How to make leather balm?
Ever wonder where we get our recipe ideas? From our daily lives, from noticing our own needs, and from listening to those around us!
One day, two young women were overheard talking in the metro. The gist of their conversation was that their “yoga mats stink!” This idea was added to our list, and our
yoga mat spray soon made its appearance. Another time, a colleague mentioned that her son loved to play in the bath, but she was wary of ingredients found in store-bought products. Twenty minutes later, we were playing in the sink with the foam from our easy-to-make bubble bath.
Today’s recipe was inspired by our friend X. An environmental technician, X works outdoors, at the mercy of the worst weather Mother Nature can throw at us: freezing cold, rain, wind, snow, and ice. He dresses accordingly, and is rarely seen without his old leather hiking boots. They’ve been through a lot together, he and his trusty boots, and they feel like old friends, so he wants to keep them.
But the dry, cracked, discoloured leather is looking the worse for wear, so we offered to create a homemade leather balm to rehydrate the boots before waterproofing them. And thus we came into temporary possession of his beloved leather boots with instructions to give them a good massage.
This homemade leather balm is so easy to make there’s no reason not to try it. And since it’s made in deodorant tubes, it couldn’t be simpler to use. Ingredients are shown for two tube sizes, depending on what you have on hand. Thanks to the vitamin E, your balm will last for ages, but if you’re worried you won’t use it up quickly enough, just keep it in the fridge.
- If you don’t have deodorant tubes, you can put the balm in another container, such as a glass, for example, and apply it with your fingers.
- Don’t forget your leather belts and sandals – and those of your family and friends. All your leather items can be rejuvenated with a darker, shinier, smoother look.
|1 oval tube (73 g)||1 round tube (89 g)|
|Beeswax||18 g||22 g|
|Deodorized cocoa butter||18 g||22 g|
|Oil (jojoba, caprylis or sweet almond)||36 g||44 g|
|Vitamin E||0.8 g||1 g|
- Double boiler
- Large stainless steel bowl
- Scale, accurate to 0.1 g
- 1 silicone spatula
- Container to hold the balm (deodorant tube or glass container)
- 1 thermometer
- Small whisk
- Small brush to apply balm
Good to know!
- You can replace the deodorized cocoa butter with raw cocoa butter, but your balm – and your leather – will smell a bit like chocolate!
- We suggest jojoba, caprylis, and sweet almond oil for their low odour and long shelf life. Jojoba oil resists rancidity. If you wish to use another oil, make sure it meets these criteria.
- Since the ingredients in this balm are all good for your skin, you can use your fingers to massage the product into the leather. The only danger is that your hands will end up being super nourished!
- If you pour the mixture into the tube while it’s too hot, it will shrink while cooling and create air bubbles. So please follow the instructions exactly.
Steps to follow
- Prepare and sterilize your equipment and workspace.
- Weigh the ingredients (except vitamin E) and melt them in the double boiler.
- Mix well while continuing to heat for a few minutes.
- Remove from the double boiler, and check the temperature. When it cools to 50 degrees C., add the vitamin E.
- While the mixture is cooling, stir constantly with the small whisk, scraping the sides of the pot. When it starts to become more opaque and creamy, it’s time to pour it into the tube before it becomes too hard.
- Set aside to cool and harden.
- Brush the leather to remove dust, not forgetting the seams.
- Apply balm to clean, dry leather.
- Use your fingers to massage the balm into the leather. If you prefer, you can rub it on with a piece of fabric. High boots can be worn to make it easier to apply the balm.
- Apply it everywhere, not forgetting the seams. Brush the seams to make sure the balm is uniformly applied.
- Let the balm soak in for 24 hours, then use a paper towel to wipe off the extra.
- It may be necessary to brush the boots at this point, especially with dark leather. Dry brushing will finish removing any excess balm and shine the leather. Without brushing, the leather may be left with white patches.
- If possible, finish with a waterproofing spray.
This product will remain good for as long as its odour and appearance remain unchanged. It can be kept in the fridge to extend its shelf life.