5 Leather Conditioners & Cleaners – (COMPARISON) – Saddle Soap, Chamberlain’s Leather Milk, Mink Oil

5 Leather Conditioners & Cleaners – (COMPARISON) – Saddle Soap, Chamberlain’s Leather Milk, Mink Oil


so I get asked pretty often what do I
need to do to clean and condition my leather so I thought I’d do a
side-by-side comparison of five of the random leather conditioners oils and
balms I have just floating around the shop so the first leather we’re testing
is a straight veg tan I got from just bill from district leather he worked
with wickett and Craig to create his own tan it’s basically just a bridle leather
it’s it’s a little bit drier and a little harder to wear in than most of
the other leathers we have the next one is horween’s dublin this is another veg
tan but it’s got a lot more fats worked into the leather so it’s a lot more
supple and it has a lot more oils and a lot softer texture to it and then we’ve
got a dark brown chrome excel which is a combination tan it’s its chrome tanned and
veg tanned it’s a really dark leather and it’s really really soft it has tons and
tons of fats and stuff worked into the leather and a black chrome excel so the
first one we’re gonna test is mink oil I have this mink oil leftover from when I
was a wildland firefighter everyone would treat their boots with mink oil so
I just have tons of it floating around the next one we’re gonna test is a
saddle soap this is a really really popular leather cleaner it does a really
good job of conditioning and I’ve used it for a really quick and easy way to
finish the sides of leather straps next is just some Aussie Aussie Aussie I
don’t know leather conditioner it’s pretty popular
one for a really deep penetrating leather conditioner and then on to
Chamberlains I don’t know if that’s how you’re supposed to say it but they sent
me a couple samples last year of a few of their products the first one is their
healing balm and the second one is their formula number one leather care liniment
so many words I don’t know how to say okay I just looked it up it’s Chamberlain
that’s how you say it oh and I forgot to mention these are just some samples of
the coasters we’ve been making that’ll eventually end up on a site we’ve been
making these out of parts of the leather we can’t make harnesses out of that’s a
really good way for us to reduce some waste it’s similar to the the bracelets
that we’ve been giving away but to help this video out and help
incentivize you guys to help the channel out we’re gonna give away probably ten
sets of these coasters including these ones that we’re testing so if you like
if you like the video and leave a comment that we’ll enter you to win and
we’ll just comment to the winners most of our videos get like 15 likes so if
the chances of you winning a coaster set is pretty good so do me a favor and like
and comment on this video now let’s get to the testing so first thing I’m going
to do is just put a little light squiggly scratch into each of the
coasters and then deeper scratch with three lines into all the rest of them
and then I’m going to separate one just for a control and start with mean coil
adding a pretty good amount it’s kind of an oily conditioner and then on to the
saddle soap it’s a lot it was a lot harder to actually work that up than I
thought in it it’ll left a little bit of a yellow residue and then to the Aussie
conditioner this stuff is basically just like Vaseline has the same consistency
and you can see it darkened up that veg tan really quite a bit right off the bat
then on the Chamberlain’s it’s it’s similar to the Aussie it smells a lot
like coconut so it’s probably coconut oil-based and then finally onto
Chamberlain’s number one and it’s a that’s this has been the lightest one
out of all three of them it’s more of like a lotion texture I would say it
absorbed into the leather a lot quicker and now we’ll do a little side by side
comparison starting with the mink oil and absorbed pretty well into all the
different leathers but it still left a little bit of oily residue on top and it
healed the scratches okay but nothing’s special saddle soap it left kind of a
funny residue you could you could kind of fill it chalkiness on top and it
didn’t absorb all the way into all the different leathers but it was it was
okay the Aussie oil for the Aussie conditioner this one was the one that
was least absorbed it was it’s really really thick it’s kind of like
a Vaseline texture and then the healing balm it’s really similar to the
mink oil it left an oily residue or like a kind of a film on top but
absorbed better than the Aussie and then to Chamberlain’s leather milk this one
did pretty good it absorbed fairly quickly and didn’t change the color too
much and I think it healed the scratches t he best out of all five of them and now
we’re gonna move on to the water test after the conditioners have set in the
leather and had enough time to dry as much as they can for this short of a
video and as you can see there is definitely a difference in some of the
conditioners some of them are having the water beat up and some of them like the
leather milk didn’t really do anything at all to protect the leather same story
on the Dublin the more oily ones the waxier ones they seem to to protect
the leather better and the chrome excels they’re already pretty infused with fats
and oils and stuff so each of the conditioners didn’t really do a whole
lot because they’re already really water resistant and same with the black not a
whole lot of difference and then for the side-by-side comparison I didn’t add
the chrome excels because there really wasn’t much of a difference so first
we’re gonna start with the mink oil it protected it a little bit but it
eventually it did make it into the leather you can see some of the spots
the saddle soap didn’t nearly protect it as well as the others and it started
discolor the leather really bad the Aussie conditioner it did the best out
of all of them but it’s still after a while sunk into the leather chamberlain’s
leather milk or sorry the healing balm similar to the mink oil and then
Chamberlain’s leather milk this one did the worst out of all of them it didn’t
really do much of anything to protect the leather and we’ll take one more look
at all the different finishes as for smell I really liked the the healing
balm by Chamberlain’s it smelled a lot like
coconut that was my personal favorite smell and the flesh side didn’t really
matter for each one they it all kind of did the same thing the flesh side wasn’t
that big of a difference and as for how soon after you can use whatever product
you’re putting it on the leather milk did by far the best it was the fastest
absorbing and didn’t leave any really noticeable residue okay that pretty much
wraps up the side-by-side comparison it’s hard to choose one for an overall
best conditioner if I were to choose one I would probably choose Chamberlain’s it
seemed like it’s the best all around for a nice conditioner that doesn’t leave a
really oily finish on top but it still cleans the conditions of leather and
then again it’s like depending on whatever application you’re trying to
use one might be better over the other but this is my personal favorite so let
me know what you think if there’s any other types of conditioners we didn’t do
in this test that you think I should test or something that I’m missing or
something I didn’t even think of let me know and I’ll maybe do another video

100 thoughts on “5 Leather Conditioners & Cleaners – (COMPARISON) – Saddle Soap, Chamberlain’s Leather Milk, Mink Oil”

  • Have you checked out Saphir? Maybe overkill for saddles but second to none for shoes and higher quality items. It's like food for leather, not a waterproof-er (you put creme or polish on after the conditioner) but for conditioning I can't think of anything better. If you work with quality leather Saphir is a must. BTW, I'm not plugging!.. Just my experience with it, I have about 50 pairs of shoes!

  • I always used plain old mink oil, but I got a jacket I wanted to soften up, and I found a product by Obenauf"s. It has some additional additives to deter mold and mildew and bacteria. I've used it on three pr of boots, and applied it like twice in a few days, and that was all I did, seems to work well. Ingredients are not disclosed so there is some secret formula that they protect.

  • I use mink oil for my walking boots and I often walk in very wet conditions. For the best reults you need to leave them for at least 12 hours after application.

  • I always like seeing how different products work. I am truly stuck on Obenauf's myself. I also use a Swiss fix wax for things like old leather bags and boots on top of the Obenauf's. Thanks for testing!

  • Nice video, I myself use HESTRA original leather balm on my sheepskin jackets It's advertized as a sport- & ski glove treatment. Works great on other garments to. It's all natural and comes in small tins. (one tin will do a coat)

  • I've heard very mixed theories on how to condition the leathers with coretex or other waterproof membranes. Some theories include conditioners blocking or damaging the membranes. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

    Awesome content, keep it coming.

    PS. Coasters are more than welcome!

  • I definitely hope you expand on this topic. I use brooks proofide as my general purpose, but I’m going to look at chamberlains line based on there comment. Thank for the info, keep up the good work.

  • You should consider making watch straps with scraps of leather. I am always in the marked for a good quality leather watch strap.

  • Good video. I was wondering if you can confirm if saphir is worth the hype it seems that majority of youtubers are promoting it. I know there are other leather conditioners such as Bick 4 and VSC that is also widely used and can you compare them as well

  • The saddle soap I think you applied incorrectly as it’s meant for cleaning and you daub it on and lather it up with a wet daubing brush like a shaving soap wipe off and leave to dry and then use your personal favoured leather cream or wax after – well that’s what I do unless I’m wrong it works for me 👍🏻

  • There are two things you are testing and each require different products.
    1) conditioning the leather and that means the leather absorbing the product as much as possible to replenish fats and oils that dissipate and break down over time leaving leather dry and brittle. I also use chamberlains milk for this but another three products I use are URAD leather conditioner and URAD tenderly. I also use Saphir medal dior cream which is great for replenishing colour. Although made for shoes the Saphir has worked great on my leather saddle bag and the mixture of oils and waxes it contains does a pretty decent job of conditioning the leather and adding protection. This brings us to the next subject. 2) Waterproofing and protection. Nothing does this better than a wax. Be it carnuba, bees. or whatever else you can get your hands on. I personally prefer beeswax. The important part here is to use something that will not kill the leather and still allow the pores to work as they should so I try to stay away from petroleum and chemical based products. I have in the past used a combination of coconut oil, mink oil and neatsfoot oil to bring old dead leather back to life through multiple applications over s fee weeks allowing time to fully absorb, then add a bit of colour with the pigmented Saphir cream and finish off with beeswax and a good old buff. It is important to remember that some of the products you used may only offer their best in protection if brushed or buffed after application as this process creates an orderly structure in the way the wax molecules are lined / stacked up and gel with one another to create that barrier that you need.
    Still a good video
    I thought being a former fire fighter you would have tested the Obenauf leather protector since it was created by firefighters. I think it’s a great product for rugged leather especially footwear and increases the lifespan of such leathers many times but…. it darkens light coloured leather substantially.

    Looking forward to more videos !

  • Doesn’t seem to help us novices with making decisions on what products to use on our leather items. Please review more!

  • As a veteran, in a time when we shined our boots…Kiwi Parade Gloss was our go-to, if we could find it! There is something entrancing to watch untreated leather get worked slowing and begin to look like glass. I'm retired now, but I still will grab my boots, just to see them come back to it's luster.

  • In this video I just applied saddle soap to the coasters to compare what it does to the surface of the leather to some of the conditioners and oils I had around the shop. So if want to learn how to use it as a cleaner let me know! I can do a video on that as well.

  • I'm curious how Redwing's products (like the leather cream or conditioner) stack up to these. Also, at 6:27, he says Chamberlain "did the worst out of all of these," but then he says it's his favorite one at the end. I wasn't sure if I missed something in between.

  • Saddle Soap is not meant to be conditioner. It is cleaner. Mix it with water, dip brush in it, and then brush the dirt off leather.

  • Good tests. My favorite waterproof and conditioner for my hiking boots and work shoes is Guberd's shoe grease, can you compare it to these in future?

  • I use sno-seal on all of my leathers, wallet, leather iPhone case, boots and work gloves. It works great to block out the water and softens the leather well.

  • yo my man, you inspired me to start some leatherworking. however i would never comment if it wouldnt be for dat coasterz.

  • Idk how you pronounce them but where I live "Aussie" is pronounced "Ozzie" like the wizard of oz. And Chamberlains is pronounced a combination "chain" and "tame" or maybe like Chamber… Like "I need to go down to the chamber"

  • Can you do the SAPHIR brand ? there is plenny of guy advocating it on youbube, but I want to know. Thanks for the vids !

  • Great channel and coasters! I love my chromeexcel boots (allen edmonds) and use saphir products specifically for chromexcel

  • My dad was an Army Drill Sergeant and swore by Saddle Soap with a wet brush lather to clean, followed up with dubbed Mink Oil to condition (preferably getting the boot warm with a hair dryer or something first) … Of course this was on boots that he wasnt spit shining with wax lol. This is how I was taught to do it and its always worked for me but im open minded and would be open to try other products. Ive heard good things about Obernaufs and Neatsfoot for example just never tried it.

  • Thanks for doing this. I went in to Tandy today because the hide I dyed was so dry I thought the leather was going to snap in two.

  • @rose anvil what’s your thought on using lip balm as a leather polish? I’m new to real leather products and well i think it’s been working or I might have just ruined my wallet not sure

  • I am questioning this entire video. You apparently did not read the directions (for the Aussie as an example). It says to apply it. Let it sit. Wipe off and reapply. No where on the Aussie does it say it is water resistant. It is a conditioner. Saddle Soap has never been used as a protectant (as far as I know) You use Saddle Soap in combination with other products. I use it to burnish the edges of leather and it works perfectly. Not thrilled with your testing.

  • 50% beeswax, 25% boiled linseed oil and 25% turpentine oil all melted into a pan and a hairdryer to work it into the leather.

  • That was a great little informative video on leather conditioners I struggled with which type of leather conditioner to use on my leather belts and leather gun holsters and wallets for some time and ended up going with a leather conditioner called beesbutter which turned out to be a really good leather conditioner for what I’m using it on. I found it on Amazon maybe it would be a good leather conditioner to use in upcoming comparisons to give you something else to go along with the others that you have used.

  • My dad has a bottle of Allen Edmonds leather lotion that I just use on all my leather shoes, which incidentally all happen to be that brand as well. I have 2 pairs of dress shoes for work and I just got a pair of their ranger boots which I love. I would be curious to see how the Allen Edmonds leather lotion stacks up as that's what I use cuz it's just kinda already there.

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