How to Clean Baseball Leather Gloves? Cleaning, Drying & Maintenance

Your leather gloves are more than just equipment—they’re an essential part of your game.

Over time, dirt, sweat, and even mold can make them look and feel less than their best. 

I remember the first time I had to clean my beloved glove. The grime and odor were overwhelming, and I worried that cleaning might ruin it. But with the right techniques, I restored it to its former glory.

In this article, we’ll explore the best methods for cleaning your baseball leather gloves, including how to clean the inside and how to tackle mold.

We’ll share practical tips and tricks to keep your gloves in peak condition, ensuring they last season after season. So, let’s dive in and get your gloves game-ready!


How to Clean Baseball Leather Gloves - an infographic

How to Clean Baseball Leather Gloves?

Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to clean baseball leather gloves:

Step 1: Gather Materials

  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Mild soap or leather cleaner
  • Water
  • Leather conditioner (optional)
  • Towel for drying

Step 2: Remove Dirt and Debris

Gently brush off loose dirt and dust with a cloth.

Step 3: Prepare Soap Solution

Mix a small amount of mild soap with water to create a soapy solution.

Step 4: Clean the Glove

To effectively clean your leather gloves, dip a cloth or sponge into the soap solution and gently clean the entire surface of the glove. Pay extra attention to heavily soiled areas to ensure thorough cleaning and maintenance of your gloves.

Step 5: Rinse and Wipe Dry

After cleaning your leather gloves, use a clean, damp cloth to remove any soap residue from the surface. Then, pat the glove dry gently with a towel to remove excess moisture. This helps maintain the cleanliness and quality of your gloves.

Step 6: Condition the Leather (Optional)

Apply leather conditioner to keep the leather supple (follow product instructions).

Step 7: Air Dry

Allow the glove to air dry naturally after cleaning. It’s important to avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or heat sources, as this can cause the leather to dry out too quickly and potentially damage it. This method helps preserve the quality and longevity of your leather gloves.

Step 8: Shape the Glove

While the glove is still slightly damp, reshape it to ensure it retains its proper shape.

Step 9: Store Properly

Store the glove in a cool, dry place away from moisture to prevent mold or mildew from forming. Additionally, use a glove mallet or ball to maintain its shape, ensuring that it retains its form and fits comfortably when you next use it.

Step 10: Regular Maintenance

Periodically repeat the cleaning and conditioning process to keep your glove in top condition for peak performance.

How to Clean the Inside of a Baseball Glove?

To clean the inside of a baseball glove effectively, start by removing any excess dirt or debris using a soft brush or cloth.

Next, wipe the interior with a damp cloth to remove surface grime. For stubborn stains, use a mild soap solution applied with a cloth, gently scrubbing as needed.

Rinse the interior with a clean, damp cloth to remove any soap residue, then wipe it dry with a towel. Allow the glove to air dry completely before reassembling any removed padding or liner.

Regularly cleaning the inside helps prevent odor buildup and maintains the glove’s freshness for continued use on the field.

How to Clean a Moldy Baseball Glove?

To clean a moldy baseball glove effectively, start by gently brushing off any loose mold using a soft brush or cloth.

Next, clean the affected areas with a mild soap and water solution, ensuring to scrub gently to avoid damaging the leather. Rinse the glove thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.

Pat it dry with a towel and allow it to air dry completely in a cool, dry place. Once dry, apply a glove conditioner to restore moisture and suppleness to the leather.

Regularly maintaining the glove, including proper drying and conditioning, helps prevent mold recurrence and preserves its quality for prolonged use on the field.

Making DIY Baseball Glove Cleaner

Here’s a detailed method for creating a leather cleaning solution:

1. Gather Your Materials:

2. Measure the Soap or Cleaner:

Depending on the size of your bowl or container, add a small amount of mild dish soap or leather cleaner. You don’t need much; a few drops or a teaspoonful should suffice.

3. Add Warm Water:

Pour warm water into the bowl or container, mixing it with the soap or leather cleaner. The water should be comfortably warm, not hot.

4. Stir the Mixture:

Use a spoon or your hand to gently stir the soap and water together until they are well combined. You should see some suds forming.

5. Adjust the Concentration:

If the mixture appears too soapy, you can dilute it further by adding more warm water. If it’s not soapy enough, add a little more soap or cleaner.

6. Test the Solution:

Before applying the solution to your leather item, it’s a good idea to test it on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t cause any adverse effects.

Does Water Ruin a Baseball Glove?

Water can potentially damage a baseball glove if it’s exposed to excessive moisture and not properly dried.

Leather gloves are particularly susceptible to water damage, which can lead to cracking, stiffness, and loss of shape.

Therefore, it’s important to take precautions to keep your glove dry and follow the proper drying process if it gets wet.

How Do You Clean Smelly Baseball Leather Gloves?

To clean smelly leather gloves, follow these steps:

To effectively clean and maintain leather gloves, start by mixing a solution of mild soap or leather cleaner with warm water.

Dampen a soft cloth or sponge with the soapy solution and gently wipe down both the interior and exterior of the gloves. Rinse thoroughly with a clean, damp cloth to remove any remaining soap residue, then pat them dry with a towel.

Next, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda inside the gloves and leave them overnight to absorb odors. The next day, shake out the excess baking soda.

Apply a leather conditioner to keep the gloves supple and maintain their quality. Allow the gloves to air dry naturally in a cool, dry place.

Regularly cleaning and conditioning your gloves not only helps to remove odors but also extends their lifespan and keeps them in good condition for continued use.

What’s Safe to Clean Leather With?

It’s safe to clean leather with mild soap or leather cleaner mixed with water.

Avoid harsh chemicals or solvents that can damage the leather. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning leather products.

How to Oil Baseball Gloves?

Oiling a baseball glove helps maintain its flexibility and prevents it from drying out and becoming brittle.

It’s important to properly care for your baseball glove to keep it in top condition.

Start by cleaning the glove thoroughly to remove dirt and debris. Next, apply a small amount of glove oil or conditioner to a soft cloth or sponge. Rub the oil into the leather, focusing on areas that are stiff or dry.

After applying the oil, use a clean cloth to wipe off any excess. Then, shape the glove to your preference, ensuring the fingers and pocket are well-formed. Allow the glove to air dry completely before using it again.

For ongoing maintenance, repeat the oiling process periodically to keep the leather supple and prevent cracking. This routine care helps maintain the glove’s performance and extends its lifespan on the field.


So, now you know how to clean baseball leather gloves, how to clean the inside of a baseball glove, how to clean a moldy leather glove, and more!

As you finish the cleaning process and your baseball leather glove begins to regain its luster and suppleness, you can take pride in the fact that you’ve extended its lifespan and preserved its essential characteristics.

Regular maintenance, coupled with the care and attention outlined in this guide, will keep your glove ready for the challenges of the game.

Remember, a well-maintained glove not only performs better but also becomes a part of your baseball journey, recording the victories, challenges, and memories you create on the diamond.

So, as you step onto the field with your freshly cleaned and conditioned glove in hand, you can be confident that you’re ready to face whatever the game throws your way.

James Chiles

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