How to Break in a Baseball Glove with Shaving Cream?

How to Break in a Baseball Glove with Shaving Cream?

Breaking in a baseball glove with shaving cream is a time-honored technique favored by many players for its simplicity and effectiveness.

This method involves applying shaving cream, specifically those that contain lanolin, to soften the glove’s leather and make it more pliable for a quicker break-in period.

In this article, we provide a step-by-step guide on how to properly use shaving cream to condition your baseball glove, ensuring it’s game-ready in no time.

We’ll cover the types of shaving cream best suited for this purpose, application tips, and additional care instructions to maintain the glove’s condition.

Understanding the Basics of Baseball Glove Care

Importance of Proper Glove Maintenance

Maintaining your baseball glove is crucial for both performance and longevity. Regular care ensures that the leather remains supple, responsive, and durable.

Over time, a well-maintained glove will mold to the player’s hand, providing a custom fit that can significantly improve game performance.

Proper maintenance includes routine cleaning, conditioning, and storing practices.

Cleaning your glove not only preserves its look and feel but also extends its lifespan by preventing the buildup of dirt and sweat that can degrade the leather.

Conditioning the leather is essential to maintain its flexibility and prevent it from becoming brittle.

Here are some key maintenance steps:

  • Clean the glove after each use to remove dirt and perspiration.
  • Apply conditioner to keep the leather soft and pliable.
  • Store the glove in a cool, dry place to retain its shape and prevent mold or mildew.

By adhering to these simple care guidelines, players can ensure their gloves remain in top condition, ready for every game and practice session.

Types of Baseball Gloves and Their Specific Care Needs

Baseball gloves come in various types, each designed for specific positions and purposes.

Understanding the differences is crucial for proper maintenance and care.

For instance, fielding gloves are used by all players, but first base mitts and catcher’s mitts are specialized for those who play catch first positions, offering extra padding and a unique shape to handle the demands of catching fast throws.

Here’s a quick rundown of some common glove types and their care considerations:

  • All Fielding Gloves: General maintenance includes regular cleaning and conditioning.
  • First Base Mitts: Require additional conditioning to maintain flexibility due to their larger size.
  • Catcher Mitts: Need frequent conditioning and shaping to withstand the constant impact of pitches.
  • Training Gloves: Beneficial for practice, these gloves demand care to ensure they mimic game gloves accurately.

Each glove type may require specific conditioning products or techniques to keep them in top shape.

For example, a Rawlings custom baseball glove fast enough might need a different care approach compared to a standard Marucci fielding glove.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for the best results.

Overview of Glove Conditioning Products

Baseball gloves require regular maintenance to retain their shape, flexibility, and durability.

Proper conditioning of the glove is essential to ensure it performs well during games.

There are various products available for glove conditioning, each designed to keep the leather supple and prevent it from drying out and cracking.

When selecting a conditioning product, it’s important to consider the type of leather and the specific needs of your glove.

Traditional options include oils and conditioners specifically formulated for leather gloves.

However, unconventional methods like shaving cream have gained popularity due to their availability and effectiveness.

Here’s a list of common glove conditioning products:

  • Leather oils and creams
  • Specialized glove conditioners
  • Mink oil
  • Lanolin-based products
  • Shaving cream

Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for care guidelines to ensure you’re using the right product for your glove.

Remember, a well-maintained glove can significantly improve your grip and comfort during play.

Read Also: How to Break in a Baseball Glove with Hot Water

Choosing the Right Shaving Cream for Your Glove

How to Break in a Baseball Glove with Shaving Cream?
How to Break in a Baseball Glove with Shaving Cream?

Why Shaving Cream Works for Breaking in Gloves

Shaving cream is a popular choice for breaking in baseball gloves due to its unique properties.

It contains lanolin, a natural wax found in wool, which helps to soften and condition the leather. This makes the glove more pliable and easier to mold to your hand for a better fit.

When applied correctly, shaving cream can penetrate the leather, providing moisture without over-saturating the glove oil behind it. This is crucial because too much moisture can damage the glove.

Here’s a simple list of benefits that the shaving cream method offers for glove conditioning:

  • Softens the leather
  • Provides a uniform application
  • Helps the glove retain its shape
  • Does not leave residue when used in moderation

To remove shaving cream spots from your softball glove, try wiping it gently with a damp cloth or sponge. Avoid using excessive hot water though, and let the glove air dry to maintain its integrity.

Selecting a Shaving Cream: Ingredients to Look For

When selecting a shaving cream for breaking in your baseball glove, the ingredients are crucial for ensuring the leather becomes supple without damaging it.

Look for shaving creams that contain lanolin or glycerin, as these ingredients are known for their leather-softening properties.

Avoid products with high alcohol content, as they can dry out the leather and cause cracking over time.

Here’s a quick guide to the ingredients you should look for in a shaving cream:

  • Lanolin: A natural wax that moisturizes and softens leather.
  • Glycerin: Helps retain moisture and increases the glove’s flexibility.
  • Aloe Vera: Soothes the leather and keeps it conditioned.
  • Vitamin E: An antioxidant that helps protect the leather.

Remember, the goal is to condition the glove, not just clean it, so choose a product that will nourish the leather and enhance its longevity.

Shaving Cream Alternatives for Glove Conditioning

While shaving cream is a popular choice for breaking in a baseball glove’s webbing, several alternatives can also be effective.

Natural oils, such as neatsfoot or mink oil, are traditional options that provide excellent conditioning and help maintain the leather’s suppleness.

Lanolin, a natural wax found in sheep’s wool, is another option that can enhance the glove’s flexibility without compromising its shape.

For those seeking a more modern approach, commercial glove conditioners are available that are specifically formulated for baseball gloves.

These products often contain a blend of oils and waxes designed to soften and protect the leather.

It’s important to select a product that is compatible with your glove’s material to ensure optimal results.

Here’s a quick list of alternatives to consider:

  • Natural oils (neatsfoot, mink oil)
  • Lanolin
  • Commercial glove conditioners
  • Petroleum jelly (in moderation)

Remember, the key to effective glove conditioning is not just the product used, but also the method of application and regular maintenance.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use products sparingly to avoid over-saturating the leather.

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

Prepping Your Glove for Shaving Cream Treatment

Breaking in Gloves
Breaking in Gloves

Cleaning Your Glove Before Conditioning

Before applying shaving cream to your baseball glove, it’s crucial to start with a clean surface.

Dirt and debris can hinder the conditioning process and potentially damage the leather. Begin by wiping down your glove with a slightly damp cloth to remove any loose dirt.

Avoid using harsh detergents or soaps, as these can dry out the leather and cause it to become brittle.

Once the surface dirt is removed, you can proceed to a more thorough cleaning. Use a leather cleaner specifically designed for baseball gloves or a mild, pH-neutral soap.

Apply the cleaner with a soft cloth, working it into the leather in a circular motion, then wipe away any excess with a clean, dry cloth. This will ensure that the leather is receptive to the conditioning treatment.

Here’s a simple checklist to ensure your glove is ready for conditioning:

  • Wipe down with a damp cloth
  • Apply leather cleaner or mild soap
  • Work into leather with a soft cloth
  • Remove excess cleaner with a dry cloth

Remember, a clean glove is the foundation for effective conditioning and will help extend the life of your glove.

Applying Shaving Cream: Techniques for Even Distribution

Ensuring the even distribution of shaving cream on your baseball glove is crucial for a uniform conditioning process.

Apply a small amount of shaving cream to the center of the glove’s pocket, then gradually work it outwards in a circular motion, covering all leather areas. Avoid over-saturating any single spot to prevent leather damage.

Follow these steps for the best results:

  • Start with a dime-sized dollop of shaving cream.
  • Use your fingers or a soft cloth to spread the cream gently.
  • Focus on one section at a time, ensuring full coverage.
  • Allow the cream to penetrate the leather by leaving it on for a few minutes before wiping off any excess.

By following these simple techniques, you’ll help maintain the glove’s integrity while promoting a more pliable and game-ready mitt.

Safety Tips: Protecting Your Glove’s Integrity

When applying shaving cream to your baseball glove, it’s crucial to maintain the integrity of the leather.

Start by using only a small amount; an excessive application can oversaturate the leather, leading to potential damage. Here’s a simple list to ensure you’re doing it right:

  • Use a dime-sized dollop of shaving cream.
  • Gently rub the cream into the glove with a clean cloth or sponge.
  • Avoid the temptation to speed up the process with heat or sunlight.
  • Allow the glove to naturally absorb the cream before using it.

Remember, the goal is to soften the leather, not to change its structure or weaken it. By following these steps, you’ll help extend the life of your glove and ensure it’s game-ready.

Read Also: How to Break in a Synthetic Baseball Glove

The Break-In Process: Step-by-Step Guide

Massaging the Glove: Techniques for Softening Leather

Once you’ve selected the right shaving cream for your glove, it’s time to focus on the massaging technique that will soften the leather.

Start by applying a small amount of shaving cream to the palm and fingers of the glove.

Use a circular motion to work the cream into the leather, paying special attention to the areas of deep pocket that will require the most flexibility, such as the pocket and hinges.

After the initial application, continue to massage the glove, focusing on one section at a time. This process not only helps the shaving cream penetrate the leather but also begins to shape the glove to your hand.

Here’s a simple list to ensure you cover all the necessary areas:

  • Palm area
  • Back of the glove
  • Fingers and finger stalls
  • Thumb area
  • The hinge at the base of the thumb

Remember, the goal is to create a well-conditioned glove that mimics the natural contours of your hand.

Be gentle during this process to prevent damage, similar to the care you would take when cleaning baseball cleats. Use mild products and avoid harsh treatments that could harm the leather’s integrity.

Playing Catch: Incorporating the Glove into Your Training Routine

Once your glove has been treated with shaving cream, it’s time to start incorporating it into your regular training routine.

Begin with gentle tosses to build a feel for the glove and establish mechanical memory. As you grow more comfortable, increase the intensity of your throws.

It’s crucial to simulate game-like conditions during catch sessions. Start with flat ground tosses and gradually work the glove into more dynamic drills, such as bullpen sessions.

This approach ensures that your glove is not only comfortable but also functional in various playing scenarios.

Remember, while it’s important to be cautious with a brand new glove, there comes a time when you must trust in its readiness.

Don’t hesitate to ‘let it rip’ during live games once you’ve gained confidence in your glove’s break-in.

When to Start Using Your Glove in Games

After diligently breaking in your glove with shaving cream, you’ll be eager to put it to the test in a game situation.

It’s crucial to ensure that your glove is game-ready before stepping onto the field.

Begin by incorporating the glove into your practice sessions, focusing on drills that simulate game scenarios. This will help you build confidence in your glove’s performance.

Here’s a simple checklist to determine if your glove is ready for game play:

  • The glove should be fully broken in, with a flexible and well-formed pocket.
  • You’ve practiced with the glove in various fielding situations.
  • The glove feels comfortable and secure on your hand during play.
  • You can effortlessly open and close the glove, ensuring quick and reliable catches.

Once these conditions are met, start using your glove in less critical game situations to further build your trust in it.

Gradually, as you and your glove become more in sync, you can use it in more high-stakes moments.

Remember, the ultimate goal is to make the ball in the pocket and glove an extension of your hand, allowing you to perform at your best when it counts the most.

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


Breaking in a new baseball, baseball, or softball glove is an essential process for any player, and using shaving cream can be an effective and efficient method.

By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can ensure that your glove is game-ready in no time.

Remember to work the shaving cream thoroughly into the leather, use a ball for shaping, and give it the necessary time to settle. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, taking care of your glove is crucial for optimal performance on the field.

With patience and proper maintenance, your glove will become a reliable extension of your hand, helping you make those game-winning catches.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any type of shaving cream to break in my baseball glove?

It’s best to use shaving cream that contains lanolin, as it helps to soften and condition the leather. Avoid shaving creams with high alcohol content, as they can dry out the glove.

How often should I apply shaving cream to my new baseball glove?

Shaving cream should be applied during the initial break-in process, typically once before working the glove through playing catch and massaging. It’s not necessary to apply it frequently.

Is it necessary to clean my baseball glove before applying shaving cream?

Yes, cleaning your glove to remove any dirt or debris ensures that the shaving cream can properly penetrate and condition the leather.

Can I use shaving cream on all types of baseball gloves?

Shaving cream can be used on most leather baseball gloves, but it’s important to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for specific care instructions, especially for gloves made of synthetic materials.

After applying shaving cream, how long should I wait before using my glove in a game?

After applying shaving cream and working the glove in through training exercises, it’s best to wait until the glove feels comfortable and fits your hand well before using it in a game.

What are some alternatives to shaving cream for breaking in a baseball glove?

Alternatives to shaving cream include specialized glove conditioners, oils like mink oil or neatsfoot oil, and natural methods like playing catch regularly to naturally soften the glove.

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