Leather Waterproofing on Holsters?

Leather Waterproofing on Holsters?

This is a discussion on Leather Waterproofing on Holsters? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Has anyone tried a leather water repellent on holsters (and shoulder holster straps) to keep sweat from soaking in? I carry even when working outside ...

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Thread: Leather Waterproofing on Holsters?

  1. #1
    Member Array 86thecat's Avatar
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    Leather Waterproofing on Holsters?

    Has anyone tried a leather water repellent on holsters (and shoulder holster straps) to keep sweat from soaking in? I carry even when working outside and am concerned now that it's warming up. Thinking of something like Nikwax which doesn't leave an oily residue.

  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array TerriLi's Avatar
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    Ive always done this to my new holsters. Soak them in a bag of Mink Oil for a day, then wipe all the excess off, then dry for a day or two. In Florida never had an issue with oil residue, and pretty much makes them water proof then.
    I know not what this "overkill" means.

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  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    Obenauf makes some incredible leather care products. Their Heavy Duty LP protects leather from not only water, but harsh chemicals, drying out, and wear from bending and flexing. It will also restore old leather. I love it.
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  5. #4
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    A quality holster shouldn't ever soak up enough moisture from your body to reach the weapon, none of mine do.

    My Milt Sparks holsters (VersaMax-IIs) are horse hide on the side against the body, never had a moisture problem even when in direct contact to the skin!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

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  6. #5
    Member Array Tn Mitch's Avatar
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    This is mine,holds my Glock 27 40cal.and spare mag,works for me outside in the summertime, under cargo shorts,smart carry,has a sweat barrier,between you and the gun....works for me,I have a lawn care biss,and some sheep,dont want to see a gun or holster,so this is my work rig.Also works in winter under sweat pants.....no belt or pocket needed.....:)Milt Sparks VM2 for the rest of the time...

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    I have two Sparks ExC. One is horsehide, and the other cowhide with a waterproof barrier between layers of leather on the back side.

    I don't really sweat much, but have never had a problem. Either a barrier or horsehide is the way to go with leather. Otherwise kydex will solve the problem, but is not as comfortable.


  8. #7
    Member Array muddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
    A quality holster shouldn't ever soak up enough moisture from your body to reach the weapon, none of mine do.
    This statement is false. Leather is porous and will soak up what ever it can. The quality has nothing to do with it. The thicker leather is the more it can soak up before it soaks through. The dressing on the leather helps to keep moister from soaking in as what ever you use (mink oil, neets boot oil, ect) fills the pores in the leather which in turn keeps moister out. As you wear the leather the dressing gets forced out of the pores from flexing and soaked up from your clothes and dirt. Given enough time and use all leather will start taking on moisture.

    So from time to time leather needs a little care. I would not soak my leather in a tub of oil them let it drip off and dry. You see to much oil is not good ether as it softens leather. The best way to apply dressing is to warm the leather slightly and rub the dressing on with a rag. A little will do just fine. Its kinda a feel thing depending on how dry your leather is and how fast it soaks up the dressing. If the leather contains to much dressing it will start coming off on your clothes once its worn and starts flexing again.

    I am sure most have seen my post where I am looking for a holster cause my MTAC soaked through while working in the yard. I am not going to stop using the MTAC I just don't want to deal with the leather every time I get sweated up. I will purchase or make a Kydex holster to wear in high sweat situation. Once the MTAC is dry I will apply a little oil and be back in business.

    So take the above for what its worth. I know a thing or two about leather as I work with it some and have had the pleasure of wearing $600. custom boots while working in the woods for the better part of my life. I made it my business to figure out how to care for my investment as them boots where my only ticket out of some bad places a few times. I started my career when men still wore leather and wool in the woods. Now its rubber and gortex.

  9. #8
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    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
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    I have never had a holster soak up enough mosture to effect the weapon. I always have a T-shirt between my IWB and my skin. It's certainly plenty hot down here, but sweating does not get to my sidearm. All of my holsters have body protectors...that helps a lot.
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  10. #9
    Array QKShooter's Avatar
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    Just use Renaissance Wax on your leather.

    Search Ebay for it. Make sure you spell Renaissance correctly.

    For over forty years, RENAISSANCE WAX-POLISH has been the #1 choice of museums, art galleries and institutions for the preservation of precious items. Professional conservators, retailers, restorers and private individuals throughout the world depend on RENAISSANCE WAX to protect their collections and for in home use.

    Polishes and Protects:
    Guard your precious pieces against the damaging effects of humidity, heat, dust, environmental destruction, aging and ordinary wear.

    RENAISSANCE WAX provides a barrier against fingerprints and the devastation of water, wine, alcohol and other spills. With its high moisture resistance, it forms a durable, lustrous protective coating. Prevents tarnish, corrosion and "bloom;" remains completely waterproof; retards weathering on exteriors and objects exposed to climatic abrasion.

    A Little Goes A Long Way --
    And Lasts A Long Time Excellent spread and indefinite shelf life make RENAISSANCE WAX economical and convenient, even for very large objects and infrequent use. A small dab goes a long way, unlike most waxes that need generous application. Use a minimal amount of RENAISSANCE WAX, rub lightly, and buff if a gloss is desired. The long-lasting preservation reduces the need for frequent maintenance. Airtight container keeps wax in perfect condition; always spreadable, no caking or drying out; indefinite shelf life; no "polish smell;" no added fragrance to endanger substrate material.

    Cleans Beautifully:
    Lift oil, dirt and the murky accretions of other polishes. The surface detail remains crystal clear through unlimited applications of this translucent wax; removes previous wax build-up; reveals fine detail & wood grain; non-staining, non-abrasive.

    Restores and Enhances:
    Revitalize and return your objects to pristine condition. RENAISSANCE WAX buffs easily to a hard, transparent finish that will not discolor; Renews fading colors and "tired finishes;" retains matte finish when unpolished; buffs to a high gloss; reduces shine of new picture varnish.

    For Use On:
    Furniture, Antique & New Sculpture, Porcelain, Pottery & Ceramics; Cutlery Knives, Swords, Armor; Jewelry, Carvings, Antiquities, Bibelots, Hardware, Wood Interiors, Fine Books, Clocks, Paintings, Oils, Acrylics, Gouaches, Tempera, Alkyds, Pastels, Oil Sticks, Martins Dyes, India Inks, Photographic Prints, Carvings, Engraving, Scrimshaw, Architectural Ornaments, PLUS; Automobiles, Boats and Yachts, Decoys, Golf Clubs, Firearms, Frames, Kitchen Cabinets, Counters, Appliances, and much more!

    SAFE to protect all these Materials:
    Wood; raw & finished. Leather, Parchment & Paper. Metal; Silver, Silverplate, Gold, Copper & Copper Alloys (Bronze, Brass, Tin, Zinc, German Silver, Nickel), Lead & Pewter, Iron & Iron Alloys, Tin & Tin Alloys. Damascus; Stone, Marble, Onyx, Limestone, Granite, Brick, Tile, Terrazzo, Obsidian, Alabaster; Gems, Glass, Porcelain, Holloware, Bone, Ivory, Horn, Shell & Mother-of-Pearl, Gutta Percha, Dammars; Gilding & Gold Leaf, Patinas. Enamel, Lacquer, Japanning, Cloute, Pose d'Or, Pique Point, Varnish, Marbleizing, Stains & Artificial Graining. Plastics, Formicas, Paints, Polyvinyl Acetates, Esters of Polymethyacrylic, Polycyclohexanones, Fiberglas Epoxy Resins, and much more!

    the "Perfect Wax" was created:
    Prior to 1950, the only polishes available were based on beeswax and carnuba wax. Unfortunately, these natural, saponifiable products could cause damage when acids arose spontaneously through oxidation or hydrolysis. To solve the problem, a consortium of international conservationists directed a scientist from the British Museum to conduct research and find the "perfect wax." When he could not find any that met their exacting standards, he created a new wax in his laboratory. The revolutionary formula he invented is a semi-synthetic microcrystalline fossil-origin wax entirely free of, damaging acids.
    It remains chemically neutral and is therefore completely safe, even on vulnerable surfaces.
    The British Museum approved manufacture for its own use and for distribution to the public. That "perfect wax" is now available internationally under the name RENAISSANCE WAX.

    Who Uses RENAISSANCE Wax-Polish:
    UK: British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum. Royal Armories (Tower of London , London & Leeds, National Army Museum, Imperial War Museum, the Wallace Collection, H.M. the Queen's Royal Armorer (at Marlborough House), the Guards Museum (Wellington Barracks), the Gurkha Museum (Winchester), the Military Museums at Aldershot, Royal Green Jackets Regimental Museum, the Gunsmith at Chatham Historic Dockyard (Kent), the Johnny Armstrong Gallery, and Museum of Border Arms & Armor (Scotland), National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland. Belgium: Musee Royal de l'Armee et d'Histoire Militaire-Brussels. USA: Gunsmith at Colonial Williamsburg, the Smithsonian, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Academy of Art-Honolulu, Texarcana College-Bladesmithing & Metallurgy, Rockfeller Restorations, and many many more institutions around the world.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Array MR D's Avatar
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    I use bees wax - never had any problems

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array torrejon224's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Time and time again this has been discussed. Putting any type of product on a leather holster like mink oil or a waterproofing agent is going to break down the leather. Never use a product unless recommended by the maker and the Renaissance wax is one most agree on.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array Avenger's Avatar
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    You know, I have found this post very interesting. It never crossed my mind to waterproof or sweatproof my leather holsters. I do it to my boots... and it hardly rains here! But I sweat all the time... I dont usually wear an undershirt... hmmm.... something to think about!

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    I also have used various waterproofing oils, etc on boots. Mostly it was limited in the time it kept them dry. But boots are soft, and holsters are not. To soften a holster is to basically ruin it as to fit.

    Please anyone find me a single holster maker who will recommend soaking one of their holsters in any kind of oil.


  15. #14
    Senior Member Array Sportsterguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryM View Post
    I also have used various waterproofing oils, etc on boots. Mostly it was limited in the time it kept them dry. But boots are soft, and holsters are not. To soften a holster is to basically ruin it as to fit.

    Please anyone find me a single holster maker who will recommend soaking one of their holsters in any kind of oil.

    +1. Just don't do it.
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  16. #15
    rmw is offline
    Member Array rmw's Avatar
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    I ordered a new belt from the Belt man and saw he also sells this

    The following is from OBENAUF'S own literature (they tell their story better than we can).

    The Obenauf LP Story, as told by Marv Obenauf
    As a firefighter for 34 years I ruined quite a few expensive boots long before they had a chance to wear out. In 1989 I researched with boot companies, saddlers, and other leather specialists to determine which product on the market was best suited to protect our boots, and our investment, that were often in steam, heat, wet ashes (lye), and caustic fire retardants. I learned that most products are only temporary water repellents or softeners claiming to "condition" leather. They slough off with flexing or light scufffing through brush, leaving leather dried and unprotected. None resist chemicals or heat. Most contain chemicals, mink oil, or pine tar that cause irreparable damage to leather fibers. The common consensus was that the only way to protect our boots against such elements was to stay out of those conditions, as we were baking the leather and literally cooking our boots in lye.

    We needed something durable that would hang in there when the going got rough (also a common and necessary trait among firefighters). It had to resist heat, caustic fire retardant chemicals, moisture, and restore lost oils. With help from tanneries, the University of Idaho, and leather craftsmen I experimented with different ingredients and recipes. My goal was to extend (preserve) the useful life of leather, not just shed water or soften it. I focused on long-range effect. Eventually I had what we needed. It not only worked well; but a little went a long way, as it melted completely into the leather and stayed, which made it economical too. With regular use our boots lasted noticeably longer and stayed comfortable.

    As word spread and demand for Obenauf's LP (Leather Preservative) grew among ranches, loggers, bikers, boot companies, and anyone with leather, it was apparent that we had a product that was not otherwise available.

    Obenauf's Heavy Duty Leather Preservative (LP) is the most durable protection available for leather on the face of the planet. Originally developed for the extraordinary conditions endured by wildland firefighters, LP protects, preserves, and restores furniture, boots, saddles, motorcycle leathers, fine apparel, tool pouches, gloves, baseball mitts, and more. It is especially useful for any leather that gets worked hard and is regularly exposed to severe elements.

    Three different natural oils are suspended in Beeswax and Propolis. In the leather these oils gradually seep out of the Beeswax/Propolis. If exposed to heat or flexing the oils are released faster so leather gets oiled instead of parched and cracked. This Beeswax/Propolis* Suspension Formula provides a time-release lubrication to inner fibers while the surface is reinforced against scuffing, and the leather still breathes. The remarkable result is Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP that:

    * Repels water better and longer.
    * Repels acids, petroleum, salt, and chemicals.
    * Restores dried leather to a soft and supple condition and protects it from further damage.
    * Prevents dry rot and resists mildew.
    * Resists premature cracking in flex areas.
    * Works great on Gore-Tex® footwear.
    * Is odorless after applied (very important for hunters).
    * Restores sun-faded leather.
    * Resists scuffing and dry rot.
    * Applies easily with with a clean cloth.
    * Penetrates deeply into leather.
    * Can be buffed to shine or polished over.
    * Contains no harmful silicones, petroleums, solvents, or neatsfoot.
    * Is approved for Gore-Tex® footwear.

    *Propolis resists bacteria and mildew, and is a barrier against manure acid, salt, caustic chemicals, and petroleum. Combined with beeswax it repels water better and longer

    I'll give it a try when it shows up

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