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Our custom leather shop has relocated to Colorado, but only select products are currently available to order. More products will be available each week.

Leather Care and Leather Conditioning

Leather Care and Conditioning: An Overview
Keeping your motorcycle leather in great shape doesn't take much time. Here are a bunch of tips for motorcycle leather care and conditioning.

If you have specific questions about caring for your leather, please e-mail us at customercare@chilhowee.net and we will answer your questions to the best of our ability.

Tips for how frequently to condition motorcycle leather
How much care does motorcycle leather need? If you ride your motorcycle a lot in hot sunny conditions, or frequently get caught in the rain, your leather will need conditioning several times during the season. One simple leather care tip: if any of your leather motorcycle accessories feel dry, it's time to condition them. Incidentally, rain will really dry out leathers because when the rain evaporates from a leather motorcycle accessory, it pulls moisture away from the skin. I would recommend conditioning your leather once it dries whenever you are caught (or intentionally ride) in the rain.

Tips on mink oil for conditioning leather motorcycle accessories
Many people swear by mink oil to condition and waterproof their motorcycle leather. There are really two fundamentally different approaches to motorcycle leather care: The way I describe it to customers is mink oil vs. a Lexol-type leather conditioner. It's like putting Vaseline on your hands vs. Jergens lotion. Mink oil will clog the pores of your leather, just as Vaseline creates a barrier between your skin and the environment. That's why it will make your leather motorcycle accessories waterproof. It will also eventually dry out your leather because the pores are clogged. You will also notice your leather accessories may have a whitish haze to it. That's what happens when mink oil solidifies in cold weather. To answer the question, it makes more sense to put mink oil on your boots, if you so desire, and use a conditioner or product like Chilhowee Buffalo Butter specifically designed for leather care and the conditioning of quality Deer, Elk, Buffalo, and Cow hide.

Tips for how to keep motorcycle leather from fading
Will my black leather accessories fade? If left untreated, all leather is subject to fading from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. There is really only one leather care product that effectively prevents your leather from doing the slow-fade dance: 303 Aerospace Protectant. With regular use, this leather conditioning product prevents fading up to 100%. In addition, it conditions your motorcycle leather so that it is highly soil, oil, and water-resistant without clogging the pores of the leather or making them slick or sticky. An effective sunscreen for your leather will help ensure that your leather accessories will look better and last longer.

Tips for keeping your motorcycle leather dry
Does my leather motorcycle accessory need a water repellent? A spray water repellent will not hurt your leather. A water repellent will help any unfinished brushed or naked leather. However, if you get caught in a downpour, don't expect any water repellent to keep your leathers completely dry! Water will eventually soak into the leather. Once again, try any water repellent on a hidden area before spraying it on the outside of your garment. One thing I like to use spray water repellents for is leather care and conditioning for my good leather dress shoes and boots. I saturate my shoes or boots with the repellent, that way if I walk through puddles in winter after the parking lots have been salted I have a chance of keeping the salt from soaking into my leather and leaving that terrible salt line behind. I have never found a way to get that salt stain out of my shoes or boots once its there. Incidentally, it's not the water that spots leather, it's the minerals in the water that stay behind once the water evaporates. ALWAYS, ALWAYS SPRAY WATER REPELLENTS IN A HIGHLY VENTILATED AREA, OR BETTER YET, OUTSIDE. Some water repellents have been known to make people dizzy or cause other health problems if they have a lot of silicone in them.

The Best Grade of Leather
A full-grain leather is always your best bet. Don't settle for anything less! To find out the differences between full grain leather and top grain leather click here.

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