(The Image above is NOT stolen, although it looks like so. I just reused a tin that I already had.)
I made some wood wax finish again lately that really works very well and I wanted something to care for for my leather items as well. Leather Balm is cool for keeping your leather items good-looking, water-proof (to a certain degree), soft and nourished – thus – well cared for.
Applied and used properly, it’ll make your leather last a lifetime. Summarized, you want to provide for your leather with natural oils and fats and at the same time protect it from the elements as good as you can.
This is what I have distilled from a book, a friend’s experience and several webpages. It’s not rocket science, so here’s my simple leather balm recipe.
Recipe: 1 part Wax – 1 part fat – either 2 or 3 parts oils. (I use 3 parts oil for a thinner, more liquid result. Use weight parts, not volume parts.)
Wax: Beeswax! As already used in the wood balm, it forms some sort of a protective barrier, thus waterproofing and protecting your leather but still allowing it to “breathe” and release/absorb moisture. You can purchase this in every well sorted whole food / organic food store. Or, as always, on the internet, for example on amazon.
Fat: For example shea butter, cocoa butter, etc. This replenishes the natural fats of the leather making it soft and pliable. Purchase these as listed above.
Oil: You can use for example coconut, almond, jojoba or argan oil. These ingredients keep the leather soft and smooth, preventing it from drying and cracking. Purchase these as listed above. For a better scent, you can even add some drops af any fragrant oil here.
Ideally, set up a water bath on your stove on medium-low heat and melt the wax. Stir often and gently but thoroughly and remeber to always keep low heat. Once melted, add in the fat and let melt and incorporate (stirring) as well. Lastly, add in your oil, stir gently to incorporate and let everything come to the same temperature. Finally, fill into a clean, sealable container, ideally with a wide opening for better usage. Let cool and use.
Ideally using a soft sponge, apply the balm at room temperature in circular motions, gently “rubbing” the balm into the leather. If you’ve applied too much of it, just give it about an hour to soak in and then take off the excess with a paper towel. It works for almost everything: My fishing hat, my boots, knife sheaths, my belts, wallet, etc., etc., …