How to Properly Condition Leather
I, Mr. Lentz, believe that high-quality leather deserves high-quality care. This is exactly why I provide a free tin of my own handmade all-natural leather conditioner with every leather goods purchase. It is important to know how to properly maintain and care for leather so that it will last you the better part of your lifetime. After several emails asking how this is done in practice – I decided to put this here page together to bring light to a very simple and quick process that will keep your Mr. Lentz goods looking great.
The first thing to note is the importance of conditioning leather.
My goods are made with the highest quality full-grain vegetable-tanned leather you can buy in the U.S. This leather contains a bit of natural oils in it already – as well as a bit from the tannery. After I cut, brand, stamp, edge, wet, dye, and shape the leather…it tends to lose a bit of its oil and therefore needs some replenishing. I hand rub every piece with the same oil/wax conditioner that is in the tin – my own Mr. Lentz Spiff N’ Shine. This tends to darken the piece slightly and gives it some pliability and softness before I ship them out. Leather conditioner also allows the fibers in the leather to be more durable and less likely to dry out and tear. If your leather purchase seems a little stiff or dry after several months to a year, its probably time to apply a bit of Spiff N’ Shine.
A Short Video on Making Conditioner
- Mr. Lentz Spiff N’ Shine leather conditioner works best on vegetable tanned leathers. All goods made by Mr. Lentz are vegetable tanned.
- Typically you will not need to apply any conditioner within the first 6 months of use up to a year. It all depends on how you use the goods. For example if it is in your pocket every day and being handled a lot it may be fine for quite some time because it tends to absorb the oils from your skin. If the goods get wet – this may flush out some of the oil and it could be time to apply some Spiff N’ Shine.
- To apply, simply take a very light coat on your fingers or soft cloth and gently rub into the leather on the smooth side of the surface. You can rub it into the rough back (flesh) side, but the oil will absorb quicker and may not be as even.
- Make sure to apply to all edges, creases and slots as well – and anywhere where the goods get a lot of wear and tear action.
- If you let it sit for a few minutes to 20 minutes the oil should absorb completely. If a heavy coat was used it may take a day or two for the oils to spread out evenly in the goods.
- Since Mr. Lentz Spiff N’ Shine contains beeswax as well, you can buff the leather with a soft cloth after the conditioner has dried for a subtle shine. Otherwise, you should be all set.
If you need a refill of Spiff N’ Shine at any point be sure to check the shop, or if unavailable contact me and I will get you going.
12 thoughts on “How to properly condition leather”
Are you able to send a couple of jars of your Spiff N Shine to Australia? I quite like the idea of “Green” items. Naturally I will pay for it via PayPal.
ps I am making a belt via your video tips.
regards tony tang.
I sure can – go ahead and email me using the contact form, and I will get you set up.
I have tons of old leather goods and would love to get a hold of some of your leather conditioner. I can pay you through paypal. Just let me know much a container cost, if you have larger containers, or if I need to buy many of the small ones? You do incredible leather work. Thanks, Will
Hi William – you make a good point…I should have extras up here for sale! Shoot me an email describing how many items you are using it on and I can figure out a solution for you.
Hello-Its been a long time. I hope all is well. Is there anyway to get hold of larger amounts of you Leather Spiff and shine? Getting ready to place an order. I have lots of leather goods that need you Spiff and Shine.Please let me know? Thanks Sincerely, Will
Actually every item you purchase will come with a tin of Spiff N’ Shine. So if you are looking to get multiple items then you are covered. I also sell them singularly in small tins in the shop. Thanks!
Mr. Lentz, I have 2 pairs of shoes. One being vegetable tanned the other a white soft tumbled leather shoe. While I have taken neither out for their maiden voyage, do you recommend a light coat of Spiff N’ Shine before doing so? Also, would your product darken a cream colored leather? Thanks in advance!
Hi Robert – the Spiff N Shine is more for upkeep down the line. Perhaps 6 – 12 months after the first use. The Spiff N Shine will help condition the leather and re-introduce oils to the fibers in the leather helping to prevent it from drying out and wearing down quickly. I wouldn’t imagine you would need to use it on a brand new pair of shoes though. Also – it is only recommended for use on Vegetable tanned leather in case the white pair you have is some other tanning type. The Spiff N Shine will likely darken the leather a very light shade due to the oil absorption. Thanks!
Hi- Do you work with exotic skins like lizards or eel?
I’d love to see some tutorials on how to create cool stuff with those types of skins
Hi Azar – no, I only work with cowhide as it is a sustainable source of leather. Cowhide is a byproduct of the meat industry and cows are not raised for the sale of cowhide since it represents a minuscule portion of the profit when compared to the meat.
I bought a pair of boots I bought and they have an intense leather(?) smell. I have had them out of the box for a month but still smell. What can I do to get rid of it at least lessen the intensity? Would your leather conditioner help with that?
Hi – the ‘leather’ smell actually comes from the chemicals used in the tanning/preserving process of the hide. Only time will affect the amount that it currently smells.