FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Please, before contacting us read the FAQs and the information we have provided on our website.
Our information is based on experience with various types of leather and items made from leather over 30 years. We have had assistance, guidance, and done testing with tanneries, boot companies, the leather research laboratory, sportsman’s groups (field tests), and literally thousands of customers comparing our products in various elements and conditions around the world.
We can only share and advise according to our experiences.
We make no guarantees as there are so many variables and few constants, which you will understand as you read further. Whatever you have could be different or show different results. Experiment and experience are our best teachers.
Basic information about leather and its care:
Leather is a skin that can be from a variety of animals, from reptile to bird to animal. The most common is from a steer, called cowhide, and it varies a great deal within itself.
As a rule, the cheaper it is the less the quality, i.e. leather and the item made from the back and sides of an animal are stronger and more durable than the belly leather. Belly leather is thinner, weaker, scarred and consequently cheaper.
Leather is tanned by one of many different processes and each produces different results and characteristics of the finished leather. Common tanning processes include chrome, vegetable, and silicon, i.e. boots are either oil tanned or dry tanned. Most uniform and dress boots are coated with a “finishe”, similar to a varnish on wood, so they can be polished to shine. These are basically “sealed off”, meaning no liquid (including oil) will penetrate their surface.
1) Will it (HDLP or Oil) darken my leather?
Ans: Almost anything that restores the natural oils will darken it.
Often this is a reaction with the bleaching or dying (coloring) processes used when the leather was colored for its specific use.
As natural oils migrate through the fibers they change the ratio of oil to dye that were mixed to give it its original color. This intensifies the dye and alters the color. If your leather has been bleached blonde or dyed a light color, this darkening will be more significant. However, it usually enhances the appearance as it draws out the grain and gives it a richer natural albeit slightly different darker color. Many eventually consider this to be an improvement that gives leather real natural character. If darkening is a concern, test in an inconspicuous location. In some quality leather it takes 7 days for complete fiber migration and true color to show. Another option is to avoid any color change by simply spraying and protecting with Obenauf’s Water Shield. This will repel water and most stains but will not do everything necessary to actually preserve your leather.
2) Can I use it on suede?
Ans: Suede does not require oils for protection. Apply Water Shield to waterproof and protect against stains.
3) How often should I apply Heavy Duty LP or Oil?
Ans: Frequency depends on many factors. i.e. thickness, quality, tanning process (chrome, vegetable, silicon), animal it’s from, and age of leather.
Conditions: i.e. heat, wet, chemicals, dry & dusty, sweat and salty acids.
Frequency of use/wear: i.e. daily, seasonally, inside or outdoors.
Our recommendation: Get used to looking at your leather like you look at your skin. i.e. if it looks dry it is, restore it with natural oils. If it is subjected to hard daily use, wet or dry, it should be restored at least once per month.
Severe conditions: older leather, scuffing and abrasion require more frequent and Heavy Duty protection.
4) How much should I apply?
Ans: Amount will depend on thickness, age, and type of leather as well as the article itself and conditions to which it is exposed. i.e. work boot, sofa, saddle, car seat, jacket. Like the conditions, all are different.
Experience is the best teacher. Until you’ve learned what works best for your particular article and its exposure, begin with a light application to avoid over doing with LP or saturation with Oil. Multiple lighter applications are better than one heavy application. However, for thicker leather and high quality footwear subjected to severe conditions, a second application of Heavy Duty LP can be applied soon after the first one has penetrated. This double application process will impregnate the leather to protect longer and better against extremely wet conditions. Warm with a hair dryer or PEET boot dryer. Wipe or buff off excess. Use caution when doing a second application, until your familiar with LP, to avoid excess waxy residue being left on the surface.
5) What kind of oils or what is in your products that cause them to be rated superior?
Ans: Both of our preservatives contain a blend of 3 natural plant oils, Propolis (an anti-bacteria resin from trees which is our key ingredient to resist mold, bacteria and most caustic chemicals), and 2 kinds of beeswax.
Leather Oil: is just a liquid version and has the same ingredients but a different ratio of beeswax and Propolis to oil.
Heavy Duty LP: is in a cream form that is a time release formula wherein the natural oils are suspended in the wax and Propolis and gradually seep out over a long period. If the leather gets warmed or flexed the oils get released faster so leather is protected against parching and premature cracking due to flexing while dehydrated.
Water Shield: is a simple non-aerosol water based silicon emulsion spray that was developed as a waterproofing spray for fabric. It has no safety warnings or hazardous solvents or propellants. It’s basically water and silicon, with a higher concentration of silicon than aerosols.