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Born of Necessity:

My name is Marv Obenuaf, developer of Obenauf’s® Leather Preservatives. As a firefighter for 34 years I ruined quite a few expensive boots long before they had a chance to wear out. In 1989 I researched with boot companies, saddlers, and other leather specialists to determine which product on the market was best suited to protect our boots, and our investment, that were often in steam, heat, wet ashes (lye), and caustic fire retardants.

I learned that most products are only temporary water repellents or softeners claiming to “condition” leather. They slough off with flexing or light scuffing through brush, leaving leather dried and unprotected. None resist chemicals or heat. Most contain chemicals, mink oil, or pine tar that causes irreparable damage to leather fibers. The common consensus was that the only way to protect our boots against such elements was to stay out of those conditions, as we were baking the leather and literally cooking boots in lye.

We needed something durable that would hang in there when the going got rough (also a common and necessary trait among firefighters). It had to resist heat, caustic fire retardant chemicals, moisture, and restore lost oils. With help from tanneries, universities and leather craftsmen I experimented with different ingredients and recipes. My goal was to extend (preserve) the useful life of leather, not just shed water or soften it. I focused on long range effect. Eventually I had what we needed – it is the product we now all know as Heavy Duty Leather Preservative (LP). It not only worked well; but a little went a long way, as it melted completely into the leather and stayed, which makes it economical too. With regular use our boots lasted noticeably longer and stayed comfortable.

As word spread and demand for Obenauf’s LP (Leather Preservative) grew among ranchers, loggers, hunters, bikers, boot companies, and anyone with leather, it was apparent that we had a product that was not otherwise available.

By request, a few years later, we did additional research for a more convenient version to extend the life of furniture, dress boots, jackets, saddles and tack, and leather that is not subjected to severe elements, but still dries and cracks. For this we developed Obenuaf’s Leather Oil.

Over the years, these remarkable leather care products have proven themselves a top performer for people who use leather regularly at work or play. The testimonials and stories people share with me make me proud to continue to display my name on all our products. Thank you for visiting this website and I hope you enjoy my products.


Marv Obenauf