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MINK OIL on leather saddle bags?

15491 Views 16 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Milehog
What are the negatives using mink oil to dress leather saddle bags?

Comments appreciated!
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I can't see a problem. I just mink oiled my boots, gloves and jacket and it not only made them look new but they are soft as butter. Maybe that would be a problem now that I think about it, too soft and the may mark easily.
Keep it off the seat.

Probably nothing better for boots, chaps, jackets, bags. For the seat, use a leather creme. Stay away from the mink oil and the ArmorAll for sure, it will make it like trying to ride a greased pig in a hurricane after a rain.
Mink oil can make leather prone to undue stretching. Probably not what you want for bags that can tend to sag anyway.
Good stuff. Work it into the seams of the bags to aid in water proofing. The Custom bags will sometimes bubble when water gets between the leather and the plastic shell.

They won't sag, the leather is strectched over a plastic shell frame on the Custom.
I agree with the person who said mink oil will make the leather stretch. Mink oil is thick and it's hard not to apply too much. It easily saturates leather. If your bags stretch, they'll sag on you. Get some neatsfoot oil and apply a very light coat. You don't want to saturate the leather because that makes it weak and more susceptible to tearing. If you are dead set on using mink oil, try to limit it to seams for waterproofing only.
They say that mink oil clogs the pores of leather and should only be used on boots. I've used it in the past on everything. It can be a bit slimy. Works great leaving boots out in the sun, then they soak it all in.

I have used saddle soap too. Some people say its to old fashioned. That it was orginally intended to break leather in.

Lot of opinions. Chances are what ever you do will work. If you do the bags get them warm. Hair dryer works ok. But best to heat them for awhile. As with the sun.
I second mink oil and the sun. I put a heavy coat on my Road King Classic bags, jackets, chaps, and boots once or twice a year. Put them out in the sun and let it get hot and greasy. After a bit, it will soak in. If you want to do it in the winter, just put on a heavy coat and leave the item for a few days. The mink oil soaks right in.

My RCK bags are 6+ years old and still look great.
I agree with using mink oil. My RKC bags are going on 10 years old. Can't say they look new but they don't look bad either. They have the character you would expect but they still have good color, no cracking, no bad seems, no stretching or sagging (yes they are plastic under that leather). I have used a variety of things including harleys leather balm, mink oil, and occasionally some black shoe polish. They are the same type of leather and endure many of the same conditions as a shoe. Treat them that way. Mink oil is my favorite.
I've used every leather conditioner in the universe at one time or another including Mink oil.

All I use now however is Lexol. A long long time custom leather worker turned me on to Lexol some years ago after cautioning that long time use of Mink oil was actually damaging to leather as it can become rancid & actually rot the leather(he showed me some examples of this).

Lexol was in short supply at the time & was very hard to find. This guy only had a small supply that he was saving for himself & refused to sell it to me. After finding a supplier that had it, I have never used anything else.

We used to have a local shop that sold horse saddles & assorted tack etc. They sold saddles that where $10,000 & all they used on & recommended on them was Lexol.

I'll second the Lexol. It's much easier to work with as it comes in a spray bottle. I've also heard mink oil causes trouble with stitching.
I've used Lexol too, it is also good stuff as well as Neat's Foot Oil.
Where to be getting Lexol please?
Most tack/saddle stores should carry it. I've found several websites that carry it. Here's one that should fit the bill. http://hawg-wash.com/
Thanks Bryan.
Dudes, I ain't a member of PETA or anything like that but do you know how many Minks they have to squeeze just to get one little container of oil?
BWalker said:
Dudes, I ain't a member of PETA or anything like that but do you know how many Minks they have to squeeze just to get one little container of oil?
As many gerbils as they squeeze in San Fransisco? :dunno:
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