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It is often observed that excessive batting practices or longer innings make your gloves hard and short-lasting. This happens because of the neglect in maintaining your gloves properly. Hardened gloves reduce the lifespan of the gloves as well as restrict your ability to play shots. On the other hand, proper care by following the cleaning steps and softening regularly help you keep your gloves for a longer run.
How to Clean Batting Gloves in 9 Steps
To clean batting gloves and keep them soft use leather cleaner on them, but don’t submerge the gloves in water when cleaning. Always follow the gloves’ cleaning instructions, and avoid machine drying if possible. Wearing inner gloves or using spares may also help to keep your gloves soft.
Following are some easy steps to soften your batting gloves. The steps are almost similar whether you are using synthetic or leather gloves except one or two (i.e. use of washing machine).
Lots of dirt and sweat accumulate on a batting glove after a long innings or a net practice. If the gloves are kept unclean, they create problems. A batter can lose the grip while playing shots. The hardened gloves can cause friction between the glove surface and bat which leads to excessive wear and tear problems. Therefore you should always keep your gloves clean.
These are some steps to clean your gloves regularly. This helps you avoid the building sweat, bacteria, or molds inside and on the batting glove.
- After a practice session, shake your gloves to remove the dirt.
- Carry a brush to scrub your gloves. Scrubbing gently helps remove the dirt from the smallest of the pores. After scrubbing the gloves do not forget to shake them again.
Steps to Clean Your Batting Gloves
- Shake your gloves after using them in a practice session or in a match to get rid of the dirt.
- Use a dry leather brush to scrub the gloves. This helps you to remove the dirt from the small pores. Once you are done with scrubbing, shake them one more time.
- Use leather conditioners as per the suggestions of the manufacturer.
Things to Avoid
- Try avoiding the use of water-based or oil-based cleansers as they can affect the quality of the leather.
- Never use a washing machine to wash your gloves.
Use Leather Cleaner on Your Gloves
When sweat gets accumulated with the dirt on the leather gloves, they become sticky and hardened over a period of time. The market has leather cleaners or softeners to avoid such problems. Applying leather cleaners helps you keep your gloves in a soft texture.
Whenever you use a leather conditioner or a cleaner, try using them on a smaller surface just to ensure that the product doesn’t harm your gloves. Once you finalize the cleaner, use cotton balls or a soft cloth to apply it across the entire surface with small circular motions. Wipeout excess conditioner after keeping them aside for an hour or two.
Things to avoid while using a leather cleaner or a conditioner:
- Do not use water-based or oil-based cleaners as they can harm the quality of the leather by decomposition.
Leather cleaners remove the accumulation of salt formed by excessive sweat.
It is a common misunderstanding that cleaning the gloves in the washing machine is better than washing. But this can be more harmful to your batting gloves if they are made of leather.
Washing machines are not good for cleaning all gloves types. Instead of cleaning your gloves, the machine shrinks them and makes them harder than expected. Always check the label on your gloves to make sure if they are machine washable or not.
If you are using synthetic gloves, you can use a washing machine in a cold setting. Remember to use non-bleach detergent only.
Don’t Submerge Gloves in Water
Submerging your gloves in water stiffens them. Instead of submerging you can add a couple of drops of a dishwashing liquid in cold or lukewarm water. Rub this mixture in a small amount on the gloves using a cotton ball or a microfibre. After you clean gloves with the mixture, wipe them clean using a soft cloth and hang them with a clothespin to dry.
Follow Cleaning Instructions
Every batting glove set comes with a manual or an instruction label where the required care instructions are written. Make a habit to read these instructions before taking care of the gloves. This helps you avoid taking an unnecessary step which can harm the softness of the gloves. For example, using bleach is harmful as it decolorizes the gloves and reduces the lifespan.
If you could not find the manual or the label, simply contact the manufacturer.
Avoid Machine Drying or Ironing Gloves
Be it synthetic or leather, do not use machine drying or ironing to dry your gloves. Machine drying shrinks the gloves. Also, it makes the glove surface hard. Instead of machine drying or ironing, use a towel to wring out the gloves to remove excess water. Air drying is always the most suitable method to keep your gloves soft and of the same size. So keep your gloves in the sunlight or hang them with a clothespin to dry.
Wear Inner Gloves to Absorb Sweat
Your gloves require constant care as they get wet due to perspiration and sweat while playing cricket. Wet gloves loosen the grip of the batter along with the concentration. Using inners (Inner Gloves) reduces this problem to a greater instant. Inner gloves act as a barrier between your sweaty palms and gloves. Wearing inner gloves lessens the chances of outer batting gloves getting too wet. This keeps the outer gloves soft by reducing the possibility of wear and tear.
Use Spare Gloves
International cricketers always carry multiple sets of gloves for a tour. If you spend lots of time in nets practicing your batting or if you are playing lots of games, carry one or two sets of gloves. Using different sets of gloves between the practice or in the game keeps the used one out to dry. Rotating these sets reduces the burden on the gloves from getting too wet, and keeps them soft for a longer span.
Turn the Gloves Inside Out
The inside part of the gloves makes contact with the sweaty palms and is more exposed to the seat than the outer side. If only the outer side is being looked at, the inner side of the gloves remains dirty. In such cases, the quality of the glove material from the inside degrades.
Sometimes, the accumulation of the salt from the sweat turns your gloves smelly. To avoid all these situations, turn your gloves inside out and let them air dry. Once they get dried, use a brush to remove the dirt.
Maintaining the quality of batting gloves is the most tedious thing in the cricket universe. But on the brighter side, keeping your batting gloves clean by taking proper care reduces problems such as grip, friction, and concentration. Hence following the steps mentioned below not only keep your gloves soft but also increase their lifespan.