Athletes often become attached to their sports equipment. As pieces of equipment like baseball gloves are used over time, they become broken in, conforming to the contours of the wearer's hand and becoming more comfortable to use. It can be heartbreaking to see a favorite glove become molded or covered with mildew during the off-season, especially if you have used the glove for a number of seasons. Provided that the glove's seams and surface are still intact, it is possible to remove mold from a glove and make the leather less likely to get moldy in the future.
Leather brush or similar stiff-bristled brush
Vinegar or lemon juice
Cloth or rag
Periodic dry-brushing and cleaning of your glove can prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
Remove the lacing from the glove. Depending on the condition of the lacing, you may need to cut it off if you can't remove it without damage.
Dry-brush the glove using a leather cleaning brush or other brush with stiff nylon bristles. This will remove mold from the leather and will also get dust, dirt and other buildup out of the creases of the leather so that the buildup doesn't interfere with cleaning and preservation treatments.
Wipe the glove with a mixture of equal parts vinegar or lemon juice and water. This will clean the glove, while the acidity of the vinegar or lemon juice kills any remaining mold or mildew spores that are on the glove surface. Clean all of the glove surface, including the crevices that have developed over seasons of wear.
Place the glove in a warm, dry location to let it air-dry. Allow the glove surface to dry completely before proceeding with treating its surface. If you used lemon juice during the cleaning process, wipe the glove a second time using only water and allow it to dry again.
Apply a leather treatment to the glove to soften the material while preventing further molding. Use leather wax, leather polish, specialty leather treatments designed for athletic equipment or other products such as petroleum jelly.
Allow the glove to air dry again, buffing it with a rag if necessary once the treatment is fully dry. Relace the glove, using new lacing if necessary.
Things You'll Need
Born in West Virginia, Jack Gerard now lives in Kentucky. A writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience, he has written both articles and poetry for publication in magazines and online. A former nationally ranked sport fencer, Gerard also spent several years as a fencing coach and trainer.