching games to reduce the spreading of germs.
Why Does Dusty Baker Wear Batting Gloves in the Dugout?
Houston Astros Manager Dusty Baker wears batting gloves to prevent the spread of COVID-19. | Read On
Equipment you might need
- Dishwasher Soap
- Leather Brush
- Leather Cleaner
- Skinny Wire Brush
- Soft-bristle Toothbrush
Step One: Remove the Debris
Getting rid of the dirt, sand, lime/chalk, and any other field debris is the first step in properly maintaining your batting gloves. We recommend shaking them out twice prior to cleaning them thoroughly.
The first time to shake them out is right after you use them, either in a game, practice or at the cages. The second time is after letting them dry out for a day or two. You will find that not all dirt leaves upon that initial shake and you will be glad that you gave it a second shot.
If you need to dig in at all, use a soft-bristle toothbrush or leather brush on the outside and a baby-style thin bottle scrubber or wire brush on the inside to dislodge any remaining debris that you can't see on the inside of each individual batting glove.
Remember to not brush or scrub hard. Batting Gloves are not as durable as a baseball glove.
Step Two: Add Soap & Water to the Mix
Like most other things, your Batting Gloves aren't getting clean without a little soap and water. You're going to want to start with the insides first, so turn your gloves inside out and begin to gently apply the mild detergent to the gloves using a rag or soft cloth. You can also use a leather cleaner to help out.
Those brushes that you used to remove the initial debris should come in handy again for any build up and hard to clean areas that your cloth won't work for.
Step Three: Dry your gloves
The final step in cleaning your Batting Gloves is to let them dry after the cleaning. Don't put them out in the sun, into a dryer, or back into your baseball bag that sits in the basement. Let them air dry on a table in your house somewhere, it's the easiest way.
What leather cleaners can I use?
Here are a few leather cleaners to check out.
- Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner and Conditioner
- Franklin Sports Dr. Glove® leather conditioner
- Lexol Leather Conditioner and Cleaner
Can I put them in the Washer or Dryer?
We don't recommend using a washer or dryer to clean your batting gloves. However, should you go down that route, remember to use cold water only.
Can I use bleach?
No, you shouldn't use bleach when cleaning your baseball or softball batting gloves.
Why do Batting Gloves smell?
Batting Gloves smell because they tend to go through prolonged times where they don't get cleaned. It's that simple.
Batting Gloves, especially because of their relatively low price point, tend to get overlooked when it comes to routine maintenance, as far as baseball and softball equipment goes. Because they are somewhat disposable, people tend to not remove dirt and debris beyond the occasional shake. They also tend to neglect cleaning them out with soap.
You know who does a good job with repeated use equipment that tends to start smelling afterward? Bowling alleys. We're not suggesting you use the same deodorizer that they do on their shoes, not at all. We're just saying it's interesting.