Pine tar is a messy and unpleasantly sticky substance that builds up on most surfaces, including a bat handle. It is common in baseball bats. Therefore, it’s important to clean this nasty gunk from your bat to increase grip.
Some reasons why pine tar should be removed from bats include enhancing their grip and ensuring they are in good working shape. A batter requires a good grasp of their bat in order to hit the ball properly and have a good swing.
Even though removing pine tar can be difficult, it is essential to clean your bat to maintain its strength and hardness. Remember that tar can reduce your bat’s lifespan and degrade it.
Try the following helpful tips to remove pine tar from your bat:
1 – Using Water and Soap
One of the easiest ways of taking pine tar off your bat is using soap and water. You need water, a sponge, soap, and a clean towel. Dip the sponge in water until it is completely soaked.
Rub some soap, particularly on the rough side of the sponge. Place your bat on top of a flat surface, such as a table. Pour some water into the area with pine tar.
Since pine tar is a sticky residue, you need to rub the sponge on the pine tar really hard until all the pine tar is removed. Rinse the affected area with clean water.
Use a clean towel to dry the bat.
Pine tar can also be removed by pouring hot water on it and allowing it to sit for several minutes. Then loosen the pine tar by scrubbing it using a brush. Then use clean cold water to wash the bat.
These steps should be repeated until all the pine tar is removed.
2 – Rubbing Alcohol
Pine tar can leave behind a big mess if not removed carefully. It is also very hard to get rid of tar because of its sticky nature. However, you can easily remove it by rubbing alcohol.
The first step is to loosen the tar. This can be done by heating the pine tar on the bat. It is recommended to use hot water. Then, dry the bat using a clean towel.
Caution should be taken when wiping the bat. The bat should be wiped in only one direction to avoid transferring the sticky stuff to other areas of the bat. Therefore, avoid back-and-forth wiping.
Next, dip a sponge into rubbing alcohol until it is completely soaked. Then get rid of the gummy residue that could not be eliminated using hot water. Use the moistened sponge to rub down the bat.
Alcohol evaporates quickly, making it ideal for use in removing tar from bats. Rub alcohol gently on the tar repeatedly until all the tar disappears. You should be patient while doing this because the process is time-consuming.
Remember to move the sponge only in one direction.
Lastly, use a dry towel or rag to dry the bat. Before drying the bat, ensure that no pine tar residue is left on the bat to prevent it from spreading to other parts of the bat.
Drying the bat is important because water or wetness can ruin it.
3 – Using Lye
Batters also use an alkaline solution referred to as lye to get rid of tar from their bats. Lye is a strong chemical that can help eliminate this gluey substance.
Since the product is made using sodium or potassium hydroxide, it can corrode your hands and other body parts. Therefore, it is crucial to protect your eyes using protective eye gear and your hands by wearing gloves.
Also, protect your skin because lye can burn your skin.
After removing all the tar, you can make your bat water-resistant by applying graphite or resin. You should follow all the instructions carefully to ensure the pine tar removal process is successful.
After removing all the tar successfully, ensure that the bat is stored in a most-free area to prevent the pine tar from building up again.
4 – Using a Putty Knife
Pine tar and dirt normally accumulate on the bat’s handle. A putty knife can be utilized to scrape off this sticky and messy substance from your precious bat. Dirt and pine tar make your bat gritty, thus losing its grip.
It is vital to remove the hardened tar from your bat using a sharp tool such as a putty knife. Before beginning the removal process, it is crucial to cover the work area with a cloth or a newspaper.
This ensures that all the pieces and bits that fall off the bat as you scrape the tar away are collected in the drop cloth. This makes cleaning easy and ensures that your work area does not become messy.
You can use fine-grit sandpaper if the pine tar is stubborn and cannot be removed using a putty knife. Rub the sandpaper on the stubborn pine tar to remove it.
However, be careful not to damage the bat when scrapping off the tar.
5 – Bone Rubbing
This is an old technique that can help you get rid of stubborn pine tar. The method involves using a dried-out bone to rub the pine tar on your bat.
You can also rub the bat against a porcelain surface or a metal rod instead of a dried-out bone.
Some batters still use this old method to get rid of tar from their bats. However, you should bone your bat carefully so as not to damage it.
You can try any of the above tips to remove unpleasant sticky substances from your bat, such as pine tar. However, use bone rubbing as the last option because it’s an old technique used by a small number of batters.
You should be aware that eradicating pine from bats is a time-consuming process. The process may be troublesome and difficult.
If you are unable to remove this unpleasant and sticky substance from your bat using any of the above methods, you can always call a professional to help you. Also, be careful when using substances such as lye because they can seriously burn your skin or corrode your hands.
Avoid using harsh chemical substances to get rid of pine tar from your bat because they can damage it. Also, ensure that your bat is stored in a dust-free and dry place to protect it from corrosion and rusting.