Vasoline? Lanoline? who is right?

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

Postby wjr953 » November 15th, 2008, 3:43 pm

Tedwilliams94sox wrote:
With vasaline, since it isn't just going to be absorbed, it really has to be rubbed in.

Interesting process that you're using. In my experience, VPJ does get absorbed into the glove. To achieve this I usually let the glove sit overnight at room temperature. On very dry gloves, this may have to be repeated more than once. I do agree that using very light coatings applied by hand does work the best. You're the very first person that I've ever heard of using VPJ to clean a glove, that's different. I use Lexol PH to deep clean and restore the correct PH balance to the glove. I put the VPJ on after rinsing the Lexol PH off with clear water and a sponge, just before the glove is completely dry. After the glove has absorbed all of the VPJ it needs (24 hours), I buff off the excess (and the whole glove) with a clean horsehair shoe brush. Then I finish with light coatings of Lexol NF, wait 30 minutes and and buff it out again. This process has worked beautifully for me for the last 6-8 months, so I stick with it until something better comes along.

Everyone has different processes that they use to get to the result that they are looking for. Like teaching baseball, there's no one right way. Some people love using lanolin, some saddle soap, others make up their own combination of ingredients. Like I said, it really comes down to what works for you.


Postby baseballdad » November 18th, 2009, 10:26 am

I saw some lanolin products sold on Amazon. One had really small cups of pure lanolin. Some people mentioned that is smells really bad. I didn't want to have a glove that stinks. Has anyone had that problem?

Have you had any problems with Lansinoh?

Do you use the small cups of pure lanolin or Lansinoh?

Or Lexol?

Or Vasoline?

I'm totally confused. So many people seem to use different things. Information overload. Not really any experience with any of these things. And I want to be cautious so as to not do anything to a glove that means a lot to me and obviously don't want to "ruin" it, as I'm still going to want to play with it. :-)
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Postby BretMan » November 18th, 2009, 12:25 pm

My experience with lanolin- either pure lanolin or products specifically designed for leather that contain it- has been that they are virtually odor free. Certainly they don't have any odors to the degree of being stinky or offensive.

Over the course of many years of collecting and working on gloves, I have had people tell me that they used some products containing lanolin that were not designed for use on leather, like skin creams. One example is a product called "Bag Balm" which is available in many drug stores and was originally formulated for farm use- for the udders of cows! Another would be some of the things like diaper rash creams. Besides lanolin, both of these contain medications to deal with chapped skin that do have a very strong, kind of menthol odor.

But with straight, pure lanolin, what little odor it has isn't really unpleasant and should not have any negative effects on your gloves.

I've used Lanisoh brand lanolin before and had great results. The only reason I don't use that specific brand anymore is that one drug store near me (the Discount Drug Mart chain, in case there are any near you) offers a generic brand of lanolin that is much less expensive. The Lanisoh can run about $8.00 for a small tube, while the generic brand is $3.00 for a tube with about 50% more in it. Price aside, it's all the same stuff and either will work just as well as the other.

There are many products offered today designed for leather or ballgloves that contain lanolin and they can be found at most any sporting goods store or department store.

Lanolin is good stuff, Lexol is good stuff and petroleum jelly is good stuff. Personally, I have used all three without any problems. I tend to use lanolin and Lexol more than petroleum jelly nowadays. The Lexol, because of the ease of use. It takes less time to cover a glove since it is more of liquid, easier to spread and absorbs in quickly. That's kind of important to me because I work on lots of gloves! Lanolin and PJ take a little longer to coat a glove, rub it in and absorb and between the two I like the results I get with lanolin better.

You could safely use any of these and not have to worry about ruining to your glove!
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Postby baseballdad » November 18th, 2009, 12:41 pm

Thanks for the reply. For the people who are very experienced in using these products, the novice questions might get kind of boring sometimes. :-)
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Postby s_esco » November 25th, 2009, 5:27 pm

I have used them all at one time or another, but I keep going back to the one product that works best for me. It is Chelsea Leather Food (clear). It comes in a round 6 1/4oz. container and is made in England. It nourishes and protects leather and will not damage glove stitching. It is about the same consistency as soft shoe polish and is applied with a soft cloth. You use very little and it takes off dirt and oils (check out the cloth) and protects the leather without darkening the leather or making it heavier. It is one of the major products used in protecting leather for soccer. I bought my first few containers from our local shoe repair guy but found it online. Just type in Chelsea Leather Food and a number of sellers will come up. I actually went to to buy my last ones. And no, I don't work for Chelsea. I am a high school teacher and coach. I also collect vintage baseball gloves. If anyone else has used this product, would you give us your thoughts.
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Postby vintagebrett » November 25th, 2009, 7:46 pm

I use the Chelsea Leather Food as well - great stuff. I have the dark color mixture as well for darker gloves.
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Re: Vasoline? Lanoline? who is right?

Postby GloveDoctor » March 7th, 2010, 3:19 pm

I have always tried to convince people to never put their gloves in an oven, microwave or other appliance - but the hot car thing is something that I often do with my own gloves.

Here in Louisiana, it is nothing for the inside of your car to reach temps well over 100 degrees. One thing I do is put my glove on the headrest - because the shape of the headrest holds the pocket in form, and seems to "slow bake" my glove at a safe temp.

I also like Lexol products, but don't use them that much. I mostly use "Glove Stuff" to condition gloves that I work on, but I have begun dabbling in straight Lanolin with a very light touch of shea butter.

Have any of you guys ever used shea butter, and what do you think of it? I almost exclusively work on gamers.
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Re: Vasoline? Lanoline? who is right?

Postby 65Strad » May 14th, 2012, 8:31 am

For me Vasoline, either Vasoline brand or Equate, Walgreens or any petroleum jelly, it's all the perfect cleaner/conditioner. I have a black USA Rawlings Pro TB24 1996 vintage.

I also have a Wilson A2000 XLO made in Japan but with the heavy duty beefy leather that took forever to break in that compares very well to the USA varient. Its at least 25 years old but so far, no one at WIlson has a clue of it's vintage, or could help in me identify it's age in any way. I suppose that should be understandable since their top of the line gloves are made in now Vietnam if I'm not mistaken. Can you say pathetic?

I spoke to one of the Story sons at Nokona about 10 years ago regarding their conditioner, ie. petroleum jelly. Here is the process he stressed. First of all absolutely no heat, no clothes driers, ovens or microwaves, foams or oils! when cleaning, wipe off excess dirt and grit. Next with your fingers rub the pj deeply inside the fingers, firmly alll around. Also apply to the palm, firmly rubbing into the grain, and to a lesser extent, to the back side of the glove and fingers. On the laces, a very small amount , only enough to prevent brittleness and excessive dryness.

I let the glove sit for about an hour, then I use a clean, white terry cloth dish towel and rub the pj off the leather which does and incredible job cleaning the leather. Then I reapply, but a much lighter application, and rub it down again. The leather comes back to life and has absolutely no tackiness or stickyness what so ever. Of course it has to be rubbed down properly first.

In the Wilson, the high quality palm leather and inside fingers are incredibly supple and almost smells new. I'm a big believer in PJ. By the way, the skin on the hand you use to apply the PJ with is noticeably smoother. It's pretty basic and nothing fancy, but I think the PJ is prbably the ideal skin conditioner as well, at least that's my opinion.
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