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How to Clean a Baseball Bat

Cleaning a Baseball Bat

 

When the need to clean a baseball bat arises its good to consider the hows, the whys and the whats. The performance of the player and the bat must be in tip top condition and consideration on keeping it clean reflects not only on performance, but also the players pride and respect in his bat.  Perhaps the marks, dents, scratches and dirt might be all battle weary game scars to be proud of, but keeping equipment clean is essential for continued use and success.

Material Facts

Composite Bat

Typically made of a graphite-fiber material, this is a carbon and epoxy resin combination. There are also titanium options in composite bats. It creates a bat that is stronger than steel but lighter in weight, giving higher swing speeds and more power.  Keeping the bat in good shape requires cleaning and care.  Despite its durability and weight advantages, composite bats must be cleaned to maintain performance and reduce wear and tear.

Aluminium Bat

Aluminum bats are made from, you got it, aluminum. To be precise, its an aluminum alloy.  The quality of the aluminum affects the cost of the bat and its strength and weight is governed by the mixture of the alloys: mainly zinc, copper, magnesium, zirconium and scandium.  For example, increased amounts of zirconium leads to more strength and adding higher amounts of scandium further strengthens the bat.  Varying degrees of the alloy content gives rise to the various bat benefits.

To clean a composite or aluminium bat you will need:

  1. Cotton cloth, wash cloth or terry towel.
  2. Bleach free soap, not handsoap, but shampoo can work too.
  3. Mild warm water
  4. Magic Erase
  5. Elbow grease

The Cleaning Steps

Step 1 – Remove dirt and grime with a damp/moist cloth.

Step 2 – Using the bleach free soap mixture with mild warm water to clean scrub clean using elbow grease on tougher marks

Special Note – avoid getting the gripping tape wet.

Step 3 – Tougher stains might benefit from the use of a slightly damp magic eraser.

Step 4 – Rinse bat with clean fresh water to remove any soap residue still on bat.

 

Step 5 – Dry bat with clean dry soft cloth

 

Using just water and soap may simply be enough but to fully bring back that sheen and gloss you may need to apply the extra effort as above or even invest in some professional grade cleaners for your baseball bat.

 

 

 

Interesting fact: Cryogenically treated aluminium provides less vibration, better durability and greater 

hitting distances of around 3%

 

Wooden Bat

The wood used in the manufacture of a wooden baseball bat has changed over the years.  Most are made from Ash but slowly being replaced in popularity by Maple.  Hickory has been used in the past but fallen out of favour.   Although technically not a wood (as its a grass), Bamboo has emerged as a new kid on the field with its light weight and strength benefits.

Once again, cleaning a wooden bat requires some knowledge of what wood you have.  Remember a manufacturers recommendation will always be advised before adopting a cleaning method.  To ensure the wood doesn’t deteriorate cleaning and maintenance is essential.

To clean a wooden bat you will need:

  1. Soft clean cloth or towel
  2. Rubbing Alcohol
  3. Wood rolling pin
  4. or another wooden bat
  5. Wood polish
  6. 200 grit or higher sandpaper

The Cleaning Steps

Step 1 – Start at the top of the bat and wiping down to the handle

Step 2 – 1st using a damp soft cloth and water clean as above, do not soak the bat.

Step 3 – Any tough marks or stains, try upgrading the water to rubbing alcohol on the cloth.

Step 4 – Using the fine grit sandpaper on any areas not engraved if stubborn marks remain.

Step 4 – Wood polish will give your bat a nice shiny finish, be careful though!

Note – too much polish will soften the bat and may break when used.

Step 5 – Use a wood rolling pin or another bat to rub against scrapes and scratches to smooth out.

 

Step 6 – Dry the bat. Store handle up and keep out of humid or extreme temperatures.

 

There will be many more ways and means to clean a wooden bat.  I would be more than happy to add them, update my own method or even change it on the good advice of my readers, so feel free to comment and let me know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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