Leather Care Liniment
So, I used to be on a collegiate billiards team. And after several years of playing with different weighted pool cues, I learned that I preferred a 19.5 oz. stick with a hard tip. I can tell the exact weight of a cue by just holding it for a few seconds. 19 ounces is just a tad too light. Likewise, after years of rubbing down thousands of leather pieces with different conditioners, my brother-in-law can tell, in just a few seconds, which ones are excellent and which are just okay. You name it: Beeswax, Saddle Soap or Mink, Baby or Olive Oil, he's tried it all.
Dennis has found that some conditioners smell like chemicals or are too waxy or change the finish or are too thin or darken the leather or mask the great leather smell or are oily and dry out the leather or soften or clog the pores. By testing and using and trying and smelling hundreds of gallons of conditioners... and then becoming a student of it all, CSI has developed, and is passionate about, this conditioner. It's a mix of the healthy and natural conditioners and preservatives needed, and what each piece arrives to you already conditioned with. It's what I use.
And... I wouldn't recommend something that I didn't know was excellent just because my OCD brother-in-law developed it. My integrity doesn't have a price tag. If you don't know about SBL yet, I hope you learn, it's not about money, it's about being excellent, even in the details. Helping you avoid random junk conditioners is just the right thing to do.
Now, I'm not saying there aren't other excellent ones on the market. There are, but this is one of them. Check some of them out on the Common Questions tab above. Hope it helps in your quest.
Leather Care Liniment
Just as milk is a primary nutrient for so much of animal and human life, so Chamberlain's Leather Milk is for all things leather. Those who buy our products tend to be people who own quality leather items (leather furniture, luxurious auto interiors, leather briefcases, purses, and luggage); and, they tend to be people who know how to take care of their good stuff. This is how it is with quality leather goods: the leather needs to be cared for in a particular way and in regular fashion for it to look its best and last for years to come. Chamberlain's Leather Milk was created for just this purpose. Made from natural, leather-nutrient-rich ingredients; concocted from natural oils and conditioners, plus a few highly classified mystical properties...Chamberlain's Leather Milk will feed, strengthen and beautify your leather goods.
*Recommended by and used before shipment on all Saddleback Leather Co. pieces*
Leather Care Liniment
Can I use your products on all types of leather?
Technically, no...but, this would be the case for all leather care products. Because leather varies so much, due to it's origin and it's processing, you do have to be mindful of certain exceptions to the general rule of practice. For example, exotic leathers (alligator, shark, komodo dragon, cat, etc.) may require unique treatment. Also, suede-type leathers require special handling.
Finally, if you purchase a 'specialty item'...say, a sofa made from special hides, from special exotic places, then by all means comply with the special instructions provided. For all practical purposes, you can use our Chamberlain's Leather Milk products on just about anything! Because our products use only natural, gentle oils and conditioners they are extremely versatile. Always test a product on a small area of your leather if you have any doubts...or, contact us for advice.
How often should I clean and condition my leather?
The first part of this question is easy... you clean your leather when it gets dirty. More specifically, it has to do with what your leather is being exposed to, and how often; for example, if you have a photography gear bag, or briefcase, that sees a lot of action (dust storms, sweaty subways, congressional hearings); or, if you spill stuff on it... then, obviously you can clean it with Chamberlain's Leather Milk. Otherwise, a formal cleaning is not something you need to do very often. Most leather items (not specialty items referred to above) can get by with a simple wipe-off , using a soft, slightly dampened cloth.
If you do use a leather cleaner, be sure that you follow up with a conditioner. This ensures that the leather's needed oils are replenished. Conditioning your leather is also an individual matter. Two general rules first: don't over-condition, and don't under-condition. Most quality leather items will be adequately 'conditioned' when you purchase them; then, depending on the way the item is used and what it is exposed to, it may need some re-conditioning. If you use a cleaner on your leather, then most likely a conditioning treatment is needed; if your leather appears dried-out, stiff and dull, and basically lacks that natural suppleness and vitality of rich leather... then, it probably needs conditioning. A word of caution: if you over-condition your leather, especially with a heavy type of conditioner, you will clog the leather fibers, diminish breathe-ability, and trap dirt and debris deep within.
The great thing about Chamberlain's Leather Milk is that these products are water based and do not use 'heavy' conditioning agents. Because of this, you can use this product more frequently, both to condition and to refresh the leather. It will accomplish a light cleaning, plus enrich the leather fibers. This is particularly useful for use on items that are used alot and looked at alot...like leather coats, briefcases and purses, sofas, and auto interiors.
Will your products darken or alter the color of my leather?
The general answer is NO...at least, not in any significant manner. There are numerous types of leather out there, and many variables; so, our answer would be..."This depends upon which of our products you use, and what type of leather you are using it on." In general, most of the leather you find on furniture, automobile interiors, luggage, and other high traffic surfaces has some amount of protective coating, or finish. Sometimes referred to as Top Coated leather, this is leather that is less absorbent that 'raw leather' or knapp styles (e.g., Aniline, Suede, Nubuck); generally speaking, Top Coated leathers do not have problems with leather conditioners...especially if it is Chamberlain's Leather Milk. However, if your leather is a 'raw leather' style...and, especially if it is light colored, some darkening could occur; often this is only a slight change in shade, and even this will typically return to normal after a brief drying time. To alleviate any fears you may have, test the product on some small, obscure area!
Is Leather Milk a Dairy product?
In the leather care business, as in any business, you will find products all along the quality continuum, from very poor to very good. The truly 'good' leather care products in today's marketplace may vary somewhat in the ingredients they use (e.g., conditioning or cleaning formulas) but, they will all keep to certain high standards that have been used and tested for generations. Chamberlain's Leather Milk is part of this grand tradition; and, we'd like to think, at the head of the class!
What exactly is Leather Milk? You may also want to ask 'what is the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken?' or 'what is the date for the Second Coming of Christ?' These are the kinds of questions that deal with highly classified materials, and, understandably, require very high security clearances...some, Very High. This much we can tell you: Chamberlain's Leather Milk is the Brand name for a line of leather care products that include cleaners, conditioners, and protectants; all of which are made of entirely natural substances. For example, the best conditioners on the market today use a combination of plant and animal oils, usually in some type of water-based emulsion. There are numerous oils used: lanolin, banana oil, aloe, nut oil, whale oil, coconut oil, beeswax, and on and on! The point is, leather conditioners are designed to replace the oils the leather item has lost, and thus restore suppleness, vitality, and strength to the leather. This is not to say that all oils are of equal value for the treatment of your quality leather. If you have a piece of dried-out leather, just about any oil product will result in a softened, oiled condition; this doesn't mean that the oil product is good for your leather! Some oils permeate the leather fibers and bond and revitalize, while others may damage the fibers, weaken the stitching, and transfer oils and dyes onto your clothing! Don't use Quaker State 30W on your briefcase; and, Baby Oil is basically mineral oil (a petroleum product); and, Neatsfoot isn't Neatsfoot anymore...who knows what's in it?
So, don't be overly impressed when someone claims that their product contains the 'ultimate' leather oil; or, they reference an arcane sounding recipe that is known only to a handful of the Initiated (like peacock oil, frog liver, and water from the Ganges). The real key for developing a great leather care recipe has to do, not only with the right choice of oils and conditioning agents; but, also about how to construct and balance these substances properly. Chamberlain's Leather Milk possesses these good qualities! Our products have been tested on literally thousands of leather items, and in some cases modified to get even better results. The feedback we get, from inside and outside the industry, is consistently positive and enthusiastic.
"Well, that is a wonderful compliment...thank you! We believe that Chamberlain's Leather Milk is better than most, and as good as the best; and, secretly, we believe that we are way ahead of the competition. Nevertheless, we try to maintain a "humble posture."
If you'd like to do your own research on the competition, here are some links. We've done our homework and realized that there seems to be a shortage of leather conditioners at a high level. The reason we offer these links to you is because we want your leather to drink well, even if you don't choose Chamberlain's Leather Milk