Beeswax has been used throughout history as a polish and softening agent for a variety of surfaces. Commercial manufacturers of beeswax products have utilised this tradition to produce various types of beeswax treatments that can be used for a variety of purposes on a variety of leather items.
Beeswax is produced by the wax glands of honeybees. This wax is then harvested to create many products, including leather treatments. Most leather treatments that contain beeswax combine this ingredient with other ingredients, including a polishing agent, petroleum jelly, tallow and other oils. This combination of ingredients works to penetrate and soften the pores of the leather, allowing the leather to become more pliable and avoid creasing and breaking. Additionally, beeswax treatments can be used for cleaning, polishing and waterproofing leather products.
Types of Treatments
Beeswax products are available as a polish, cream or wax. Most types of treatments are designed so that the beeswax penetrates the pores of the leather. For instance, Mind Your Own Beeswax manufactures a product that contains beeswax, neatfoot oil and tallow, which penetrates the surface of the leather and makes the leather waterproof. Skidmore's Leather Restoration Cream softens and adds moisture to leather products, which can make them more pliable over time and prevent future damage.
How to Use Beeswax Treatments
Beeswax treatments can generally be used on any leather item, though most are designed to be used on shoes, jackets, rawhide, upholstery and tack supplies. The surface of the leather item is first cleaned with a damp rag to remove dust and dirt. The beeswax treatment is then smoothed onto the surface using a dry rag, rubbing firmly in circular patterns, until the entire surface of the object has been coated. Extra dry leather objects can be coated on both sides of the leather. Most beeswax treatments require multiple applications to achieve the desired effect.
Since beeswax treatments come in a variety of forms, it's important to get the treatment that will suit your needs. For instance, waterproofing your leather item will require a heavy-duty beeswax treatment that contains tallow. These treatments generally take several applications until the item is sufficiently waterproofed, so allow plenty of time before wearing it. Additionally, many beeswax products contain a polishing agent that makes leather shiny. Be aware when purchasing beeswax leather treatments to avoid polishes if you want a matt finish on your leather.
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