Petroleum Jelly for Leather Preservation

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Triquetra, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. Triquetra


    Mar 7, 2002
    Not sure that this question is completely relevant on this forum but I always get good advise here. I was wanting to preserve my sheath and leather handle on my Air Force Survival Knife but I was wanting to use something non-toxic. I wasn't sure about my Kiwi Mink Oil and someone on another forum suggested petroleum jelly. Has anyone tried this? Does it work or have any problems? I though if it worked, I could try it on my HI sheaths as well. I was going to try and melt it in with a hair dryer like I do with mink oil or snow seal on my shoes.
  2. yoda4561


    May 28, 1999
    I don't recommend it. My favorite leather treatment is Montana Pitch blend brand (the one with the beeswax in it). Wax type treatments usually seem to work better on sheaths, as oils that are applied a little too heavily tend to make them soft and floppy. My only recollection of using petroleum jelly on leather resulted in it becoming.. icky??, I think I've blocked all the gory details from my mind.
  3. Thomas Linton

    Thomas Linton

    Jun 16, 2003
    PJ makes the leather soft and --- (here's a technical term) -- "Icky." :D

    Try Snow Seal per directions on the container.
  4. Nasty

    Nasty Chief Cook & Bottle Wash

    Nov 11, 2003

    Petroleum is bad for leather...deteriorates it.

    Sno-Seal is the way to go!
  5. Bamboo


    Dec 16, 2004
    beeswax, Badger Balm, olive oil, shea butter.

    All are highly recommended. In a pinch you can use them on the knives themselves to prevent rusting ~ which also coats the inside of the sheath.

    Sno Seal is beeswax. Most of them are, if they're not petroleum.

    Badger Balm has been an EDC for me for years. It is great on skin, slows down sunburns, you can pack it into wounds to keep them clean, waterproof your boots, clean up your dress shoes 20 minutes before the wedding, protect your knives, grease your hemorroids :barf:

    After all, leather is skin.

    It aint cheap at $7/tin, but it is worth it.
  6. Yvsa


    May 18, 1999
    Well there you have it.:D

    Absolutely Do Not Use Petroleum Jelly on Any Leather Goods!!!! :thumbdn: As everyone has said the stuff is bad for leather and will cause it to rot eventually.:(

    Sno-Seal has a great deal of beeswax in it and has been used for countless ages to help preserve leather. Of course it has other ingredients in it as well. If you want to use a single product only find yourself some pure beeswax and melt it into the leather.
    The pure beeswax will harden the sheath until it's like a board almost and will weatherproof it to a great extreme.:thumbup:
  7. Triquetra


    Mar 7, 2002
    This is why I always come here for answers, even if it's not directly related to Khuks. Thanks. Although ,I thought that I had read that organic oils like olive oil would eventually go rancid.
  8. Yvsa


    May 18, 1999
    Indeed you have CD. Organic oils *will* go rancid, just a matter of when, not if.:(
  9. Semper Fi

    Semper Fi

    Feb 23, 2002
    I remember, years ago in my Marine days, a lovely lady showed me the proper use of petroleum jelly down in Tijuana.

    Didn't involve knife sheaths as I recall though.
  10. Khukuri Monster

    Khukuri Monster

    Aug 4, 2004
    I have heard that mink oil isn't the greatest leather treatment either since it contains silicone.
  11. shane justice

    shane justice

    May 12, 2003
    SNO SEAL id GOOD...SNO Seal is Wise...

    Any product with petroluem in it will break down leather and stitching...

    One maker I know of used to fill the sheaths with 10-40...and then let them drain...wipe em off...and there you go...


  12. yoda4561


    May 28, 1999
    Mink oil "shouldn't" contain silicone, though commercial products exist which most likely mix the two. If Montana Pitch Blend's website is to be belived (and this is up to you, I ain't no animal oil expert) they use pure mink oil, which doesn't go rancid due to its quality. I just like it cuz it works into leather nicely, smells nice, and works good :) Haven't had any issues whatsover in the 4 years I've used it with the stuff going bad. (still on my first container)
  13. Dave Rishar

    Dave Rishar

    Oct 25, 2004
    I would think that products containing silicone (mink oil, Kiwi shoe polish, things like that) would be fine. We use them on our boots, after all, and they do an acceptable job. My boots typically last about four years and when they fail, it's always the sole - the leather is holding up.

    BTW - Kiwi is exactly what I use on my black scabbards. There are probably better products but I've always got some Kiwi on hand. No problems so far.

    I'm a bit surprised that no one mentioned Ballistol. Yes, it's an oil and will soften up the leather but sometimes that's exactly what I want. The first thing I do to a new scabbard is to soak the frog in Ballistol. I also squirt some inside the scabbard and shake it around a bit to soak the wood.

    The beeswax is a royal PITA to treat leather with. (For me, anyway.) Cutting it with some paraffin will make it melt a bit easier. It's probably the most durable method of all (the leather is almost like hard plastic) and if you're using the real deal, it smells pretty nice too.
  14. yoda4561


    May 28, 1999
    As is my understanding, Silicone products themselves are usually not "inherently" bad for leather, the problem is that they aren't good for it either, as they have no conditioning agents in them.
  15. Berkley


    May 5, 1999
    Pecard leather dressing, especially the Antique leather dressing, is miraculous stuff. I have used it on everything from hundred year old leather that was hard as a rock to my dress shoes, and swear by it.
  16. Nasty

    Nasty Chief Cook & Bottle Wash

    Nov 11, 2003
    Brother...nowadays you need one o' them *latex* sheaths south of the border...
  17. ferguson


    Feb 21, 2001
    Amen. That's some good stuff. It does wonders on dry skin too. :)

  18. Bri in Chi

    Bri in Chi

    May 28, 2003
    As usual, I need to caution all cantinistas about the dangers of melting any type wax over an open flame. Always rig up some kind of double-boiler to prevent over-heating the wax to its flash point. :eek:

    PS I'm a fan of Pecards too.

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