How to clean and condition
What is oiled leather?
With its natural and rugged look, oiled tanned leather is used to manufacture hiking and mountain boots, boat shoes and tack, furniture and even clothing items such as cowboy hats, chaps, etc.
The use of natural and/or synthetic oils after the tanning process gives it a high water resistance quality. Its color will vary depending on the raw hides, the oils used and, in some cases, on the dyes added to the oils. It is somewhat oily to the touch, without being greasy. It is usually not shiny and sometimes it is completely mat. It's usually thicker and heavier than other types of leather yet is it supple.
Oiled leather is long-lasting, offers undeniable value and return on investment and is easy to care for.
Oiled leather Maintenance tips
Use AQUILA to safely clean your oiled leather as often as needed. Aquila dissolves dirt and dust which are naturally attracted and tend to stick to this type of leather (making dark black smudges). Simply spray Aquila and wipe. It only takes a few seconds and it goes a long way in preserving your leather.
Moisturizing or Conditioning
Over time, oiled leather naturally loses its oils and the leather dries out. Its color starts fading and the leather starts to crack. Thus, it is of utmost importance to replenish these natural oils periodically. This should not be confused with "greasing them up"... (see notes I.) No, moisturizing oiled leather is best done with lanolin (often used in the tanning process itself) or Jojoba oil base products. GRASSO is our product with the highest lanolin content. Mr Jojo is a vegetable version of GRASSO made with JOJOBA oil instead of Lanolin. Both of these products will deeply, easily and quickly soak in, moisturizing not only the surface but conditioning throughout leather's full thickness, softening leather while restoring its color and its waterproofed qualities.
Because these products really soak in, you do not need to use them often — once every 2 to 4 weeks is usually enough. And actually, if overused, (see notes II.) the positive attributes of GRASSO can turn into problems. So if you need to condition your leather more often or also if your oilled leather is more on the shiny side, simply alternate between the use of GRASSO and URAD (which contains carnauba wax as well as lanolin).
- Before & After Oiled leather Hiking boots
Done with URAD and Grasso
- Before & After Oiled leather Docker shoes
Done with URAD Light brown and GRASSO
- The market place is full of neat's-foot oil, beaver oil, seal oil, mink oil, etc. These don't easily soak into leather and people resort to doubtful methods like heating up the boots in the oven to try to force the grease in! In the end they will just cloak up leather pores with grease buildups, all without actually moisturizing the leather! They only grease up the surface, attracting more and more dirt. These buildups will result in greasy black crust spots, they will prevent leather from breathing, dry it out and eventually crack up leather.
- GRASSO is simply fantastic to break in a new saddle or a new baseball glove, penetrating deep into the leather, making it soft and supple. This is so true that (only) if used every day and over many weeks, it may eventually leave leather too supple, sort of without hold or form. (read Moisturizing above for solution)
Most leather will not forgive the slightest maintenance negligence while oiled leather will let you get away with minor omissions… It's one of the many reasons that make oiled leather an excellent choice for heavy-duty or extreme usage. Natural, relaxed and rugged looks, sturdy yet supple, water resistant yet requiring easy and only minimum maintenance, oiled tanned leather is extremely robust and long-lasting.
When properly cared for and maintained, even when used in the extreme situations they were made for, they will keep looking good for many years!