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Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:43 am
by Krieger
Hi guys.
I did some searching on the forum but didn’t find much on ways to restore and maintain leather products. I have several items that need attention, boots, a brand new hat, knife sheets and a gun sling from WW2. I would think that old and used leather have different needs than brand new leather. I have discovered that shops sell balm, oil, soap and other types of leather maintenance products but I have no idea if what to use and how. I would very much like to learn as much as possible about restoring and maintaining leather. I am convinced that there is a lot of knowledge about this kind of craftmanship on this forum.

And I apologize for the bad English.

Re: Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:59 am
by Asymetryczna
Your comm is perfect. Some basics provided here: How to Care for Leather

I have black and brown dress shoes that I use Kiwi brand polish to clean up / normally about every 2 weeks, or as needed. For everything else, from boots to slings and sheaths, I use either Kiwi outdoor conditioning oil or because I like the leather old, dark and oily looking, Sno-seal or a like beeswax. Hope this helps, or at least, starts the conversation.

Re: Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:58 am
by woodsghost
I use Ballistol. But I need to learn to use the Kiwi stuff. My world is changing and I have to dress up more.

Re: Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:45 pm
by Krieger
Thanks for the link, Asymetryczna! Just what I was looking for :)

Re: Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:00 pm
by Asymetryczna
Krieg. You are welcome. Glad to help. I'd also suggest this link:
https://sectionhiker.com/sno-seal-water ... ing-boots/
but recommend you use a soft cloth and try different amounts of different products before you commit.
As stated previously, I like the dark and oily look on leather I carry outdoors and sno seal has always provided that look and moisture protection.

Re: Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:39 am
by Krieger
Thanks! Sno-seal seems to be a great product for my boots.

Re: Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:16 am
by 50 Mission Cap
Another vote for Sno-Seal. I get my boots good and warmed up by the fire. Sno-Seal is very thick at 20 degrees C, so it goes into the leather much better if the leather is nice and warm.

Stay away from oils for repeated use as they can actually rot or degrade the leather.

Have fun.

Re: Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:51 pm
by 12_Gauge_Chimp
This thread is of interest to me now that I've got a few knives with leather sheaths (the most recent is the Ontario USAF pilot's survival knife I got for Christmas).

The sheath on my Ontario pilot's knife is pretty raw, in the sense that it hasn't been treated with anything by me yet, and is just like the factory oiled or conditioned it. It's also pretty stiff because it hasn't been broken in yet, but it's getting there. Now I just need to buy some leather conditioner and something to seal and treat the leather.

That Sno-Seal stuff sounds like it'd be pretty good and I'll have to check it out. I've been told that regular Vaseline is supposed to be a good thing to use to keep leather in good condition, but I haven't tried that yet. Anyone use Vaseline on their leather goods ?

Re: Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:29 pm
by Asymetryczna
I've used Vaseline. It works well, especially on sheaths.

Re: Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:56 pm
by 12_Gauge_Chimp
Asymetryczna wrote:I've used Vaseline. It works well, especially on sheaths.
Thanks, Asymetryczna.

I've only ever used Vaseline on the straps of my Mosin sling and it worked ok. I'll probably try it out on my sheath if I can't find any leather conditioner at Walmart or Tractor Supply.

Re: Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:57 pm
by Asymetryczna
Glad to assist. You should know that my recommendation is based on my experience and not any professional testing. Bridle and Saddle Shops would condemn me probably, recommending Saddle Soap and something with less petroleum. I have a fishing fillet knife in a leather sheath that I have treated with Vaseline for over 30 years, because that is what I started it with, so...

Re: Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:06 am
by moab
BLO - boiled linseed oil. Or Saddle soap. Works wonders on old leather. BLO will waterproof. But Sno-seal or some sort of Nikwax would probably work better for that. But in the old days BLO and saddle soap were what everyone from farmers to ranchers to people on horseback used on their tack. I love saddle soap on old leather. Really makes it supple.

Re: Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:53 am
by Asymetryczna
I love saddle soap on old leather.
He's right. Saddle Soap will make it more supple and would be the first choice for those who work with leather a lot.
That said, Vaseline will work and Sno-Seal will seal it from water damage. Ear wax would work in a pinch.

Re: Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:49 pm
by Ad'lan
Mink Oil is also good, I like it for replenishing old leather.

Kiwi for boots, though I think the more modern Parade Gloss blend is inferior to the Kiwi Original.

Never used Linseed Oil, Raw or Boiled, but given that it polymerises over time, if you can afford to let it set long enough, I think it'd do a grand job for finishing new leather.

Re: Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:40 am
by gary83
I use Lexol Conditioner on my boots without any issue.

Re: Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:22 am
by crypto
woodsghost wrote:I use Ballistol. But I need to learn to use the Kiwi stuff. My world is changing and I have to dress up more.

I could never get past the old-gym-socks smell of Ballistol. Does that go away, or does all your stuff smell like Ballistol forever?

Re: Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:22 pm
by woodsghost
crypto wrote:
woodsghost wrote:I use Ballistol. But I need to learn to use the Kiwi stuff. My world is changing and I have to dress up more.

I could never get past the old-gym-socks smell of Ballistol. Does that go away, or does all your stuff smell like Ballistol forever?
It changes very quickly from gym socks to a lovely licorice smell. Then the smell completely fades. Also I've stopped noticing it, but right off the bat it can be a bit overpowering.

People probably get used to whatever they usually use. Some of the more common stuff smells a lot like jet fuel :)

Re: Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:34 am
by ridingsmell
Krieger wrote:Thanks! Sno-seal seems to be a great product for my boots.
Also, use sno seal and I am satisfied

Re: Restoring and maintaining leather

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:46 am
by hiropro
Lexol leather care.