How to Clean a Pitching Machine
Pitching machines are a crucial part of every baseball or softball practice. By providing an easy method of getting in some batting practice without wearing out your pitchers, a pitching machine is clearly a necessity.
However, in order for that batting practice to go smoothly, your pitching machine needs to be in its best possible condition, which requires you to clean it and store it properly.
Over time, using balls made of synthetic materials can cause build-up to form on the wheel of a pitching machine. This build-up can lead to baseballs and softballs not getting pitched properly, making batting practice tougher than it needs to be, and in some cases, downright dangerous.
Clean Your Pitching Machine in 4 Easy Steps
Thankfully, pitching machines can be cleaned. In order to do so, you’ll need four simple tools.
- The first is a putty knife.
- The second is either a heat gun or a hair dryer.
- The third is a can of methyl ethyl ketone.
- The fourth is a rag.
Start by unplugging your pitching machine, then removing the pitching wheel. Heat up the surface of the pitching wheel with the heat gun or hair dryer until the build-up is soft and rubbery. Then, use the putty knife to gently pry off the residue.
Once the residue is gone, spray some methyl ethyl ketone on a rag, and then wipe down the pitching wheel in order to remove any additional residue that can’t be seen or is stubbornly clinging to the surface. Then, put the pitching wheel back on your machine.
How to Properly Store Your Pitching Machine
Storage is key to keeping your pitching machine in tip-top shape. Your machine needs to be stored in a cool, dry place, like a storage shed. Never leave it out in the open once practice is over. In order to make it easier to move around the field, you can install wheels on the bottom of the machine. However, make sure that those wheels come with locks, to prevent the machine from moving around while in use.
As long as your machine is maintained and stored properly, it’ll be your best friend on the mound for years to come! To learn more about pitching machines check out our list of top 10 pitching machines here!