Do Leather Conditioning Products Work?

One of the most frequently asked questions at PEGAI is about how to take care of their leather products. Most companies will try to upsell you with leather care products but before buying them, let’s first talk about whether you need it or not. In this video, we will answer the following questions:

  • Is a leather care product a must? Should you really buy and use one?
  • What should you do first before applying a leather conditioning product to your leather goods?
  • Should you use leather conditioning products on all types of leather or are there specific types of leather that don't need leather conditioning?

Let us know about your thoughts and questions. You can comment them down below or directly on the YouTube video. We’ll see you again next time. A quick reminder to be authentic, be leather-savvy!


Hi, everyone! This is Tanner with another practical tip to help you become leather-savvy. Today, I want to talk about leather maintenance and leather care products. We get a lot of questions from our customers at PEGAI asking us how to maintain and care for their leather goods.

The key secret I want to share here is that you don’t need leather care products or even maintain your leather goods because 90% of the products you have (or you will get in the market) are tanned using chrome tanning or a combination of chrome and vegetable tanning in which all the oils and waxes are being permanently fixed into the leather. So as long as you use your products, the oil in your hands will do its job. You don’t need any additional material to maintain your leather goods. I would say, don’t waste your money on leather care products even though some leather companies will try to upsell them making you think that you need those. But I would actually warn you to apply or try those things on a small patch first because there is a good chance you might ruin the look, color, or effect that you cherish in your leather products, especially the good leather products such as those in full-grain, aniline, and vegetable-tanned items.

As an example, let’s say you have a leather product made out of vegetable-tanned, full-grain, or aniline leather and you love those neck grains. You wanted to try a leather care product but there’s a good chance that you might lose the effects (the neck grains) if you apply it to your leather. We have another example. We applied a waterproofing agent on one of the leathers and a base item was used to compare the two. The result showed that the leather with a waterproofing agent became darker after the application. Waterproofing may be one of the cases that you might want to use on your leather goods but again, to avoid failure, I would suggest applying the product (whatever you want to try) to a discreet area first. Let’s say it’s a bag. You might want to apply the product on the bottom or on the inside of the bag to see if there is an undesirable impact after the application. If you achieved the waterproofing effect that you’re going after and if you like how it turned out, then that’s the time that you can apply it all over your product. This minimizes the risk of ruining the entire item in the first place.  

One other exception to leather care products where you don’t need to have a “leather care products secret” is if it’s a natural vegetable-tanned leather that doesn’t have many dyes or protection on top of it. This is the type of leather that they use to make saddles, belts, and gun holsters. They are completely vegetable-tanned and there’s no dyeing on them; it is the natural color of the vegetable tenons. This leather tends to dry up pretty quickly especially if it’s exposed to heat and sun. If exposed to heat and sun for too long, it might start to crack. So you may want to consider using some oil and wax products to maintain the flexibility in the fibers. Less than 1% of the products in the market today are made out of this leather and there’s a very low chance you own or will buy a product of this sort. If you do buy them, then you might want to consider using those leather care products that might be helpful to maintain the items.

I hope these tips help you to navigate the space better next time you’re shopping for leather care products. Don’t waste your money on things that you don’t need.

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