Q&A #7: Does Leather Conditioner Make Leather Sticky?

Leather Bovine Ponders Animal Hide's Deepest Mysteries: Does Leather Conditioner Make Leather Sticky?

Q&A #7: Does Leather Conditioner Make Leather Sticky?

Leather Bovine Mooses Over Hide’s Deepest Mysteries


Does Leather Conditioner Make Leather Sticky?


Fret not, leathermancers. What you perceive to be stickiness is merely your couch puckering up after quaffing such delectable dermal mead! Can’t you smell the savory cherry scent of its drunken love?

But messy. Not good for mood. Will not do at all. We get you. So let’s get this crazy leather sweetheart cleaned shimmery sweet en este momento!

If you are worried – don’t be. Judging the amount of conditioner to use on your leather can sometimes be tricky. With Chamberlain’s Leather Milk, and any leather conditioner really, a good thing to keep in mind is that a little goes a long way. We talk about this in our blog “How Much Leather Conditioner Should I Use?” Finished leather particularly, which includes pigmented and semi-aniline leathers, the latter of which many couches are made from, have a special surface coating that slows leather’s natural absorption rate. What this is means is that your leather will only take a small amount of leather conditioner at a time. This is a good thing! That same finish prevents things like soda spills and grease stains from soaking all the way through and leaving permanent marks – a common problem for unfinished leathers. But this same protection is not partial – it’ll block the good stuff as well as the bad, leaving your sticky residue to sit on top of your filled-to-the-brim leather. So a little goes a long way.

When you go to put on your leather conditioner, say Chamberlain’s Leather Care Liniment no. 1, test it in a discreet area with a soft, lint-free cloth to make sure it’ll have the right effect. You’re looking for excess color rub off on your cloth, discoloration in your leather, or any other negative side effects that might pop up. Use this test any time you are about to use a leather care recipe on your leather. If nothing pops up, you’re good to go. Take a small amount and apply it to your leather with circular motions. Use thin, even layers, making sure to give a balanced coat to the entire surface of your leather to avoid splotchy drying. Also important to note is that you should clean your leather any time before you condition it (especially if it is dusty), elsewise you will be sealing in any dirt particles already caught up in the pores. As a bonus, leather cleaner also opens the pores up to accept leather conditioner, so you can condition it more effectively! Chamberlain’s Straight Cleaner no. 2 is a perfect tool for this job with most leather types (best on finished leather).

But what if I already used too much leather conditioner and my couch is sticky? Not to worry, sticky residue shouldn’t be a problem at all. We’ve even got another related article for you all about this at “How to Fix Sticky Leather.” For your quick fix, you can usually just wipe off excess residue with a slightly damp, lint-free cloth (try not to get the leather wet). Gently wipe it down over a few days, and keep applying damp cloths until the stickiness disappears. Another option is to sprinkle corn starch over the problem area. Corn starch can absorb oils pretty well, and leaving it on overnight should get a good deal out. Brush the starch away with a soft bristle brush and enjoy your handiwork.

Fancy job, leathermancer. This is your affectionate Leather Bovine, hitting the hay.

Daniel Sutton

Got more leather questions? Suggest a blog topic to us here!