Glove Oil vs. Glove Conditioner

sarna baseball glove conditioner

Baseball gloves are an essential piece of equipment for any baseball player. They are designed to protect the hands and fingers of players, while also allowing them to catch and throw the ball effectively. However, over time, baseball gloves can become stiff and lose their shape. To keep them in good condition, many players use baseball glove oil and conditioner.

Baseball glove oil and conditioner are two different products that are designed to maintain the quality of your baseball glove. While they may seem similar, they have distinct differences in their purpose and application.

Glove Oils

Baseball glove oil is a product that is used to soften and lubricate the leather of your baseball glove. It is typically made from natural oils, such as neatsfoot oil, mineral oil and lanolin. The purpose of baseball glove oil is to prevent the leather from becoming stiff and to help it retain its shape. It is also used to break in a new glove and make it easier to catch and throw the ball.

However, glove oils can weigh down and clog the pores of the leather that the mitts are made of. This can deteriorate the quality of the leather over time, and actually cause damage if applied too often. Also, depending on the color of your glove, oils tend to darken the color of your glove. This is up to personal preference, as some individuals prefer the darkened look. 

Glove Conditioners

While oils definitely have their benefits when it comes to breaking new gloves in, there have been advancements in leather care in recent years. Leather glove conditioners can provide higher quality care than oils. Our favorite, Sarna Baseball Glove Conditioner is currently one of the best on the market. It provides the same softening and maintenance qualities as oils, but it is much lighter weight.  

The lighter nature of conditioners (and lack of lanolin), provides a healthier application to your glove that maintains them for years to come. They also do NOT darken the color of the leather, which can be preferred by those who want to keep their glove in the same condition they bought it in. 


The choice between glove oils and glove conditioners is ultimately up to the owner of the glove they are being applied to. Both can soften and keep gloves in playing condition for years to come. Oils can darken the color, which is preferred by some players, while conditioners maintain the color. Oils can clog the leather pores if used to heavily, while conditioners are lighter weight and will not weigh down materials over time.

Ultimately, glove care and maintenance is an important concept to learn and know as a ball player. Your glove is an extension of your hand, and allows you to make your best plays. 

Reading next

How to Break-In a Baseball Glove Effectively
The Benefits of Baseball Glove Oil

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