Leather is one of the most common materials that is used to make tool belts, and there are a lot of good reasons for using leather to make tool belts. Leather is more durable and strong compared to synthetic and canvas materials.
To increase the lifespan of a leather tool belt it is important to do regular maintenance. Leather tool belts can last a lifetime with proper take care and timely oiling and waxing.
You can restore old leather tool belts with these three steps:
- Wash it completely with mild soap or leather cleaner and dry it overnight.
- Smoothen the tool belt with a fine 600-grit super-fine sandpaper.
- Apply leather filler or dye to all the cracks and holes, remove the access & wait for 3-4 hours, and apply the leather oil.
You can easily restore any old leather tool belt and increase its lifespan easily, all you need to do is to wash them and apply oils from time to time and it will last you a very long time.
Step 1: Wash the Tool Belt
Tools belts need to be clean after some time to remove all the dirt and debris from the surface, there are many products that you can use to wash or clean a leather tool belt.
- You can use a mild soap or a leather cleaner to wash all the dirt and dust, but we recommend you try the cleaner on a small section of the tool belt, to verify it is not going to damage your tool belt.
- Now after washing, dry it out with a microfiber cloth, and clean all the water from the metal parts, like rivets, and buckles. You can leave it to dry overnight. Don’t use any kind of warm air to dry it, or dryer, it will damage it more.
- If your tool belt contains any spills or stains that are harder to remove then you can use a leather cleaning product to clean the stains that are not removed with soap and water.
- Apply the leather cleaning with a circular motion to make a thin coat over the stain, and then wipe it with a clean, microfiber cloth. You can use baby oil as well to clean it if you don’t have mild soap or leather cleaner.
Step 2: Smooth all the Cracks
After drying it, now it’s time to smooth all the cracks and damages that is happened to the belt, you can use a 600-grit sanding paper to smooth all the cracks and the sides of the belt.
This smoothing is going to help in the later step when we will fill these holes and cracks with the filler or dye, and it will make the surface rough so that the dye and filler can easily stick to the surface of the leather.
Leather is also like human skin, if you ask any person who has a dry skin problem they know how important for them to apply oils and cream to their skin during the day. That is the same with the leather.
When it is not extracted it remains strong and healthy from the oils of the body, and after it got extracted from the animal, it needs oiling and creams to prevent it from getting dried out and cracking.
From the factory, the leather is treated with different kinds of tanning agents that keep it strong and crack-free, but when it comes to the customer, many times they forgot to take care of it, and thus cracks and other damage starts to occur.
There are different kinds of cracks, some can easily get restored and some cannot, if the cracks are way larger, then you have to hire some professional to restore but if those are small cracks, smaller than fingernails, then you can easily fix them.
Step 3: Apply Leather crack filler or Dye
You can use both the crack filler or dye to fill the cracks and holes, if the cracks are very small, then you can use both filler or fye, but if the cracks are big, then you should use the filler first, then you can apply the same color dye over it.
- If the cracks are very big then you can also use leather repair kits, they come with all the tools and accessories that are needed to fill the cracks.
- If the cracks are small, then you can use vinegar with a cotton cloth or Q-tip, and then you can apply the dye or filler on that, and then leave it for 2-3 hours so that it gets dry and stay there.
- Wipe off all the excess filler and dye with a clean cloth, and avoid using hot air or dryer or sunlight to dry the leather, you can put it in an airy room and let it dry naturally there.
- You can leave the belt to dry overnight, then you will get the best results. And after that, you have to apply a sealer that will protect the filler or dye that you have applied to the cracks.
How to Prevent Damaging the tool belt?
If you don’t want to do all these things every time, then we should recommend you to timely apply the essential oils and waxes to the leather so that it never starts to get cracking again, and again.
Leather is like human skin, it needs to take care of and timely apply oils and creams so that the cracks never occur. And there are some other things that you need to keep in mind if you don’t want to damage the tool belt.
Whenever you finish working with the tool belt, empty it out so that all the weight should get off the belt, and then store it in a secure palace where there is no moisture or direct sunlight.
These two things can damage the leather a lot if stayed in contact for a very long time. While using the leather tool belt, put all the tools in their right places so that they cannot damage the internal linings of the leather.
Balances the weight of all the tools equal to both the sides, so it cannot get easily tends to fall to one side, it will put excess pressure on the one side of the leather that can decrease its strength in the long run.
Don’t load the belt with all kinds of extra tools and weight, or don’t use it for any other thing except carrying tools, and to hold sharp objects, cover it up first and then put it in the belt or pouch.