After a long period of use, your bat will inevitably pick up a few marks and scrapes from all the balls you hit. While it can seem like a badge of honor to showcase your scuffed bat, it’s not always best to let your equipment fall into disrepair. Take care of your gear and know how to properly clean your baseball bat to ensure it doesn’t fail before its time.
Does a Dirty Bat Play Differently From a Clean One?
In the short term, there is no discernable difference between a marked bat and a clean one. But the question can get more complicated as time goes on. As with anything else, if you don’t take care of your equipment, it will degrade and inevitably fail. Scuffs will build up, but maintaining a proper cleaning schedule can increase the longevity of your bat and give it an appealing sheen when you’re all done.
Recommended Cleaning Procedure
Most manufacturers agree on the typical cleaning process for your bat. The first step is to soak a soft rag under warm water and wash down the bat. This initial cleaning primes it for the soap you need to apply next, but make sure it is mild; anything too strong can potentially affect the bat, while something too weak won’t do the job.
Take the same rag and wash your bat down with the mild soap. Once finished, dry it off with a separate rag to clean off the water and soap residue. Make sure there is nothing clinging to your bat once you dry it off; leaving your equipment damp or soapy for too long can cause long-term damage.
In some instances, you’ll find that warm water and a mild soap are not enough to get out all the marks. In these cases, you need to use a non-metal brush and give the surface a good once-over. Be careful not to get too aggressive with the brushing, as you run the risk of scratching your bat through your effort.
Take Care of and Invest in Your Gear
Before concerning yourself with the upkeep of your bat, you need to know how to pick out the right one—something that fits you and is of high enough quality to justify the expense. Be aware of what bat will suit you best and apply the proper techniques to cleaning your bat to ensure it lasts you for as long as possible.