Applying Conditioner

see also - Conditioners

Conditioners are applied generously to the leather directly, via a cloth, or by hand. After being allowed to penetrate and be absorbed by the leather, the excess conditioner is removed and the surface is gently buffed to even out the remaining trace conditioner.

There are many types of conditioner, ranging in viscosity from liquid to semi-solid grease. Depending on the viscosity of the conditioner, it can be applied directly (via a spray nozzle or a squeeze bottle), with a cloth, or by hand. Generally, it is not advisable to pour liquid conditioners onto leather directly, as it is easy to apply too much product. While this is not damaging to the leather, it is a needless waste of product and can make clean-up much more difficult. Likewise, when applying conditioner directly, it is best to apply a sparing amount and add more if needed. Once applied, immediately start rubbing the conditioner into the leather with a cloth on one's hands. Any cloths used with conditioner should be low lint, as lint can get stuck to the conditioner and detract from the appearance of the finished product.

Once the conditioner is applied completely to the leather, it should be allowed to penetrate the leather. Though the absorption begins immediately, allowing as much time as possible for the leather to completely absorb the conditioner is a good idea. Except for deep conditioning very dry or damaged leather, anything more than fifteen minutes will probably not be necessary and substantial absorption occurs in the first minute or two. Leather may completely absorb conditioner in some spots (generally the areas that flex the most: the ball of the foot, the ankle and the knee). In such a circumstance, conditioner can be reapplied to those areas.

Once the leather has been allowed to absorb the conditioner, use a clean cloth to absorb excess conditioner and to distribute the last remnants of conditioner evenly over the surface. This will reduce the patchy appearance that is produced when the leather absorbs conditioner unevenly.