Hours of skilled craftsmanship and the finest materials went into creating your genuine full-grain leather bag. Give your bag the care it deserves, and it will last for decades - possibly even a lifetime. All leather begins as a living, breathing organ – which means that scratches can be repaired, and the natural oils that keep it soft and supple will periodically need to be replaced. High-quality leather will hold its shape, luster, and sheen year after year with a little bit of care. The Yukon Crazy Horse leather backpack is a perfect example, with a minimum of care this rugged bag will retain its shape and beauty for decades to come.
There are three steps to caring for your leather bag:
Always gently wipe away any spills, dirt, or dust before applying conditioner or polish. Many people are confused as to the purpose of leather conditioners and leather polish – they each serve different functions.
Leather conditioner penetrates the outer layer of the leather “skin” to keep it soft and supple. Conditioner also creates a barrier to help prevent water and other elements from seeping in and causing damage. A good leather conditioner will help to prevent the leather from drying out and cracking.
Polish does a fantastic job of adding shine to the leather. Polish should never be applied without first cleaning and conditioning the leather, and you do not want to overdo it. The frequency is dependent upon how often you use your bag. The Yukon Napa backpack is a great example of the durability of genuine full-grain leather. This rugged backpack can handle the toughest adventures while retaining its vintage beauty – just a little bit of polish is all that it takes to restore its stunning burnished glow.
Leather polish can instantly revive a beat-up looking bag. It restores the sheen and can make old leather look as good as new. Polish can be pricey – you can save a few bucks by making your own leather polish using inexpensive ingredients. Another terrific advantage of DIY leather polish is the ability to customize the compound to the exact consistency that you need. Here is a fantastic do-it-yourself leather polish:
DIY LEATHER POLISH:
- Beeswax – solid form: Beeswax works to create a barrier against environmental influences and to protect the leather.
- Coconut butter – semi-solid form: Coconut butter conditions the leather and helps to keep it soft and supple.
- Sweet almond oil – liquid form: The oil softens, nourishes, and replaces the vital oils that get lost from the leather.
- Castor oil: This is a heavier oil that provides shine to the surface of the leather.
MAKING THE POLISH:
- Flatten a small pie tin and punch holes to allow bubbles to pass through.
- Set the pie tin in a medium saucepan using enough water to cover the surface of the tin by ¼ inch. (This is to prevent the ingredients from burning).
- Set a Pyrex measuring cup on the top of the pie tin.
- Ingredient ratios should be: 2 parts sweet almond oil and castor oil to ½ part beeswax and ½ part coconut butter.
- Add the beeswax and the coconut butter together. Stir them together (inside the heated Pyrex) until melted completely.
- Continuously stir the mixture while slowly adding the almond oil. Keep stirring until all lumps have disappeared.
- Once the mixture is thoroughly blended add the castor oil.
- Continue heating and stirring the mixture for an additional 4-5 minutes. DO NOT LET THE MIXTURE COME TO A BOIL.
- Pour into tin or glass containers and let cool.
- Perform a spot-test on a small, inconspicuous part of the bag. Wait for the spot-test to dry and check for discoloration. (Various leather conditioners can create differing results. It is a great idea to always test a spot first).
If you want a firmer compound increase the amount of beeswax, for a softer polish increase the liquid (sweet almond oil) ratio. Tins and glass jars to hold the polish can usually be found in the dollar stores, and the other ingredients can be found in most grocery stores or on Amazon.
There you have it! An easy D.I.Y. polish to instantly restore the beauty and shine to your genuine leather bag. Be sure to read our articles on The Best D.I.Y. Leather Conditioner and How to Condition and Care for your Full-grain Leather Bag. Check us out at yukonbags.com for the premium selection of 100% full-grain crazy horse leather bags, backpacks, briefcases, and more.