Vasoline? Lanoline? who is right?

Please share your knowledge on how to keep your vintage gloves in great shape and looking sharp.

Postby dwags4him » July 3rd, 2007, 2:01 pm

Good call..

I do that as well, but I thought you were asking about a mitt you had oiled, as opposed to a glove you were going to condition.

Good thinking buck!

PS - Hail to the victors.....ha ha ha
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Postby RWhale » July 5th, 2007, 12:09 am

I have had nice results with Leather CPR. It cleans reasonably well and doesn't darken the glove. Another nice product is Pecard Glove Conditioner. Tried the Vaseline and other products but using CPR and following up with the Pecards has been the easiest and achieves a nice outcome.

http://www.leathercpr.com/products.htm

http://www.pecard.com/en-us/dept_1.html
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Postby BretMan » July 5th, 2007, 11:06 pm

One thing I have found to open the pores of a glove before conditioning it, without using "too much" heat, as from a dryer or oven, is to simply leave the glove in a hot car for a couple of hours before working on it.

If the glove is really stiff, I'll also leave it in the car between a couple of light coats of conditioner. The warm leather absorbs conditioner like a sponge!

Granted, this method doesn't do you much good in the dead of winter in the middle of Ohio...but if it's warm out while you're working on your glove, give it a try!
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The Recipe

Postby glove-works » October 24th, 2007, 6:30 pm

How to make your own lanolin conditioner
Here's a recipe for lanolin conditioner you may want to try.

3 Tbsp. lanolin
3 Tbsp. distilled water
3 Tbsp. grated beeswax
1/2 cup almond oil
3 Tbsp. witch hazel
1/8 tsp. borax powder

Mix the beeswax, lanolin and almond oil in an oven-safe dish and set the dish in a pan containing about an inch and a half of water. Place them in the oven and heat until the beeswax and lanolin have melted.

Mix the witch hazel, borax powder and distilled water in a saucepan. Heat the solution until just boiling and then slowly pour it into the melted beeswax/lanolin/almond oil mixture. Stir thoroughly and leave to cool.

When the mixture is completely cooled, you'll have a thick white cream to soften your glove.
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Postby Mike_2007 » December 19th, 2007, 4:58 pm

A while back I read an article/interview with a Lexol rep. He stated that even though the Lexol corporation was a large manufactor of Lanolin they did not use it in Lexol. He said Lanolin tends to migrate too much and did not stay bonded well enough to the fibers of the leather over time/use. Instead, they came up with a superior formula that lubrictes as well as Lanolin but bonds better. This is Lexol's "secret" formula.

The knock against Lanolin is that it migrates either into the glove's padding or to the surface giving a "greasy" feel ( not good for playing baseball). If this is for a glove you are collecting then it is not as important. Petroleum Jelly ( Vaseline, Nokona's conditioner) also leaves a a sticky film - not good for player's gloves. The product I currently use is Lexol NF ( though I don't think it is quite the same as Neat's Foot but Lexol's own formula).

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Postby BretMan » December 20th, 2007, 2:35 am

Just from personal experience, I've never noticed any "migration" or "bleed through" from straight lanolin. Then again, when I use it on a glove I'm not using it to the point of soaking saturation. I use just a light coat or two with a deliberate and thorough coverage, somewhat like waxing a car.

I don't get a greasy or slick feel from it, either. Quite the opposite, the surface seems, to me, dry with a grippy textured feel. It might be the difference between applying too much and just going with the light coats.

My impression is that the "grippiness" I get from using lanolin is not from any chemical property of the lanolin itself, but rather from the natural grain of the leather surface becoming "raised" or "puffed up" as the lanolin absorbs and fills the voids. But that is just my guess.

The quotes from the Lexol rep kind of make me wonder. It wouldn't be the first time that a company representative dissed one product (lanolin) to build-up their own (Lexol). Of course a company rep would want you to think that their product is superior to the alternatives. After all, they want you to buy Lexol!

I had always been under the impression that Lexol did contain lanolin. Here are a couple of reasons why:

- The book "Glove Affairs", in the section dealing with glove treatments, notes that, "Lanolin...is light, it penetrates well, it doesn't stain much and it lubricates nicely. A favorite lanolin-based product is Lexol, which many glovemakers recommend and many pros use."

- Read the Lexol-nf product literature from their website. It says, in part: "LEXOL-nf contains moisturizers which combine with the lubricants to prevent dryness and brittleness, and a solubilized derivative of lanolin to enhance the product's outstanding conditioning properties."

Sounds like it might contain lanolin. Maybe the "solubilized derivative of lanolin" technically has a different trade name than "lanolin", even though it has the same lubricating properties. Just grabbing a couple of bottles of various moisturizing creams my wife has around the house, I see that many of them contain something called "Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol" or "Allantoin"- derivatives of lanolin, but for labeling purposes probably not considered as actual, pure lanolin.

But, hey, it's a "secret formula" so who knows what the heck is in there!
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Postby Mike_2007 » December 20th, 2007, 4:08 pm

Here is the article I was refering to:

http://www.properautocare.com/leclcoex.html

Lots of good info 8)
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Postby BretMan » December 21st, 2007, 12:59 am

Mike,

Thanks for the link. It contains a lot of great information.

So...all us gloves guys that swear by Lexol have been applying Synthetic Sperm Whale Oil to our precious leather!

I found it interesting that the article noted you can expect some "migration" even with Lexol, if the product is over-applied. That must be why I don't see that problem, or any greasiness, with lanolin, since I use light coats.

Straight lanolin and Lexol remain my two favorite and most used conditioners. Another one I like is Doctor Glove foam , which contains both lanolin and neatsfoot oil. this product does cause some darkening of the leather, but it really softens it up and I use it for really stiff gloves, or darker gloves where I want to even out the color.

I usually give the gloves I'm working on a couple of coats, and some gloves wind up getting treated with all three products!

I really like the Lexol cleaner, too. Besides doing a great job of getting out dirt, it also seems to have some lubricating properties. Fast Orange hand cleaner seems to work great- even better than Lexol in some cases if there is dried oil or stubborn stains on the glove. I wonder what the pH balance is for Fast Orange?

One more cleaner that works well for me is a 50/50 solution of Murphy's Oil Soap and water. I mix it in a spray bottle and it makes a great general purpose cleaner.

No matter which cleaner I use, I always follow up with a conditioner to replenish the natural oils.
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Postby elkshot » May 10th, 2008, 8:04 pm

Glove-Works...your recipe works great! I especially like it on new gloves or gloves that are dried out some. I tried the other recipe too and I really like that on old, old gloves.

While I am new to this website, I am a baseball lunatic, and love working on gloves (old and new). I've been around baseball for 50+ years, raised 3 kids, coached them all and still coach little league teams. Probably like most on this forum.

Thanks guys, this forum contains just a wealth of knowledge! :D
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Postby wickedwoman11 » June 9th, 2008, 2:21 am

Okay, you guys are scaring me now. I always use the Nokona conditioner to clean my glove after it gets exceptionally dirty. I didn't care for their Glove Wipes. I didn't like the filmy nature of them, or the smell. To break the glove in, I did use the Franklin Glove foam, and I'm a big fan of it. On black gloves, I have used Glove Loogie in the past, and I also tried the Lexol nf on them as well (I was too scared to use it on my blond buffalo glove even though it supposedly doesn't stain).

I've had the buffalo for about three years or so now, and there aren't any cracks in the leather from the petroleum, but I do notice some crease like lines in the inner palm area. (But maybe from sweat since I don't use a batting glove)?

I'm buying a backup glove (probably either a Rawlings or Mizuno used black one) and what is better for cleaning then? Is the Lexol nf only for breaking in, or should I use that for reconditioning and cleaning the used glove I'm getting?
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Postby dwags4him » June 9th, 2008, 10:43 am

Try it....I do it afterwards, than reapply....
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Postby wjr953 » June 26th, 2008, 11:31 am

ww,
I have three almost brand new gloves that I use alternately. One is a Walnut grain Nokona AM650CW, one is an Oxblood Rawlings HoH Trap-Eze, and one is a Black Rawlings Gold Glove Trap-Eze. After each use, I clean the whole glove thoroughly with Lexol-PH, warm water and a clean sponge. The critical areas are the pocket, webbing and especially the inner palm area. Having worked on gloves for a couple of years now, I'm starting to understand a lot more about how they can get after people neglect them. Water (in the form of rain, or catching a wet ball, or dampness from a basement/garage), sweat, saliva and dirt are some of the main enemies of baseball gloves. Sweat is a real killer, especially in the inner palm, where you put your hand into the glove. A good example is the older Wilson A-2000's. So I pay particular attention to cleaning the most susceptible areas with Lexol-Ph, and washing that off with clean, damp sponges and warm water. After letting the glove dry completely (usually in front of a box fan), I apply several light applications of Lexol-NF with an applicator cloth, and let that dry overnight. Next day, I buff the glove with a shoe shine brush which I keep strictly for that purpose. The glove comes out looking like brand new again. I have also decided to order a batting glove to wear on my glove hand. Replacing a batting glove is a heck of a lot cheaper than replacing the inner lining of my Nokona or Rawlings HoH. Also, about once a month during baseball season, I will put on a very, very, very light coating of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. Just enough so that you know that you have some on your fingers, and then really work it into the glove leather with your bare hands. The next day, all the VPJ is absorbed and the glove is ready to go again. I look at it this way, if I'm going to spend upwards of $150-$200 for a baseball glove, than it's certainly well worth my time to treat it properly. With any luck, someone else will be looking at it this glove 40-50-60+ years from today and commenting on how great the glove looks "after all these years", just like we do everyday on this forum with those great gloves of the past.

Vbr, br
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Postby ser182 » October 14th, 2008, 9:30 pm

I have always used vaseline. You must use very little and not over do it. This will keep the glove's pores open. You should not clean your glove the day before a game or the day before. You should clean it the day after. You must take care of the inside of the glove. Sweat is a killer.
You must never use any heat to your gloves. It will dry out your glove and cut the life of your glove. Water soaking will do the same. the reason you hear professional ball players do it is because one- They get them for free and two- baseball players do not love their glove like old school players. Oil when used over a long perod of time will weight down your glove and close the pores of your glove. I would just recommend vaseline for all. Just as with everything only in moderation.
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Batting Glove

Postby robin_buckeye » October 15th, 2008, 11:23 am

I used to wear a batting glove when I caught, just for a little more protection. Then, a few year's ago, we had to replace the lining in my Dad's 1st baseman's mitt and the repairman suggested to him that in the future he wear a batting glove for sweat protection. So I started doing it, and I like it. The batting glove make the baseball glove feel more secure on my hand (I have small hands) and I like the little extra bit of "sting protection."

I've suggested this to my son's, but both of them say "It just doesn't feel right." So they're not doing it.
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Postby Tedwilliams94sox » November 15th, 2008, 10:57 am

I have personally used lexol, vasaline, nokona glove conditioner (pretty much vasaline), and used to use other types of rawlings oils. The lexol is pretty good and is right at the top with the vasaline. The lexol tends to darken and add a bit of weight to the glove, even though it does a great job conditioning.

The vasaline is what i prefer, but it has taken me a while to get down exactly how to apply it. First, I apply just a small amount over one region of the glove. I start in the middle of the glove or just below the pocket. With vasaline, since it isn't just going to be absorbed, it really has to be rubbed in. I rub it in for almost a minute. This gets it into the leather as well as getting rid of the slight greasy residue. In addition, this will pull the dirt and other particles to the surface, which you can wipe off with a towel. Then you can continue over the rest of the glove doing the same thing. This gives me pretty good results, but i would just try out a few different types of conditioners and see what you like the best.
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