When you think of sports, keeping all your equipment clean is likely not the first thing that comes to mind. Actually, breaking in some of your equipment usually means it won’t have that brand new look to it anymore.
However, at some point, equipment can become dirty enough that it might actually impact durability and performance. This is the case for baseball bats and cleaning a metal baseball bat (or any type of bat for that matter) is important step for keeping it performing as expected.
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As is true for most things, a baseball bat has its own unique methods for keeping it clean. You cannot simply use any harsh chemicals you use to clean other items. Therefore, it is essential to know how to clean a metal baseball bat correctly so that it performs well and also remains durable for years.
If you learn the proper methods, then keeping your baseball bat clean becomes easy to do. Based on its condition, you have to choose the correct cleaning agents. For simple dirt you can use soap or shampoo but for harder scrap and grime you can use specific chemicals and/or rubbing alcohol. There are even some professional baseball bat cleaners that can be used.
Finally, you have to know the respective directions when applying the cleaning products that you eventually choose. Keeping the bat stored in a safe place will also help keep it looking great and lasting a long time.
Why is it necessary to keep your bat clean?
First of all, baseball bats can be quite expensive so you’ll likely want to protect your investment. One way to protect expensive items is to properly clean them. This also has the added benefit of looking great when you step up to the plate.
Second, having grime and dirt on a bat can result in some durability issues especially for wood and composite baseball bats. With these bat types, it’s also important to properly store them away from the elements.
Last, if you clean off any marks on your bat, it can be easier to see where the ball makes impact the next time you get a hit. This can provide useful information on whether you’re making good contact and also evaluate how the bat performs.
What products are good and not good for cleaning your bat
A metal baseball bat is is likely the least sensitive of bat types when it comes to choosing the right cleaning products. It is not very difficult to clean this type of bat at home and you can usually use most cleaning agents without harming it. However, some of these cleaning products work better than others and there are a couple you should avoid.
The good cleaning agents for a baseball bat
You likely already have some of the products below in your home so you can immediately try these in cleaning your bat. However, for more persistent marks, you might give some of the professional cleaning products a try as these were specifically created for this purpose.
- Soap or shampoo.
- Mild liquid dishwasher.
- Cleaning conditioner.
- Olive oil.
- Lemon juice.
- Rubbing alcohol.
- Professional approved chemical.
- Professional approved baseball bat cleaning solutions.
And the good cleaning tools are:
- Cotton fiber.
- Brush with medium hard materials.
- Wipe or wet tissue.
- Sponge or soft rubbing tools.
Things that are not good for your bat
Although a lot of cleaning products around the house should be safe for metal baseball bats, there are a few things you should avoid.
- Bleaching powder or liquids.
- Soap or dishwasher with excessive basic salt.
- Cleaner with acids.
- Heavy duty chemical or cleaning solutions not specifically designed for metal bats.
Tools that should not use to clean your bat.
- Metallic scrubber.
- Foil paper.
- Things that can damage its polished velum.
The above lists should be enough to get an overall idea of the things you need to clean your baseball bat. One thing to keep in mind is that it’s better to start off with gentler cleaning products and tools to see if those get the job done. You definitely don’t want to make your baseball bat look worse by using harsh products that can ruin it.
Depending on which cleaning products and accessories you go with, each will have different usage. For example, you probably can’t overdo it if using soap but don’t want to overdo it if using stronger cleaners. The following points provide some guidance for these different cleaning agents.
Cleaning with soap
One of the safer and simplest approaches is to clean your metal bat with soap. For this method, you’ll need to have some warm water, soap that is free from excessive salt and can make enough foam, cotton fiber or soft towel and normal water for washing. The steps to clean your bat with soap are:
- Step 1 : First, take a towel or cotton fabric and soak with water. Rub the bat with the wet fabric or towel so that the surface of the bat gets some moisture.
- Step 2 : Next, make the soap foamy with warm water. Scrub the surface of the bat with the foamy soap.
- Step 3 : Use a brush and/or soft scrubber to rub the bat. Scrub carefully as needed especially where ball marks are present.
- Step 4 : Wash the bat with running water. Wash carefully to make sure all foam is removed from the bat’s surface.
- Step 5 : Take a soft but dry cloth and dry off the bat.
Cleaning with shampoo or liquid dishwasher.
Just like soap, you can use shampoo or liquid dishwasher to clean your bat. The steps are:
- Step 1 : Use a wet cloth or towel to add moisture to the bat. This will help prep the bat for cleaning.
- Step 2 : Pour shampoo or liquid dishwasher in a bowl and pour some warm water into that bowl. Remember to have the ratio of water and shampoo or liquid dishwasher as 2: 1. Mix them properly. ( It may be harmful to apply shampoo or liquid dishwasher directly on the bat.)
- Step 3 : Use a scrubber or brush or other suitable cleaning tools to apply the water and shampoo or liquid dishwasher mixture on the bat. Rub properly on areas that have extra dirt and grime. Apply pressure on the ball marks.
- Step 4 : Rinse the bat with running water. If outdoors, you can use a garden hose to rinse off the bat.
- Step 5 : Use a dry soft towel and make sure to completed dry off the bat.
You can also try these other methods:
Apply cleaning conditioner
Cleaning conditioners are good for baseball bats because they ensure the bat keeps its polished look and color. Additionally, they help repel additional dirt and grime from building up on the bat. Applying a cleaning conditioner can be combined with the previous cleaning methods. After completing one of the previous methods, you can apply conditioner using your hand or a soft cloth.
Use olive oil and lemon juice
These two ingredients are the most common organic cleaning agents. Olive oil helps to save the bat from all of the gummy and sticky dirt. On the other hand, lemon juice helps to get rid of many rigid spots with the natural citric acid. However, it is also essential to know about the procedure you have to follow to apply these natural ingredients on your bat.
For olive oil, you need to apply it before cleaning it with soap. Use your hand or a brush to embrocate the oil on the bat. You can use lemon juice on that oily bat or after cleaning it. You will then have to wash it after cleaning it with the lemon juice.
Clean with rubbing alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a very effective cleaning agent. It is used to clean rigid and unyielding marks. For this ingredient, you have to rub the bat with a sponge or towel that’s wet with rubbing alcohol. Keep this solution on the bat for a while and wash with running water afterwards.
Use some professional cleaners
There are plenty of professional cleaning agents you can find in baseball accessories shops. These will usually have their own set of instructions that come with the packaging so you’ll need to follow these instructions.
Tips for maintaining a clean bat
Some baseball bats can come with a pretty hefty price tag so you’ll definitely want to take good care of your bat and protect this investment. Below are some good ways to protect your bat as well as things to avoid:
- Keep the bat in a cool place.
- Always keep it dry and clean.
- Have a dedicate spot to store it.
- Be careful while using it.
- Don’t place it near a fireplace.
- Don’t keep it in a messy and muddy place.
- Never use it for anything else other than hitting a baseball.
- Never keep it with water on its surface.
It can be tough taking extra time to keep your baseball bat clean but it will be worth it in the end. Not only will you be protecting your investment but you’ll also keep it looking great. On offense, a bat will be your most important tool so it makes sense to take care of it as best as possible.
Additionally, although it will take some effort, keeping your metal bat clean shouldn’t take very long. Also, you likely can find some cleaning products around the house which will get the job done.
In the end, a clean and neat bat will keep you looking good at the plate and may even boost your confidence. Additionally, if you love your bat, you could get additional years of usage before having to look for a new one. Take the extra few minutes and make your bat shine like new again.