Waterproofing leather - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum

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Old 12-07-2012, 01:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Waterproofing leather

37 degrees and light rain this morning. Not enough to warrant the rain gear, and I expected the leather jacket & chaps would keep me mostly dry. That was mostly correct; but the road splash soaked right through the chaps, and I was more than a little damp from the knees down when I got to work. Meh, it's only water, and I'm dry already.

But that gets me to my question. What's the best way to waterproof the chaps (and leather in general) so this doesn't happen again? Now, I know that there is a variety of oils, silicones, and synthetics out there that all claim to work, but I'm looking for your best suggestions with the following priorities:

1. It does not hurt or in any way degrade the leather.
2. It prevents penetration of water through the leather.
3. It isn't ugly. On black leather chaps, I can't imagine discoloration is a problem, but I don't want blotchiness, etc.
4. It actually helps the leather. If whatever I use extends the life of the material, so much the better.

What's the prevailing wisdom on this topic?
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Last edited by rb608; 12-07-2012 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Clean them good with saddle soap then apply Neetsfoot oil. Do this a couple times a year and you will have no more problems.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I treat my leather boots and jackets with "Nikwax waterproofing wax for leather"
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Mink oil or sno seal worked for me!
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't use chaps but have had great success on jacket and boots using mink oil. Mink oil will prolong the life of the leather. Be care with some spray/liquid waterproofs (silicon) as I have heard they are great at waterproofing because they harden but may crack the leather. What I do is wear my leather goves/gauntlets and just dig into the monk oil and spread on jacket etc. This way I do the gloves at the same time. I did use too much mink oil on boots once and left it on a few months. Boots got really soft but are great to wear now.

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Old 12-07-2012, 05:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I ride in the wettest weather in the world, driven by gale force winds..after each ride I coat the leather in dubbin or boot polish..my leather jacket is older than most riders and still going strong..the rain still soaks it and quite often gets right througjh to my skin but the polish keeps the jacket looking good and it still keeps me from freezing to death..I put the polish on thick while the jacket is still damp and polish it with a brush the next day..

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Old 12-07-2012, 06:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I use nikwax as well.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Snow Seal is a Natural Beeswax waterproofer.Sucks to apply it but works like a champ

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