Baseball is a sport that requires a lot of training. Since you will be using your baseball gear on a daily basis, looking after it is crucial. Maintaining your baseball gear is not only about cleaning the accumulated sweat and odor but discipline and professionalism as well. With so many pieces to maintain, cleaning and maintaining them can feel overwhelming.
The key is to make the equipment last as long as possible so that you can make a budget for your future purchases. So let’s take a look at how you can make the most of your baseball gear.
Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Your Baseball Equipment
Baseball gloves are arguably the most important piece of equipment after a baseball bat. The thing with baseball gloves is that they grow on you with time and it is not something that can be replaced frequently. Professional players look after their gloves by cleaning and maintaining them after each match. The importance of these gloves is that they can make all the difference between winning and losing during professional matches.
The best way to maintain your baseball gloves is by wiping them after each match. Then, you should use a leather cleaner to clean the dirt that is caked in. Make sure that you do not use typical household cleaners. Rub the gloves gently using the leather cleaner and occasionally use a glove conditioning oil to moisten the glove. Keep track of how much you are using as overuse can lead to buildup.
After cleaning the gloves, store them in a cool, clean, and dry place to avoid mildew and mold. And if unpleasant smells are on the rise during summer seasons, use a disinfectant.
Although most players will prefer to travel light but that is not the case with a catcher. Your catcher needs special treatment and for that, you always need to keep the right products by your side.
After each game, ensure that you clean the dirt off the catcher to prevent grime and dirt buildup. Additionally, you should maintain the hooks and shin guard as well. Although hooks and straps are cheap to replace, you cannot afford them to break apart during a crucial match. The same goes for the chest piece and shinguards as well.
Post-match, grab the chest piece, air it out, and store it in a cool, dry area. If you tend to ignore its maintenance, the chances are that it becomes stinky or moldy. Finally, check for cracks and damage in the helmet and face mask but do not repair them. You should always replace these things since they are designed to protect important areas such as the head and face. Therefore, no compromise on safety no matter how much you love your current helmet.
Baseball bats require comparatively less maintenance, especially if you are using metal or carbon-composite bats. You just have to make sure that they are clean and the grip is intact. However, things are different if you are using wooden bats.
After each game, you should rub down the bat with rubbing alcohol. This prevents the bacteria from entering the wood and damaging it with time. Plus, do not wet or wash the bats with water. If you do wash them, make sure that you dry them immediately. The same goes for rainy days as well. Prolong exposure to water warps and puts the bat out of shape.
Furthermore, rub your bats against each other to condition them, mimicking the act of sharpening knives. And always store them by facing their handle upwards in a vertical position to reduce the chances of warping.
Baseballs tend to be cheap. You will not have to look after them. However, if you are looking to stretch your budget, you should maintain them by soaking them in a solution made of water and ammonia. Then, wipe the balls with a soft rag. Not only will this sterilize them but remove stains and dirt as well.
Finally, let’s move onto the piece that catches the most grime and dirt. Cleaning your cleats can be a tough task. To make sure that you get everything out, go out and bang the cleats together to loosen up stubborn dirt and mud. Then, collect some warm water and soak the shoes for around 5 minutes. Use a stiff brush to clean the dirt and grime.
Following the brush, use a soft rag and soak it in dish soap to clean anything missed by the brush. Rinse the shoes and if possible dry them using an air blower or a hairdryer.
Organizing Your Baseball Equipment
Organizing your baseball equipment is a part of maintenance. You just need to make sure that the pieces are stored the right way to prevent damage. To begin with, you should use a hook to hang your baseball bats. If you have multiple bats, it will become easier to locate your desired one. Plus, it also keeps them from getting lost under the bed, trunk, or anywhere else.
For the comparatively smaller pieces such as the balls, caps, and gloves, purchase a container. Make sure that the container is air-tight so that the pieces are not exposed to air. Lastly, to make things easier, create a separate area in your room for your baseball equipment and store them there. This way, you will always know where to look in case you cannot find a particular baseball piece.
Cleaning, maintaining, and organizing your baseball equipment ensures longevity and tip-top condition. Baseball is a sport where every second and step counts. Therefore, you cannot afford cracked helmets or worn-out laces. The way to ensure that is by cleaning them after or before every match and replacing the pieces that are not fit for play.