How to Steam a Baseball Glove at Home: DIY Methods

How to Steam a Baseball Glove at Home: DIY Methods
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Being excited to buy your very first baseball glove is something that many people have experienced in their lifetime, but you likely know that the glove won’t be ready to use right out of the box. 

Even gloves that are designed to be game-ready from the manufacturer might be too stiff for some players, which leads you to think about all of the different ways to break in your glove.

The preferable method is steaming, but it can be frowned upon if you don’t do it properly which is where this guide to learning how to steam a baseball glove at home will become handy. Instead of paying someone to steam your glove for you, these methods can help you to do it on your own.

Microwaving with Water

First and foremost, before you consider using this method of steaming your glove is imperative that you search for any metal fixtures that might be on the glove, such as metal grommets. The last thing you’re going to want to do is put anything in your microwave that has metal, as it’s going to destroy it and likely cause a fire.

Microwaving baseball gloves is something that professional and rec players frequently do because it helps to soften the leather and get your glove ready in under two minutes.

Step 1:

Once you’ve confirmed that there’s no metal anywhere on your glove, soak it under tap water for one to two minutes and then allow the water to seep into the glove.

Step 2:

Place it in the microwave for 70 seconds and allow the heat and the water to create gentle steam that is going to loosen the leather.

Step 3:

Using a baseball, glove mallet, or a few games of catch, make sure that you form the pocket of the glove and move your hand around so that the glove can mold to the shape of your hand.

Note:

Microwaving your baseball glove should be done with caution, as extreme heat is one of the main ways for the leather of your glove to deteriorate faster.

Using Hot Water

Using Hot Water

Instead of putting your glove in the microwave, you can simply rely on hot water to help soften the leather, though there are a couple of steps afterward that you’ll have to do as well to make sure you preserve the integrity of the glove.

Step 1:

Gather water between 150 and 170 degrees and pour it over the areas of your glove that you find are the stiffest.

Step 2:

While the glove is still wet, bend the stiff areas of the glove, paying close attention to the fingers and the palm. You may also want to continually bend the webbing as well, as this will surely add to the flexibility of the glove.

Step 3:

Use either a five-pound dumbbell or a wooden glove mallet and pound at the pocket where the ball will be caught, with the glove off of your hand. This is when you might want to get aggressive, as you’re essentially trying to craft a fold that wasn’t there before.

Step 4:

Once the glove has been thoroughly dried, use a high-quality conditioner designed specifically for baseball gloves and rub it everywhere. Ideally, you’re going to want to condition your equipment at least four times a season before setting it down during the off-season.

Creating an At-home Steamer

Our most preferred method of learning how to steam a baseball glove at home is to create your very own steamer with the use of a couple of items that you likely already have in your kitchen.

Step 1:

Using an approved glove conditioner, coat the entire exterior surface of the glove and let it sit for several minutes so the oil or conditioner can be absorbed. You can then use a soft towel to wipe away any excess oil and proceed to the next step.

Step 2:

Boil a pot of water on your stove and then place an oven rack on top of the pot, leaving the burner on so the pot continues to boil. Place the inside of the glove down on the rack and then place a large bowl on top of the glove, so all of the steam is trapped.

Allow the glove to sit in this position for up to five minutes, depending on how soft you want the leather to be.

Step 3:

Remove the glove using tongs (as it will likely be very hot) and then dry it off with a towel. At this point, your baseball glove should feel much softer and be game-ready.

​Final Thoughts

It’s easy enough to learn how to steam a baseball glove at home, especially if you’ve seen a professional do it before. Instead of not only investing in your glove but also investing in professional steaming services, there are ways that you can work in the material at home for free.

No matter if you’re not the type of person to use the microwave, or if you want something that will work faster than wrapping the glove around a baseball, these three DIY methods are easy for anyone to do at home.

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