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How do you take care of holster leather?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by williegee, Dec 19, 2003.

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  1. williegee

    williegee Member

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    Just bought a Galco OWB Concealable High Ride Belt Holster for my Glock 19 in anticipation of receiving my TX CHL. (DPS says it went in the mail today). Never having owned a leather holster before, just wondering what kind of care and maintenance is involved. We get some pretty hot summers here so perspiration will be an issue. Thanks.:confused:
     
  2. Slabside

    Slabside Member

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  3. J.BELLINO

    J.BELLINO Member

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    The holster will come with care instructions from Galco to use their leater lotion. Before they marketed their on brand they used to recomend Lexol(avail from any saddle shop) an excellent product for leather care. I have been using it for years on saddles, holsters and all types of leather gear. Cheaper than Galco's leather lotion.
     
  4. Jason Demond

    Jason Demond Member

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    I use clear Carnuba shoe polish, most of the time, color if it needs it. I also use a shot of silicone spray for the inside, once and a while.
     
  5. PCRCCW

    PCRCCW Member

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    Long term use of Silicone spray will deplete the leathers natural oils and will cause drying/cracking. Be careful if its a holster you love....................
    Id stick with non penetrating leather products.....

    Shoot well.
     
  6. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    Yeah, silicone is bad for leather. Use nothing but warm water and soap to clean it and regular shoe polish to protect it. Shoe polish has waxes in it that water proofs and keep leather nice and shiny.
     
  7. Jason Demond

    Jason Demond Member

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    I didn't know silicone was bad. I guess I won't be using is again.
     
  8. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    Another vote for Lexol.
     
  9. TonyB

    TonyB Member

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    Desantis says not to use any leather wax or anything else on their holsters....am I missing something by not using anything??
     
  10. DBR

    DBR Member

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    Now I am confused. I do not understand how a pure FDA approved silicone spray could cause leather to prematurely age and crack. I understand that silicone sprays have solvents that will also dissolve "natural leather oils" (which are put in at the tannery). However, unless the leather's oils are being oxizidized by the solvents or are running out of the leather, I would think the silicone would only serve to stabilize the leather. Lexol will soften leather and destroy the boning of a good holster as will saddle soap. IMHO Lexol is only good for belts and shoulder holster straps. Wax treatments that are water based emulsions of carnuba wax are good. Good quality shoe polishes also seem to do no harm.

    I have used industrial FDA silicone sprays on Kramer leather holsters (hard rolled horsehide) for several years with no ill effects. The main benefit is that it makes the holsters much more resistant to sweat. It does not soften the leather.
     
  11. DBR

    DBR Member

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    After I made my original post, I remembered that several very well known holster makers infuse their leather holsters with an acrylic emulsion to stiffen the leather. There is nothing wrong with this per se however, the holster is no longer natural leather and the solvents in a silicone spray may attack the acrylic and cause cracking.
     
  12. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    If holster actually genuine ''hide leather'' then I'd have though some ''Neetsfoot'' type of oil is OK .. it is tho penetrative but - is supposed to ''nourish'' the leather and help with flexibility and so avoid embrittlement and cracking.

    Few of my holsters are in fact leather ... and my Jim Burke for the SP is- so far - despite sweat stains ... still well flexible.
     
  13. James Bondrock

    James Bondrock Member

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    Excerpt from Galco's website:
    This is fine for shoes and boots, especially those that have gotten wet, but the leather of these needs to be flexible. A holster must remain rigid in order to function.
     
  14. 444

    444 Member

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    It depends on what kind of holster you are talking about. I really like flap holsters for carry in the wilds and I clean with saddle soap and preserve with neetsfoot oil. The leather being soft takes nothing away from them at all.
    If it is an inside the waistband holster, I would agree that it must remain rigid, but for that, I buy horsehide holsters.

    I can also tell you that I have saddle soaped and oiled some of my holsters a dozen times and I haven't noticed any change in the leather at all.
     
  15. SteelyDan

    SteelyDan Member

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    My first thought was that, if it's going to be exposed to the elements, finish your leather treatment with a coat of NikWax waterproofing cream. I think it's great stuff. But I see Tony mentioned not using any leather wax, according to one source. So I'm confused. I'm about 90% sure I'd use NikWax on any leather holster, but if that's a mistake I'd appreciate being corrected.
     
  16. PCRCCW

    PCRCCW Member

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    The industrial 100% Silicone is an interesting comment. The "typical" person is NOT going to find this stuff and will be using the type with other ingrediants that will be hard on leather after long term use. Thus the recommendation from gun leather makers.........I still recommend it.

    I do know that Silicone, due to its very small Molecular Weight, or another way of saying it has very small molecular makeup, can get in leather and force out" its natural oils. This is why its such a good lubricant it gets in places that some other lubricants cant.

    It also tends to stay in place better than other lubricants as its makeup is made of "chains" on the molecular level, as to oils individual "platlet" makeup. The chains stay togethor much like cheerios do in milk and resist moving.

    Also, the Govt. says when you label something 100% "Product", while putting in propellants, stabilizers, detergents, anti foaming and anti fungle agents to a very minor extent also. Usually just enough to make sure it stays stable through its "natural shelf life" in the form its sold. Typically the shelf life of Silicone is 7-10 years.

    FDA Approved Silicone Spray, designed to be used in/on food processing equipment for lubrication, meets this criteria. Its pure enough to not harm you when ingested, according to the FDA and such agencies anyway. The theory is, when it drips into the cake mix being processed in the mixer, they used the spray on the night before during its PM, it wont kill/harm you. Thus its FDA approval.

    To my knowledge, the only oils put in leather in the tanning process are what they think they are removing due to the tanning process itself.....at times a well rounded guess or an average.

    Just trivial stuff at best but interesting.............Shoot well.
     
  17. bvmjethead

    bvmjethead Member

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    Funny thing, after reading this thread, I know less about what to clean and care for my leather holsters with than before I read this thread.

    I think I'll go to the Milt Sparks website and do what they say to do.
     
  18. Serpico

    Serpico Member

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    In 20 + years I have never cleaned or oiled any of my quality leather....and they still are going fine...
     
  19. Richard

    Richard Member

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    Lou Alessi told me to use Lexol and Mitch Rosen said to use a natural colored shoe polish and that is what I use. Regards, Richard:D
     
  20. dairycreek

    dairycreek Member

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    For the care of good holster leather!

    Lexol and clear shoe polish - nothing more! Buff the shoe polish really well and it enhances its protective qualities. Good shooting;)
     
  21. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Member

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    Yep, lexol is good stuff on any leather you've got -- car seats, shoes, jackets, or holsters.

    Cheers,
    Wes
     
  22. Amish_Bill

    Amish_Bill Member

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  23. GeorgeH

    GeorgeH Member

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    Holster Care

    When I get a new cow or horse hide holster I first spray it with Kel 110 pure silicone. When it dries, I then give it a waxing with Renissance Wax.
     
  24. Archer

    Archer Member

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    For what it is worth, Lou Alessi told me a bit of Kiwi wax in a matching color, or in clear, is all the holster really needs, an an occasional basis.

    I like to touch up scuffs and scratches when possible to avoid making a water path.
     
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