Leather straps... Once darkened can you lighten them again?

Thread: Leather straps... Once darkened can you lighten them again?

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  1. #1
    Member MontRoyal's Avatar
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    Leather straps... Once darkened can you lighten them again?

    Hi everyone. So I had a leather strap, dark brown. And I treated it with a little bit of oil to clean and moisten it. It definitely gave it a shine and some softness. But it definitely darkened the leather substantially to an almost black-brown color.

    I guess I don't mind really but I'm wondering if there is any chance to get it lighter again? Will it lighten as it dries out and ages over time? Can I treat it with something to lighten the color?


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  2. #2
    Member Uberyk's Avatar
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    Re: Leather straps... Once darkened can you lighten them again?

    How long has it been since you oiled it?
    Sometimes it can dissipate and ligthen (slightly) on it's own as some time passes.
    I'd also try buffing repeatedly with a clean, soft cloth. Keep folding/exposing a clean section of cloth as you go over the strap.
    If those don't have the desired effect, you'll have to strip the oil out.
    You can try some saddle soap first, if not you'll have to move up to harsher chemicals like alcohol or bleach.
    Obviously much care would have to be taken with those.

    For future reference, Allen Edmonds makes a good cleaner/conditioner. Pretty cheap and I've found it doesn't darken much (if at all) on the things I've used it on.

  3. #3
    Member Nokie's Avatar
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    Re: Leather straps... Once darkened can you lighten them again?

    ^^^^

    Those are all good suggestions. You can try to buff it off, but if it has penetrated the leather pores, it could be tough to take out. The Allen Edmonds cleaner solution is a good alternative suggestion as well.
    "Either he's dead or my watch has stopped"
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    "The only reason for time is so that everything does not happen at once..."
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  5. #4
    Member MontRoyal's Avatar
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    Re: Leather straps... Once darkened can you lighten them again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uberyk View Post
    How long has it been since you oiled it?
    Sometimes it can dissipate and ligthen (slightly) on it's own as some time passes.
    I'd also try buffing repeatedly with a clean, soft cloth. Keep folding/exposing a clean section of cloth as you go over the strap.
    If those don't have the desired effect, you'll have to strip the oil out.
    You can try some saddle soap first, if not you'll have to move up to harsher chemicals like alcohol or bleach.
    Obviously much care would have to be taken with those.

    For future reference, Allen Edmonds makes a good cleaner/conditioner. Pretty cheap and I've found it doesn't darken much (if at all) on the things I've used it on.
    Tried some saddle soap a few days ago. Really like how the saddle soap cleans and softens it but the color didn't change much.

    I guess it will just take time to let the oils come out of the leather... Next time I'll try leather conditioner.


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  6. #5
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    Re: Leather straps... Once darkened can you lighten them again?

    I haven't tried this on a watch strap but in the past have used nail polish remover on shoes to lighten or remove a dark polish job. Using a very small amount on a cotton ball and then using something like the Allen Edmonds cleaner afterwards has worked for me.

    Best of luck!

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