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Leatherguard Leather Treatment

Leather treatment protection by Leatherguard

Leather Protection

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Summary:  Leatherguard is a clear spray treatment claimed to protect leather from water, wine and other liquid spills; mildew and moisture; scuffing and fading. 

Unique water based formulation with no solvents; it's also claimed to be non-toxic and environmentally safe. 

A small amount goes a long way. It seems to work well and it's also a leather cleaner and easier to use than organic or most synthetic leather protective treatments.

Motorcyclists have been wearing leather since two-wheeled motorized transportation was invented.  It just seems to be a natural relationship that will probably never end, even with all the synthetic fabrics that have been (and will be) invented.  Leather has a feel and aura that can't be beat.

I'll bet that more leather is consumed by motorcyclists than almost any other hobby, sport or, uh, other activity.  Let's just say that there's a significant amount of leather that's used in pursuits other than motorcycle riding...

But no matter the sport, leather needs protection!  The downside of leather is that it doesn't like water or liquids spilled on it, and it can easily become stained, dried out, cracked or attacked by mildew.  There are many leather treatments and conditioners on the market, and they seem to be divided up into two different categories.

There are what I guess can be called the greasy/waxy protective leather treatments and there are the synthetic/silicone sprays.  I've never really liked either of them for treating motorcycle apparel; the greasy/waxy substances are just that -- they leave a residue that changes the feel of the leather. 

Some of them are animal based; for example, you don't even want to know what they have to do to get mink oil.  Surely we motorcyclists are more civilized than that?  Besides, the organic substances can have their own problems, such as turning rancid or leaving an odor or discoloration on the leather material.

The synthetic/silicone products aren't much better, in my opinion.  They smell; it's hard to tell if they do anything; they can stain; and they sometimes change the nature of the fabric, giving it a tacky feel.

But if you've invested in a pair of nice leather gloves, a jacket, pants or other garment (or even a leather chair, shoes, couch, or other accoutrement), they should really be protected when new and then occasionally during their lifetime.  So what to use?

Leatherguard is an interesting product designed to protect leather material from spills, cracking, mildew and even ultraviolet damage.  Liquiguard Technologies, Inc., the manufacturer of Leatherguard, claims that the product is "more than a moisture repellent" and that it's the "first truly protective coating that can withstand spills of water, beverages, wine and other non-corrosive liquids while keeping the coated objects free from mold, mildew and other fungi". 

They also claim that Leatherguard will help protect against UV damage, humidity, fading and minor scuffing.  This is a pretty big claim, which is impossible for us to test with any accuracy, but so far we've been very pleased with the product.

Leatherguard is a clear, water-based coating that contains no silicone.  The water base helps it to spread very nicely -- a little bit seems to go a very long way, and you can definitely tell that it's water based when it's sprayed, because it coats very differently than solvent-based sprays. 

It has a vague smell of something like a varnish, but the odor quickly disappears and I don't notice any residual smell.  The directions call for Leatherguard to be sprayed on using a couple of light coats. 

A special UV tracer dye is added to the mixture, and a blacklight will show the treatment and expose areas that still need a coat.  The manufacturer emphasizes following the instructions when using the product, but we found it very easy to apply.  It is also available in quarts, gallons and 5-gallon containers and can be mixed and sprayed or brushed on to various objects.

I was a little apprehensive about using the product on my expensive leathers, because the product data sheets call it a "coating" that has "high flexibility and adhesion that prevents it from cracking and peeling". 

Just hearing this got me thinking that this was some type of strange plastic-like coating that might change the nature of the leather material.  But I'm not sure if that's just the marketing department trying to distinguish the product from a crowded field or what, because it seems to go on like a liquid and completely disappears (as near as I can tell) into the leather. 

Leatherguard contains no solvents that might help it to quickly evaporate on the leather surface.  It's dry to the touch in about 15-20 minutes, and the manufacturer says it can take up to 72 hours for it to completely cure on the leather.

It's very hard to test this type of product against its claims, but so far the Leatherguard seems to work.  Not that I've really spilled any wine on my jacket, but it's nice to know that my garments are protected. 

I like this product much more than any other leather treatment I've found, especially the organic greasy/waxy substances, although I can't vouch for the efficacy of Leatherguard as an actual waterproofing.  If you want something waterproof, buy synthetic.  Leather really isn't designed to be waterproof, and certainly if the manufacturer of the garment makes no claims for water resistance, you're not going to protect it by pressing mink oil in the seams.

By the way, I don't know what Leatherguard is made from, but the manufacturer claims that it's "non-toxic and environmentally safe", which is different than anything else that I've ever come across for protecting leather.

Conclusion
The price may seem expensive, but it really isn't when compared to other high-quality leather treatments, which can cost much more for the same quantity.  A spray can of Leatherguard goes a long way, and it's worth it to protect an expensive pair of gloves or a nice leather jacket that you plan on keeping for a long time.

wBW Product Review:  Leatherguard Protective Leather Coating

Available From:  Liquiguard Technologies, Inc. (Apparently no longer in business as of Feb. 2011) Suggested Retail Price:  $14.95 + S/H
Colors:  Clear Made in:  U.S.A.  Review Date: 2005?

More:  Motorcycle Clothing Page  |  Leather Motorcycle Clothing Page

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