We all love playing softball. After a long cold winter it is tough to stay off the field when tournament time comes around. Even if it is 37 degrees, the rain starts pouring and the beautifully worked infield turns into a mudball field.
Your cleats are caked with mud, your uniforms are soaked even the high end cold weather gear. But worst of all your new fastpitch softball glove is soaked and caked with mud from going after those grounders. Well, maybe you actually slid in the mud and fell down.
This is a great way to recondition that rain soaked softball glove.
First -As soon as you get home or to the hotel room, wipe your glove dry with a towel. Clean as much mud off as you can while its still wet. Then you need to let your glove dry out. Place it someplace where the air will circulate around the glove. Don't use a hair dryer to dry it, that can crack the leather and ruin your softball glove. If you can let it dry overnight that is great.
When your softball glove is dry, get the following items together.
1. Clean cloth
2. Soft bristle brush, or old toothbrush.
3. Small amount of clean water.
4. Small clean sponge or clean cloth.
5. Bottle of glove conditioner. Foam type shave cream is fine also**.
6. Optional - pair of needle nose pliars to tighten laces when finished.
Take your clean cloth and dip it into the clean water. Wipe any excess dirt or mud left on the glove. Use the brush to get dirt from between fingers, around laces, in the webbing. Anyplace the cloth won't get into. Wipe any excess water off the glove. Using the sponge or cloth, apply a small amount of Glove Condtioner to the glove.
Work it into the palm, the webbing, the fingers. Apply to the back of the glove as well. Be sure to apply a small amount to the lacings also.
It shouldn't take very much conditioner. Just enough to give the leather a slight sheen or new look. You are not trying to break the glove in, just do a little maintenance on it. If there is excess conditioner visible, just wipe it off with the cloth. If using shave cream, apply it the same way and in small amounts also.
I like to use the glove conditioner. It gives the leather a sheen and also a slight tackiness which is great to help hold the ball in the pocket.
You should also apply some conditioner to your fingers and then put the glove on. This will work the condtioner into the inside of the glove to protect the inside also.
That's it. Let the softball glove sit for a while so the conditioner can work it's magic. If you put a softball in the pocket right away, the ball sometimes absorbs the conditioner out of the leather before it has time to do it's magic for your softball glove. So wait an hour or so. Then put a softball in the pocket, tie with a rubber band and it should be ready to play when you are.
Now, if your glove got Really wet the lacings may need to be tightened. That's what the needle nose pliars are for. Makes it a lot easier that just grabbing with your fingers.
It is sometimes a little tough to figure out which way the glove is laced, as the laces criss cross in and out of the fingers. Basically, they go from finger to finger. So, just pull the laces snug but not overly tight. Don't deform the glove. Then retie the laces and you're done. They may be a little longer, you can trim them or leave them hang. Doesn't matter.
You can repeat this process a few times during the season. Any time your softball glove starts to look a little rough or dry just pull out the glove conditioner and lather it up.
** NOTE: Further research has shown that using even the foam type shaving cream is not a good idea. There is too much alcohol in the shave cream. The alcohol will dry out your glove. So use a baseball glove conditioner oil, they are inexpensive too.