How to Break in a Baseball Glove with Hot Water?

How to Break in a Baseball Glove with Hot Water?

Are you dealing with a stiff, new baseball glove? No sweat, making it soft and ready to use isn’t hard at all.

There’s a straightforward trick: hot water. By dipping your glove in hot water and then working the leather, you can speed up the break-in time and get that perfect fit.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to make your baseball glove ready for the game with hot water.

You’ll be ready to wow your teammates and up your game in no time.

Understanding the Hot Water Method

Break in a Baseball Glove with Hot Water
Break in a Baseball Glove with Hot Water

Why Leather Gets Soft in Hot Water

Using hot water to make a baseball glove soft is all about how leather, a natural thing, gets more bendy when it’s warm and wet. This makes it easier to shape the glove to fit your hand.

When leather gets warm, the fibers in it loosen up and stretch out, making it softer. It’s important to get the water hot enough and to keep the glove in it for just the right amount of time. If you get it right, the glove will be soft without getting ruined.

Here are some things that affect how leather gets soft:

  • Water temperature: It should be hot but not boiling.
  • How long you treat it: Usually, a short time is enough.
  • Quality of the leather: Better leather usually works better.
  • If it’s been conditioned before: Gloves that have been cared for might get soft faster.

Be safe when trying this method. Too much heat can ruin the glove or even hurt you. Knowing how leather reacts to heat and moisture helps players use hot water safely to make their gloves soft while keeping them in good shape.

Safety Tips and How to Do It Right

When using hot water to make your baseball glove soft, it’s super important to be safe. This keeps your glove from getting wrecked and keeps you from getting hurt.

  • Check the water’s heat to make sure it’s not too hot.
  • Pick a big enough container so the glove can be fully covered without making a mess.
  • Put the glove in the water carefully to avoid any damage.
  • Don’t keep it in too long; a few minutes to half an hour should do, depending on the glove.

Taking care of your glove is just like taking care of your baseball shoes. Be gentle and you’ll keep them in great shape for a long time. The idea is to make the leather soft, not to cook it. So, less is more.

Hot Water vs. Traditional Ways

People often can’t decide between the old-school way of making a glove ready and the hot water trick.

The old ways mean lots of playing catch, putting on oils, and shaping the glove with tools. But the hot water method can make the leather soft much faster.

Here’s what to think about:

  • Old-school ways work well but need a lot of time and effort.
  • Hot water is quick, but you have to be careful not to wreck the glove.
  • The old-school approach might keep your glove in good shape longer than the hot water method if you’re not careful.

What you choose depends on what you like, how quickly you need the glove ready, and if you’re okay with following the steps for the hot water method closely.

No matter what, taking good care of your glove is key. Cleaning it gently and letting it air dry will keep it in top shape for your games.

Read Also: How to Break in a Baseball Glove with Shaving Cream

Getting Your Glove Ready for the Hot Water Trick

Glove Ready for the Hot Water
Glove Ready for the Hot Water

What You’ll Need

First up, make sure you’ve got everything you need. Of course, you’ve got the leather baseball glove that you want to make soft.

You’ll also need something like a bucket or a big sink to dunk your glove in, plus access to hot water. A thermometer would be handy to check the water’s heat to keep your glove safe.

Don’t forget a soft towel to pat your glove dry afterward, and some leather conditioner to keep it nice after the dunk.

If you want to stretch out your glove a bit more, grab a baseball or a glove mallet. And hey, if you’re around other people, like at a camp or team practice, put your name on your stuff to avoid mix-ups.

Checking Your Glove Before You Start

Before you dive in with the hot water trick, take a good look at your glove. Make sure it’s in good shape to handle the water without getting ruined.

Look for any rips or weak spots in the leather that might get worse with water. Also, check the laces and stitches to make sure they’re strong and not about to break.

Here’s a quick checklist for your glove check-up:

  • Look over the leather, and see how flexible it is.
  • Check out the laces and stitches to make sure they’re tough.
  • Make sure there’s no water damage or mold from before.
  • Check that the padding inside is all good and not messed up.

Taking a bit of time to check your glove helps you take care of it right during the hot water trick. You want to make the leather soft, not mess it up. Fix any issues you find before you start to make sure your glove comes out ready for the game.

Getting the Water Right

The whole hot water method process is all about using water that’s just the right temperature for just long enough.

You want the water warm but not boiling, somewhere between 150-170 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s hot enough to make the leather soft without hurting or breaking it.

When you’re soaking the glove, keep an eye on the clock:

  • Dunk the glove for about 2 to 5 minutes.
  • Check how soft the glove is getting every minute.
  • Don’t leave it in there for more than 5 minutes to avoid soaking it too much.

You’re aiming to make the glove more bendy but you don’t want it soaking wet or damaged. Stick to these tips on water heat and how long to soak, and your glove will be ready to go in no time.

Read Also: How to Break in a Baseball Glove in the Oven

Taking Care of Your Glove After the Hot Water Trick

Taking Care of Your Glove After the Hot Water
Taking Care of Your Glove After the Hot Water

Drying It the Right Way

After you’ve given your baseball glove the hot water treatment, drying it out right is super important. You want to keep its shape and make sure it stays in good condition.

Find a spot inside, away from any direct sunlight, to let your glove dry. Sunlight can harm the leather.

A spot with good airflow is perfect. Leave your glove alone to dry for at least a whole day to make sure it dries all the way through.

While it’s drying, check on it now and then to adjust the fingers and the pocket so it keeps the shape and form you want.

Don’t try to make it dry faster with things like hair dryers or heaters. That can make the leather hard and cause it to crack. Just let it dry on its own.

Once it’s dry, there’s still a bit more to do before it’s ready to hit the field again. You’ll need to treat the leather to keep it soft and get it ready for your next game.

This extra care will help your glove last longer and work better.

Making the Leather Soft Again

After the glove has had its hot water soak, the leather will need some love to bring back its softness and keep it from getting old too fast.

A cream that’s made for leather, with stuff like Lanolin and Vitamin E, is great for this.

Here’s how to do it:

  • First, clean off any leftover water or dirt with a soft cloth.
  • Put a little bit of the cream on another clean cloth or a sponge.
  • Gently rub the cream into the leather with a circular motion to cover it all evenly.
  • Let the glove sit for a few minutes so it can soak up the cream, then wipe off any extra.

It’s a good idea to do this regularly to keep the break in process glove soft and ready for action. Taking this step means your glove will stay in great shape, ready for every game.

Keeping Your Glove Flexible

After you’ve treated your glove with hot water, it’s important to keep it moving so it stays soft.

Using it often is the best way to do this. If a broken glove just sits around, it can get stiff again.

Try doing some exercises for your wrists and fingers to keep things loose. This is good not just for your glove, but for your game too.

Stretching before you go to bat and using tools like weighted rings or stretch and rubber bands can help too.

It’s worth it to try out different ways to hold and use your bat. This can affect how your glove feels and works when you’re playing.

A glove that’s well taken care of feels like part of your hand, making a big difference in how you play.

Read Also: How to Break in a Synthetic Baseball Glove

Getting Your Glove Ready with Real Use

Practicing Catching

After you’ve used the hot water trick on the thumb of your glove, it’s time to start using it for real. Doing catching drills is a great way to shape the glove to your hand and get used to how it feels when you catch the ball.

Start off easy with simple throws and catches, and then ramp up:

  • Warm up with easy throws to get used to the glove.
  • Move on to faster throws, making sure to catch the ball right in the glove’s pocket.
  • Try different catches like pop flies, ground balls, and line drives.
  • Practice with someone else or use a rebound net if you’re alone.

Doing these drills regularly will not only help break in the new glove but also improve your skills. Make these drills part of your usual practice for the best results.

Using Your Glove When You Hit

It’s also a good idea to wear your glove while you’re hitting during practice. This helps you get used to how the glove feels and works when you’re playing for real.

When you’re getting ready to hit, make sure you have everything:

  • Bat
  • Helmet
  • Cleats
  • Your conditioned glove

Pretend like it’s a real game. Stand and hold the bat like you would during a game. This helps you adjust to the glove and how it moves.

Pay attention to how the glove feels when you swing and play catch, and tweak your style if you need to.

Also, choosing the right glove and bat matters a lot for playing well. You might want to try heavier bats or different gloves to help with your swing and keep practicing your throws with specific drills.

Simulating Game Situations

To really get your glove ready, you need to practice like you’re in a real game. Using drills that mimic game plays can help break in the glove faster and get you game-ready sooner.

Try these drills to make it feel like a game:

  • Pop Fly Drills: Have someone hit or throw balls high up like you’re in the outfield catching pop flies.
  • Ground Ball Drills: If you’re an infielder, practice catching ground balls from different directions to work the glove’s pocket and hinges.
  • Quick Toss: Quick back-and-forth throws can help make your glove more flexible and quick to respond.

The more you use your glove like you would in a game, the quicker it’ll be ready for real matches. Watch this video of how your glove handles different plays and adjust your practice to make sure you’re covering all your bases.

Read Also: What Oil to Use to Break in a Baseball Glove

Common Mistakes and Misconceptions

Avoiding Over-Soaking the Glove

When you’re making your baseball glove soft, make sure you don’t soak it too much. Getting it too wet can mess up the leather, which isn’t good for the glove’s strength or how long it lasts.

Here’s how to keep from soaking it too much:

  • Just make the glove damp, not soaking wet.
  • A spray bottle is a good way to control how much water you’re using.
  • After you wet the glove, wait a bit before deciding if it needs more water.

The point is to make the leather soft, not to drown it. Using glove oil after wetting it can help keep soft surface of the leather in good shape and make it softer. This helps your glove stay good for both playing well and lasting a long time.

The Oven and Microwave Trick: Not a Good Idea

There’s a wrong idea out there that putting your baseball glove in the microwave or oven can make it soft fast. But this can mess up your glove.

  • Microwaves can heat the glove unevenly, which might make some parts shrink or get too hard.
  • Using an oven can change how strong the leather and stitches are, even on low heat.

These ways don’t give you the control you need to treat a baseball glove safely. Instead of trying quick fixes, use methods like the hot water trick that are safer for your glove.

Being patient and taking care of your glove properly is much better than taking shortcuts that could ruin it.

How to Know Your Glove Is Ready

It’s important to know when your baseball glove is ready to play. A ready glove will fit your hand well, keep its shape, and be easy to move for catching.

Here’s how to tell your glove is good to go:

  • The leather should feel soft and fit the shape of your hand.
  • You should be able to open and close the glove easily, without it feeling stiff.
  • Catching should feel smooth, and the ball should fit well in the glove’s pocket.

When your glove is like this, it’s game time. But don’t forget to keep taking care of it. If you don’t, it might wear out faster or not work as well. A glove that’s ready to go feels like part of your hand, so look after it to keep it that way.

Read Also: How to Clean the Inside of a Baseball Glove


In conclusion, using hot water can speed up making your baseball glove ready for action. This way is quicker than the old-school methods that need lots of playing and oiling, and it gets your glove feeling just right for the game fast.

Just make sure you’re careful and follow the steps right so you don’t mess up your glove. With your glove feeling like part of your hand, you can focus on getting better at baseball, whether you’ve been playing for years or you’re just starting at a baseball camp.

Try out this method and see how it goes. You might just find your glove feels perfect for your next game.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use hot water to break in a baseball glove?

Yes, using hot water can be a method to break in a baseball glove. It helps soften the leather quickly, making the glove more comfortable to use.

What’s the quickest way to make a baseball glove softer?

The quickest way to soften a baseball glove is by using the hot water method. This involves soaking the glove in warm water, which relaxes the leather, making it more pliable.

Will hot water damage gloves?

Hot water can damage gloves if not used properly. Oversoaking or using water that’s too hot can harm the leather, affecting the glove’s durability and shape.

How do you use warm water to break in a glove?

To break in a glove with warm water, briefly soak it in water that’s warm but not boiling (around 150-170°F). Then, work the glove by bending and shaping it. Let it dry naturally away from direct heat or sunlight.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *