T Nation

Taking Care of your Gear


Alright, so I just not only got a brand new 70 lb. leather Title heavy bag at a fantastic price, I also bought these gorgeous gloves - the Title Platinum Paramounts.

I love them both - solid, quality material, and just great equipment.

My question, though, is what are your tricks for taking care of your all-leather (or really, any kind of) stuff?

I've been wiping the gloves and the bag down with a wet rag after working out just to get the sweat off them - no doubt salt and sweat and oil is a killer - but should I be hitting them with a leather conditioner every so often?

Any other tricks, tips, etc. for keeping stuff clean, stink-free, and in shape for the long haul?


My new gloves. Dig'em.


Franklin-Baseball glove conditioning oil.

Is what I was told to use over 30 yrs ago and still do today on my leather bags, gloves and headgear.

Thing is people use try to fix already damaged material you need to be pro-active with the care of your equipment.

I clean my equipment with Barbasol shaving cream ( very lightly applied) when dried of sweat then reapply the oil every 4-5 sessions let sit overnight and it holds up great.


Mink Oil works really well with all leather goods, especially in re-conditioning dry and cracked leather. Comes in either a paste or liquid form and is not expensive.

A tip on gloves: Always had a problem with sweat soaking the inside of the gloves and not drying out between workouts, especially if you couldnt leave them in the sun or fresh air. Find you a cheap pair of "hand warmers" that are sold to put in your winter gloves during extremely cold weather. Drop them in the gloves after a workout, dry them out and then apply a very thin coat of baby powder inside, too much will cause a mess, but, it keeps the gloves fresh. The hand warmers can be found at most sporting goods stores in the hunting/sking section.


We use a leather conditioner for our bags and we use a chalky powder. More like a magnesium one used for rock-climbing.

The bags are holding up nicely and taking care of them early one makes them last longer.
To get the stink to hold off I use a magnesium powder and apply it very lightly. Works great!

Nice gloves too.


All of this. Especially the mink oil.

Leather balm, available at most western stores for expensive boots/shoes, may be even better. In any event go very, very, sparingly applying any balms or oils to the leather. You do not want to over soften the leather (especially if it is a gun belt, holster, or sheath).

I have used a small amount of soapy water to clean off blood/dirt before. A small amount of saddle soap can also work well.


Robert A


+1 on the mink oil. I've got boots that have lasted 3 sets of soles and are still going strong. A little sadle soap can help too. The baseball glove oil may do well too, I hadn't thought about it but it's some of the best leather care out there.



Mink oil is the clear winner than.

Consider Jim's pedigree as both a Marine and LEO.

If we locked him in a padded cell overnight with three bowling balls, come morning one of 'em would be broken, another missing, and the third would be pregnant.

If he says gear holds up with mink oil and saddle soap I would make that my first choice.


Robert A


We didn't have all that much leather gear by the time I went through. Mostly nylon and plastic, which is a shame because plastic holsters are nowhere near as comfortable as leather. My boots, motorcycle jacket, and personal cary holster are about the only leather I have to take care of besides my own gloves.

I heard about mink oil from a crusty old gunny, who claimed he heard about it from some Brit SAS guy. You'd think it was a secret magic potion the way some guys talk about it. I do hear warnings about not using it too often, to avoid over softening the leather. My Belleville's are still fairly rigid, so I think you're ok as long as you apply judiciously and occasionally.

As for the bowling balls, I turned in 3 when I checked out. Those must have been someone else's...


Great advice guys.

What do you do just after training? Do you wipe your gloves down with a rag? Wet rag? Dry rag? I'm figuring I wanna get the sweat off of them, but I don't know if just water is a good thing to use?


I usually wipe down w/ dry towel I carry, open up to air out. Newspaper inside if it's really damp outside and they wouldn't dry otherwise.


I got an old pair of socks and made little balls filled with the wood chippings and deodorizer stuff you line small animal cages with, drop them in the gloves when your done and they keep them stink free & drys them out.

Not heard the mink oil thing before will look into getting some.


Two times a week, we do a series of " shark tanks", where you spar one round with a different individual. Due to the high heat and basically dusty, dirty conditions, poor hygiene,(imo) three people have contacted the MRSA Staph infection. That is some nasty, nasty shit. Over the last year , I have started wiping my gloves, shinguards, and thai pads down with a mixture of clorox and water. I keep a little spray bottle in my bag. After drying them off, I let them air dry for a while, and then apply a thin coat of mink oil. I also spray my hands and feet down after cleaning the mats.


Are you mixing it every day?


No, one bottle is good for about 3 training days. I usually use a small bottle of bleach and a small bottle of "Purell" every week. Needs to be changed everyday? chemical breakdown?


Short answer: It rapidly loses potency.

Idaho, rain has sort of derailed my July 4th plans(first world, CONUS problems) so I am going to have a bit of time. I will go ahead and right up something on MRSA and bleach/other cleaners since I will have a little time.

It is nothing to fuck around with.


Robert A


I've got a problem with shin pads. Every time I put them on to train, they make my legs itch like a mother fucker. Not just while i have them on, but for DAYS afterward! I mean itch till you feel like you're taking a layer of skin off. I have washed them in the washing machine several times, filled them with baking soda - I've tried everything i can think of to "clean" them with but to no avail. Wtf is wrong with my shin pads - or me for that matter??? they were brand spankin new when this started happening - allergy? I don't have a single allergy to anything that I know of. except for latex sensitivity.


It's some sort of allergy if you ask me. Either figure out which substance causes it and get new ones - or wear grappling pants underneath.


Shit- I typed out a big ng reply and I think it got eaten.

Has no one mentioned the freezer?

Cold kills all bacteria and clears up any scents
I have put gi's headgear knee sleeves pads, especially any thing neophrane in the freezer
Plastic knee and ankle casts, and braces all went in there regularly- killed off anything that might be lingering after cleaning and wiping down.

Really it's essential for anything neophrane


It may be that your legs are more sensitive because of shaving & the rubbing & sweat from the shin pads are causing a heat rash. When it's acute try Penaten cream, and when it's not use Aveeno Eczema Cream on them ( your shins, not the pads) daily. This is what my dermatologist recommended & it worked for me.