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How can I make my holster look pretty again?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by BinRat, May 22, 2013.

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  1. BinRat

    BinRat Member

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    I have a Galco International paddle holster for my Glock 23 that's tan in color. While it's a formed holster, it isn't one of the stiffer ones. Over the years, it's acquired some scuffs and some darkening on some areas. I tried using a mild soap and water on the darkened areas, and it did remove a lot of the darkening, but not all.

    Does anyone have any advice for anything more I can do to it to possibly remove the remainder of the darkening, and then to rejuvenate it's appearance. The finish where I cleaned it is a little dull. I have mink oil and neutral shoe polish, but thought I ask here before I try either of those.

    Help me make it pretty again. ;)
     
  2. CPO15

    CPO15 Member

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    I've used Kiwi Leather Lotion with some success. It has been recommended by a few holster makers with whom I've done business. Only been able to find it at WallyWorld on a rack in the shoe dept..

    I've seen many recommendations AGAINST the use of any oil and even against saddle soap.

    YMMV.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  3. rayban

    rayban Member

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    I would suggest stripping what finish is left with Denatured Alcohol, then dyeing it a darker color than it now is.
     
  4. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    The darker areas are likely gun oil, wear, and dirt.
    You probably won't get that out without damaging the holster. Leather absorbs oils and dirt and there's just no practical way to get it all out.

    I suggest doing nothing but use a good wax on it. Shoe wax will do, a better, harder wax is Johnson's Paste Wax, available in most hardware stores and many Walmart stores.

    DON'T use any oils or dressings. Almost all of these will soften and stretch the leather.
    Oils and dressings are to soften stiff boots, gloves, and saddles, and should not be used on a modern type defense holster.
     
  5. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    The only problem with dressings and oils is when it is overdone. A light oiling once every year or two will restore the leather's natural moisture but won't hurt a thing. When leather is over-oiled the cells within the leather absorb more oil than they can hold and eventually burst. This is what has happened when it's overly soft and it can't be undone. However, all leather needs a little neat's foot oil, saddle soap or Lexol every now and then or it will dry and crack. Just don't overdo it.

    Rayban's suggestion is also a good one. You just need to put a little moisture back in it after cleaning with denatured alcohol, dyeing and refinishing.
     
  6. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    From Milt Sparks site
     
  7. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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  8. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    Johnson Paste Wax has been working well for me for many years.
     
  9. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    There are lots of opinions on leather care. I've been researching this for two years, as well as doing my own leatherwork. My info comes from a guy that's been in the business for 50yrs, has made over 4000 holsters and has a backlog of 2yrs. He likes a little neats foot oil and Lexol. And another who is a well-known gunwriter, who also makes his own gunleather, who has been in the business for 50yrs, who probably has owned more gunleather than anyone here has ever seen and swears by saddle soap. But you guys do what you want.

    Like said, the problem with oils and conditioners comes from overdoing it. So yes, it is safer for those makers to suggest never using those products. Because they really don't care if you have to replace your gunleather every ten years.
     
  10. BinRat

    BinRat Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the input. I really like the tan color so I'm hoping to keep it the same color. From your comments and a little more research, I'm tending toward picking up some Lexol Leather Cleaner and Lexol Leather Conditioner. I called Lexol and discussed using these products on a holster and the advisor confirmed they will work well for that purpose....that after the cleaning, a conditioner is necessary to renew the leather so it doesn't dry out and deteriorate....just that I should use it in moderation.

    After that's done, I'm going to apply a few coats of wax to give it a nice luster and some protection.
     
  11. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    My general choice is to buy a new holster after a holster gets really beat up. It is hard to change from old faithful however. I agree with CraigC that conservative applications of leather treatment potions are okay done in moderation. Bees wax is what I use, but have been known to use saddle soap if I am trying to clean something like a holster or pair of leather boots.
     
  12. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Darker areas on leather are typically where the firearm has worn down and smoothed out the leather. And tend to have a dark black color similar to burnt wood to them. These marks can be lightened slightly but not removed.

    I renew the leather on my holster first by scrubbing it with Saddle soap to clean off body oil, dust etc. Then I loosen it up by using light coats of mink oil. I found out the hard way that the mink oil that Kiwi provides in a metal tin, has silicone in it as a leather protectant. So keep that in mind if you want to use that product. I used Kiwi mink oil on my holster using a badger brush thinking it was plain mink oil. The silicone hardened the badger bristles and took a few days soaking to remove. So be sure to use a cotton or lint free cloth if you want to use Kiwi mink oil.
     
  13. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    A few drinks makes the wife look pretty again. Try that.
     
  14. Pat C.

    Pat C. Member

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    Have you tried saddle soap?
     
  15. BinRat

    BinRat Member

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    I used Lexol Leather Cleaner on the holster and it did remove a good portion of the darkening. Some of the scuffed areas were kind of dried out feeling, so I used the Lexol Leather Conditioner and the holster really felt renewed. A few days later, I put on several coats of Kiwi tan leather polish and now it has a nice luster and a fresher appearance. I'm pretty pleased with how it came out.
     
  16. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Great!
     
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