How to Soften Leather Baseball Gloves?

For a baseball player, having a soft, supple leather glove is essential for playing the game. A stiff glove can make it difficult to catch and throw balls accurately, which can lead to errors on the field. But don’t worry – there are plenty of ways you can soften your old leather baseball gloves so they feel like new again! In this article we will discuss how to use natural oils and conditioners as well as heat treatments and other methods for softening up your beloved mitts.

Warm Water

ThisOne of the simplest and most effective ways to soften up a leather baseball glove is by giving it a warm water soak. Start by filling a bucket with lukewarm water and adding a few drops of liquid dish soap or mild detergent. Submerge your glove in the soapy mixture, making sure it’s completely covered.

Warm Water

Let it soak for about 15-20 minutes, then remove the glove and gently squeeze out the moisture. Make sure to let it dry completely by air before using or storing it.

Soften the Glove

Once you have the glove oiled and conditioned, it’s time to start softening it up. ThisThe most common way to soften a leather baseball glove is to use steam. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, place your glove on top of the pot in such a way that none of the leather is touching the boiling water.

Using an oven mitt or towel, place the lid of the pot over the glove, trapping in all of the steam from the boiling water. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes, then remove and let cool to room temperature before handling.

Apply Pressure

Leather baseball gloves are often molded to the shape of your hand when you buy them. ThisTo soften it up, apply some pressure. This can be done by wearing the glove and using a mallet or other blunt object to gently pound down any stiff areas while flexing the fingers in different directions.

By doing this, the hard areas in the glove will be broken down and the glove will become more flexible.

The glove should begin to feel softer after a few minutes of this process.

Repeat Steps 2 & 3

Once the glove has been broken in, it is possible that you may need to occasionally repeat steps 2 and 3 to keep the leather soft and supple. Monitor your glove for signs such as stiffness or difficulty forming a pocket around the ball.

ThisIf these signs occur, re-treat the glove using steps 2 & 3, and ensure that your glove is stored properly. For the best results, use a leather conditioner at least once per season to keep it in top shape. [1]


To soften a leather baseball glove, one of the most commonly used methods is the soap and oil treatment. This method requires you to take a small amount of saddle soap or mink oil and rub it into the glove in circular motions.


These products will help lubricate the leather fibers, making them more pliable and easier to break in. It is recommended to use a soft cloth or brush for even application of the soap and oil on the entire surface of the glove. It is recommended to let the soap and oil treatment sit on the leather for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Afterwards, you can use a damp cloth or sponge to eliminate any excess product. This method requires patience but is one of the most popular and effective for softening a leather baseball glove. [2]

Rubbing Alcohol

Using rubbing alcohol is a great way to soften leather baseball gloves. Alcohol helps to break down the proteins in the leather and make it more supple and pliable. To use this method, take a clean cloth or paper towel and pour some rubbing alcohol on it. Then, use the cloth to thoroughly rub the glove.

Improper Use

One of the major causes of leather baseball gloves becoming stiff is improper use. If a glove is not used correctly, it can quickly become brittle and hard to use. It’s important not to over-tighten a glove when lacing it up, as this can cause the leather to become too rigid.

In addition, make sure that any oils or creams used to condition the leather are not left on for too long, as this can also cause it to become hard. To keep a glove soft and in good condition, always make sure that it is properly stored when not in use.

Ineffective Results

If you’re not careful, a leather baseball glove can be ruined by using too much water. Waterlogging the leather will cause it to become brittle and hard instead of softening it.

Additionally, over-oiling or conditioning your glove can cause it to become greasy and make it difficult to grip the ball. It’s important to know the right levels of water and oil when softening your glove in order to get the best results.

Risks of Igniting Liquids

It is important to note that some substances used for softening leather baseball gloves are flammable. Mineral spirits and rubbing alcohol are highly combustible. It is therefore essential to take extra precaution when using them because if they come into contact with an open flame, then a fire could result in a serious accident.

As such, it is advised to always work in well-ventilated areas and avoid using any open fire or flammable materials when softening leather baseball gloves.

Additionally, you should keep the containers of these substances tightly sealed at all times.

Toxic Hazards

When softening leather baseball gloves, it is important to be aware of the risks and hazards associated with using chemicals. Many commercial conditioning products contain petroleum-based solvents that can release harmful toxins into the air. These toxins can cause irritation to your skin and respiratory system when inhaled.

Additionally, some leather conditioners may contain silicone or mineral oil, both of which can cause discoloration to the glove and disrupt its breathability. When using a commercial leather conditioner, it is important to use it in a well-ventilated area, wear protective gear such as gloves and eye protection.

Additionally, you should never leave a conditioner on longer than necessary or apply too much of it. [3]

Old Baseball Glove

To make an old baseball glove more pliable, you’ll have to spend some time and effort rubbing it. It’s important to note that this process won’t restore a worn-out glove to its original condition; it can only help make the leather more pliable and easier to use.

Old Baseball Glove

Improper Storage

It is important to keep a leather baseball glove dry and store it away from direct heat. Over time, leather can become stiff and brittle when exposed to heat and humidity. To damage your glove, keep it in a cool and dry location, like a closet or an air-conditioned room. You can also use a protective case or bag to store your glove.

If you need to soften the leather quickly, you can use a soft cloth and massage the glove in circular motions until it begins to feel supple again.

Bad Batting Practice

If practice makes perfect, then batting practice is essential to becoming a better hitter. What can be done if your baseball glove made of leather is too rigid and inflexible, causing difficulty in effectively catching the ball? You can try softening it up with some simple steps.

Lack of Use

If not used frequently, baseball gloves made of leather can become stiff. To soften them up again, start by wiping the glove with a damp cloth and then allowing it to dry naturally in a warm place. After it has dried, apply mink oil or neatsfoot oil to the leather using a soft cloth and rub it in.

Rub the oil onto every part of the glove, especially the pocket and webbing, to ensure thorough coverage. This will help to soften and restore the leather fibers. Allow it to sit for an hour before using a dry cloth to buff any excess oil off of the glove. After oiling your glove, it is recommended to apply a leather conditioner to provide additional hydration and protection for the leather.

Finally, it’s a good idea to use your glove regularly in order to keep it well-stretched and supple over time. Just make sure that you do not get the glove wet as this can damage the fibers.

Damaged Glove Fabric

If your leather baseball glove is no longer soft and has cracks or damages, you might have to take extra measures to soften it. The first step is to identify what type of fabric the glove is made from. There are two common types of leather used for baseball gloves: cowhide and steer hide.

Cowhide is softer and more pliable, but it is also less durable than steer hide. Knowing which type of leather you have is important because different types of leather will require different techniques for softening them.

Too Much Sweating

Excessive sweating can cause leather baseball gloves to become stiff and uncomfortable. To make the glove more supple, apply a leather conditioner. Most conditioners will help protect against water damage while breaking down any dirt or oils that may be causing stiffness.

Too Much Sweating

To condition the glove, use a lint-free cloth and apply the conditioner uniformly all over the glove.

Let the conditioner soak in for 10-15 minutes before buffing off excess with a clean cloth. [4]


What is the fastest way to soften a baseball glove?

The fastest way to soften a baseball glove is to use leather softener. You can find these leather softeners in the sporting goods section of stores or online. Apply the softener to all areas of the glove and allow it to sit for a few hours before wiping it off with a clean cloth.

How do you make a baseball glove less stiff?

To make a baseball glove less stiff, you can apply a leather conditioner. This will soften up the leather and help to retain flexibility. Make sure to use a conditioner specifically designed for baseball gloves, as regular leather conditioners can damage the material. To use the conditioner, apply it to the glove with a cloth or brush.

Let it soak in for at least 15 minutes and then work it into the glove with your fingers, spreading it evenly. Afterward, let the glove dry out for a full day before using it.

What do you put on a baseball glove to make it soft?

There are many methods that can be used to soften a baseball glove. Some of the most popular and effective ways include breaking in the glove with oil, using a glove conditioner and wrapping the glove in plastic overnight.

How do you make leather gloves less stiff?

Leather gloves can be a bit stiff and uncomfortable when they are new. To help soften them up, there are several things that you can do. First, you should use a good leather conditioner to help break down the stiffness of the material.

How do you make leather gloves less stiff

This will allow it to be more pliable and provide better grip when you are playing. Next, you should also take into consideration the climate that your glove is exposed to.

If the glove is kept in a dry or hot environment, it may be easier to reach a soft and supple finish than if the glove is stored in a cold or damp area.

Finally, you should use your gloves regularly. As the leather is flexed and moved, it will begin to soften and become more comfortable.

How do you break in leather gloves fast?

Breaking in a leather glove is an essential part of extending its lifespan and ensuring maximum comfort when playing. There are several methods you can use to soften and break in leather gloves quickly. One method for softening a glove is to use a baseball glove oil or conditioner. These products aid in making the leather softer and more flexible.

What does Vaseline do to a baseball glove?

Vaseline is a great lubricant and can help to make your leather baseball glove softer and more malleable. Applying Vaseline to the glove can condition the leather and increase its flexibility. It also helps to keep dirt and dust out of the glove and helps to prevent cracking.

Additionally, Vaseline also helps to repel moisture, which can cause damage to the glove over time.

To use Vaseline to soften your glove, apply a thin layer of the Vaseline with a cloth and massage it into the leather. Allow it to sit overnight before using the glove. Reapply Vaseline to the glove every few months for best results.

Can you use olive oil to soften a baseball glove?

Yes, olive oil can be used to soften a baseball glove. To do this, you’ll need an absorbent cloth and some Olive Oil. Wipe the glove with the cloth and then lightly apply Olive Oil to the leather using a circular rubbing motion. Leave it for 5-10 minutes and then buff off the excess oil using a clean dry cloth.

If you are patient, your baseball glove will become soft and flexible soon. Using an excessive amount of olive oil can make the leather greasy and prone to attracting dirt and dust, so it’s essential to be cautious. So use only a light amount of oil to ensure your glove remains in good shape.

How do you break in a high-quality baseball glove?

To properly break in a high-quality baseball glove, it takes time and requires effort. It takes time to work the leather, but pre-softening the glove is a great place to start. Here are a few helpful tips for softening your glove before you break it in:

  • Rub saddle, mink oil, or petroleum jelly into the glove. These substances will soften and condition the leather of your glove.
  • Place the ball inside the pocket of your glove, tightly wrap the glove with a towel or cloth, and secure it by tying a knot. Be sure to use an old towel as the dye may bleed onto it. Allow the leather to absorb the oil and conditioner by letting it sit for a few hours or overnight.
  • Take a break-in mallet, or other rubber hammer, and tap the glove all over to further work in the leather and soften it up.

Place a ball in the glove’s pocket and close the glove around it, then wrap rubber bands around the glove to hold it in place. Let this sit for a few hours or overnight to help the leather conform to the shape of the ball and break-in the glove.

Put a baseball in your glove and wear it while you’re practicing, to help work even more. It can take several weeks or even months to break in a glove, so be patient and keep working at it!

Useful Video: Glove Guru Aso: How To Break In A Baseball Glove


Serious baseball players must have leather gloves for playing. To keep them in good shape and ensure they last a long time, it is important to properly soften the leather. This can be done through a break-in process or with the help of an oil, salt and water mixture. Over time, the leather will become softer and suppler, making it easier for the player to close their glove and make catches.