DIRT, SWEAT & TEARS… AND SPIT
There is a myth that spitting on your gloves is the best way to “activate” the grip in the palm latex. However, the act of spitting on your gloves is actually detrimental to them, as saliva contains sodium (a mineral) that gradually fills the pores and absorbs the natural moisture of the latex, thereby drying out the latex. Saliva also contains enzymes, who’s job is to digest food.
For food digestion, spit (saliva) serves as a temporary lubricating agent, to help food slide down your esophagus. For latex goalkeeper gloves though, saliva is just a temporary fix that causes long term damage.
Sweat, like saliva, is a great temporary fix for your grip problem, but wiping your brow is even more detrimental to the latex of your goalkeeper gloves, as it contains 50 to 100 times more salt than saliva, thereby ensuring your gloves will deteriorate 50 to 100 times faster than just spitting on them.
If sweat is bad, what do you think dirt will do? Like salt, dirt is made up of minerals that fill the pores and dry out the latex. Applying Keeper Balm to brand new gloves ensures that the pores are protected, eliminating the detrimental effects of soil in the pores of the latex.
Goalkeeping can be a thankless job. If it’s a close game, you’ll beat yourself up for the next few weeks, thinking about how if you “could have just saved that one shot”, then maybe everything might not have gone “south” for your team.
KEEPER BALM® is GUARANTEED to cut down post game tears.
Applying Keeper Balm to your gloves when they’re brand new, will:
- Ensure a better grip on the ball (than without it)
- Make cleaning your gloves easier
- Will make your goalkeeper gloves last longer (NEVER dry out)
Applying KEEPER BALM® to clean, dry, OLDER gloves will:
Improve the grip to as-good-as or BETTER THAN NEW (try the PALM TEST – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuqbFvopn6g&t=9s)
- Increase the life of your gloves
- Save you money
- Make your coach happy
- Make your teammates happy
If your gloves feel oily when applying KEEPER BALM®, it’s because you are not washing them on a regular basis.
The natural WAXES in KEEPER BALM protect the pores in the foam latex from filling with moisture sapping minerals that are found in sweat, tears, spit and, of course, dirt. The natural OILS soak into the latex to keep it pliable, and prevent sodium from sweat from entering the backside of the gloves.
KEEPER BALM is NOT Glove Glu.
Some people assume that KEEPER BALM is just an improved or different version of Glove Glu. Well, it’s not. Glove Glu. is a short term solution for gloves that have lost or are losing grip. KEEPER BALM is a long term solution, intended to condition the gloves to deliver high performance indefinitely… as long as the directions are followed.
When you continuously apply KEEPER BALM without washing the gloves, the waxes build up on the latex and the oils just sit on top of the waxes, making the gloves feel oily. Washing your goalkeeper gloves with a mild soap will remove the excess oils, but not affect the waxes or latex, thereby restoring the grip of your gloves to their absolute best.
Following the “Wash, dry & apply” maintenance routine will ensure that your gloves NEVER get an oily buildup and always operate to their utmost potential.
You’ve probably heard that Vaseline is used by top level goalkeepers on their NEW gloves, to improve grip. We’ve heard it, too. It’s true, and it works.
Yes, putting Vaseline on your new and older goalkeeper gloves will definitely and immediately improve their holding power. In fact, so will honey, bearing grease, maple syrup, and freshly chewed gum, but that doesn’t mean that it is actually good for the latex – or even your skin, for that matter.
To understand why Vaseline is not good for your gloves, you have to first understand foam latex… and then Vaseline.
Put on your learning caps.
What is foam latex made of?
Foam latex is liquid latex, mixed with various additives, whipped into a foam and then mold-dried into shape.
*NOTE: THIS IS IMPORTANT.*Before it is converted to foam however, latex is a natural liquid polymer (a mixed bag of molecules) found in 10% of all flowering plants.
Latex is considered a rubber, as it contains rubber and is harvested primarily from rubber trees. However, more than 12,000 plant species actually yield latex that contains rubber – much of which is used to make many different products, including mattresses, gloves, swim caps, condoms, catheters and balloons.
REAL latex is 100% natural – and relatively UNREFINED.
Latex Foam for Goalkeeper Gloves
The majority of latex used to make the foam latex found in high quality goalkeeper gloves is harvested as a thick, milky-white liquid, from rubber trees. It’s collected in buckets and delivered directly to the processing plant, in it’s natural state. The only “processing” is the removal of impurities, like bark and dirt.
Below is a video showing the the production of latex foam, from RAW extraction, to finished product. The latex in this video is being used for mattresses (the most common use of latex foam), but it’s still the same stuff –
What is Vaseline?
Vaseline is petroleum jelly – a highly refined by-product of oil extraction.
The raw material for petroleum jelly was discovered in 1859 in Titusville, Pennsylvania, United States, on some of the country’s first oil rigs. A waxy substance, workers disliked the paraffin-like material forming on rigs, because it caused their equipment to bind and malfunction. However, the drillers used it on cuts and burns, because they believed that it hastened healing.
Robert Chesebrough, a chemist, took the unrefined, black “rod wax” (what the drillers called it) back to his laboratory to refine it and explore potential uses. He discovered that by distilling the lighter, thinner oil products from the rod wax, he could isolate the single molecule, that resulted into a light-colored gel.
Why Vaseline is Detrimental to Goalkeeper Gloves
Ok, so this is going to get technical, but if you can get through these next few sentences, everything should make perfect sense.
Vaseline is an oligomer.
WAIT! Don’t go anywhere, yet! It sounds worse than it is.
Stay with me.
Vaseline is an oligomer, while latex is a polymer. An oligomer is a molecular complex of chemicals that consists of a few monomer units, in contrast to a polymer, where the number of monomers is, in principle, unlimited.
Basically, these guys are as different as broccoli and bacon.
You see, petroleum jelly is made up of lone molecules, that really want to be with other molecules. Then, some keeper smears them on their latex palms, which is a polymer, made up of bunches of different molecules, who are… very accommodating.
Those latex polymers are a very accepting bunch and they let nearly anyone into their group. Once applied, the petroleum jelly molecules attach themselves to the latex polymers, and gradually modify the molecular structure of the latex – essentially creating a completely different material altogether.
The (eventual) result is a harder, slicker, drier material.
Why Use Keeper Balm?
Keeper Balm, on the other had, is a recipe of all natural polymers (oils and waxes), very much like real latex. Basically, they’re open-minded molecules, but they aren’t… uhhh… psycho, like Vaseline. Since they’re their own group, they adhere to the latex, without modifying the molecular structure.
Think of Keeper Balm like a confident girlfriend who likes hanging out with you, but won’t try to turn you into something you don’t want to be.
The end result is a goalkeeper glove that maintains it’s natural moisture and pliability, while enhancing the grip – FOREVER.
How To Remove Odor / Stink from Goalkeeper Gloves
There are a half-dozen “remedies” related to removing bad odors from goalkeeper gloves, but there is only 1 true way to do it, but you should understand first, WHY THEY STINK.
Bacteria are single-cell organisms that are neither plants nor animals. They usually measure a few micrometers in length and exist together in communities of millions. A gram of soil typically contains about 40 million bacterial cells. A milliliter of fresh water usually holds about one million bacterial cells. Your skin is covered in bacteria. So, if bacteria is the culprit, it’s easy to understand WHY your gloves stink.
Sweat does NOT stink, but bacteria does.
When you sweat in your gloves or wipe sweat from your forehead with your goalkeeper gloves, you irritate the bacteria that is already present on your skin and on your gloves. Bacteria loves dark, damp areas, so putting sweaty or wet gloves in a dark bag for a few days will enhance the odor. There are a few ways to get rid of it, but the key is to KILL THE BACTERIA FIRST, then wash and DRY your gloves.
KILL THE BUGGERS!
A common “solution” to getting rid of odor in your goalie gloves is to use baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). While baking soda DOES in fact work to remove or absorb odors, it does it through absorption; Basically, baking soda absorbs the moisture that the bacteria reside in. The side effect of using it to kill odors in your goalkeeper gloves is that the baking soda will fill the pores of the latex and dry it out.
So, baking soda is BAD for your goalie gloves.
The best way to kill odors in your gloves is to use Isopropyl alcohol, also known as Rubbing Alcohol.
Steps to Remove Odor from Goalie Gloves
- Pour bottle of rubbing alcohol into bowl or sink
- Immerse gloves in rubbing alcohol for 1 minute
- Rinse gloves
- Wash as normal, using a mild, natural soap
- Dry gloves in front of a low speed fan
- Apply KEEPER BALM to clean, dry gloves
- Drop your gloves into the lap of the person who had been complaining the loudest about your stinky gloves and say, “BOOM!”
How to Clean Goalie Gloves
You should always wash your goalkeeper gloves by hand, immediately after use, with a mild soap that is free of dyes, surfactants, fragrances, chlorine, ammonia, petroleum solvents, butyl and other stuff that is detrimental to the latex. You should wash your gloves right after games and trainings to ensure that the dirt doesn’t dry, and suck the moisture out of the latex. Latex is very susceptible to drying out, when minerals get trapped in the pores.
Saliva, sweat and soil all contribute to the deterioration of the latex on goalkeeper gloves.
After you wash your gloves, lay them out or hang them in front of a low fan. NEVER lay your goalkeeper gloves out next to a heat source, like a radiator, stove or space heater, or place them in the clothes dryer.
Once dry, apply KEEPER BALM to the palms of your goalkeeper gloves, and any other latex parts of the glove. For best performance, apply at least 12 hours before activity, to allow the product to soak in. KEEPER BALM can be applied just before game time as well, but the palms may feel a little oily to the touch. It will not however, impede performance.
KEEPER BALM is an all natural product that is as safe as hand lotion, but contains no chemicals, fragrances or dyes that may irritate the most sensitive of skin.
Keeper Balm is made up of proprietary blend of all natural ingredients, to add life and durability to the latex palms of goalkeeper gloves. We don’t use any unnatural chemicals, dyes or fragrances that may be an irritant to the skin or detrimental to the latex. Therefore, you won’t find any petroleum based products in Keeper Balm. However, if you or your player are allergic to coconut oil, olive oil, beezwax or lanolin (wool), then you might want to avoid it.
We’ve been testing Keeper Balm since 2014, and the only side effect we’ve seen so far, is softer hands.