1,216 of 1,235 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2011
I like leather products, and I like to take care of my stuff, so the right leather care product is critical. I've used a great many over the years and have settled on two as being clearly superior: Leather Honey and Bick 4 (Bick 4 Leather Conditioner, 16 oz). They are quite different from each other.
Leather Honey: Leather Honey has a unique effect, making leather somehow feel denser and more hydrated. It is hard to explain, but it is very different than the effect of more lotion-like products, and I've tried a lot of them.
Here's my experience on different things: On my favorite ten-year-old leather jacket from North Beach Leather, Leather Honey soaked in quickly in certain spots, and I added some more. After two hours, there was nothing to wipe away. The already heavy jacket feels heavier, better, and the results have proven to hold up and add more rain resistance. On a new black leather jacket, it didn't take as much nor was the effect as dramatic, but it gave the leather a more supple feel. On my five-year-old black Tumi briefcase, it was quite inconsistent in how much soaked in right away and how much stayed on the surface. I gave it the full two hours and it all soaked in, and it now uniformly feels great. A pair of black Ferragamo's that I bought years ago were getting quite abraded at the toe. No amount of polish worked, but Leather Honey has done a pretty good job of getting that area to look like the rest. I haven't yet put polish over the Leather Honey, so that is an experiment I'm curious about. Brown Sebago deck shoes certainly got more supple and soaked in a lot. The color darkened.
That brings me to the three small caveats: 1) Leather Honey is not a cleaner. Since it isn't water-based like lotion products, dirt stays. For example, on the Sebagos, an area that was a bit dirty was just the same, but the leather under it was clearly treated. 2) Leather Honey doesn't evaporate on plastics and rubbers, nor does it wipe off that easily. A day after treating the Sebagos, the soles still had Leather Honey on them, now somewhat sticky. Obviously I should have done a better job of wiping. 3) Leather honey can and will darken some light leathers.
Bick 4: I'm pretty sure this stuff is what North Beach Leather used to sell under their own name. It is a lanolin/oil lotion that really works. I use it bare handed, and my skin feels soft and good afterwards. It doesn't darken leather, and it cleans as it works if I wipe it up before it is all soaked in. I've used it on my wife's old Chanel purse, an Armani jacket, and some Coach gloves. In every case, it did exactly what I wanted, making the leather softer, more suppler, and feel great. It is easy to wipe Bick 4 off of areas it is unwanted, like plastic or metal.
Which one should you use?
I use Leather Honey for thick leathers that I want to feel more like high quality leather. Think cow hide over lamb skin. I make sure the leather is clean, and use Leather Honey if water resistance is important. I use it if the leather is really bad, because it does more than the Bick 4. I use it when some darkening wouldn't be a problem. Leather Honey makes all leather more, er, leathery, and I mean that in a good way.
I use Bick 4 for thinner leathers, or ones for which darkening would be a problem, or if I'm trying to clean and condition in one step. If the words that comes to mind with the leather you're treating is "soft," "buttery" or "thin" use Bick 4. Its effect won't last as long as Leather Honey's, but it works, and it works beautifully, doing just what you want a leather conditioner to do.
Addendum: Some reviewers have noted that Leather Honey didn't soak in to whatever they were treating, leaving it sticky. Certain leathers, mainly car upholstery and couches, are surface treated with a urethane topcoat. It doesn't make it feel like plastic, so you can't easily tell by rubbing it. Try putting a drop of water in an unobtrusive spot. If the water doesn't soak in and "wet" the leather within a minute, don't use Leather Honey! Bick 4 will work, though you will be wiping most of it away. What I use is 303 Aerospace Protectant for leathers that are coated to the point that they don't absorb water. Note, however, that 303 makes the leather more slick. Not badly so, but try it first. (303 is great stuff anyway for anything plastic or rubber or teak, but that's another review ...)
413 of 428 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2010
I have been a leather craftsman since 1955. I found Leather Honey in the 60's, but it disappeared for a while. It is really great to see it back on the market. I make leather goods and use Leather Honey to help preserve the leather and restore suppleness. It works great.
When using tooling leather, the dry leather is first moistened with water, carved and tooled. Then the finish is applied. The finish must penetrate the leather and preserve it. Leather Honey does this better than any other finish that I have used. The suppleness that was removed in the tanning process is restored, the leather is protected from drying and cracking and a beautiful, durable lasting finish is obtained. I can personally highly recommend this product for leather belts, gloves, upholstery, saddlery and tack, motorcycle gear and leather goods of all kinds. Leather Honey Leather Conditioner, the Best Leather Conditioner Since 1968, 8 Oz Bottle John Clark - LeatherSmith
129 of 135 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2011
I know the seats in my wife and I's cars have likely been ignored since day 1. They're not abused and we don't have children, but the Mercedes is 16 years old, the Lexus 9. We plan on keeping both until we cannot stand looking at them any longer, and interior condition is a HUGE part of making it feel 'right'. I know for a fact, the second owner of the Mercedes, I'm owner #3, was both a slob AND lazy about upkeep. I've wiped the Lexus's interior down a couple of times with leather 'wipes', but I've never treated them properly.
If you have a car with leather, you know leather vehicle interiors are not at all inexpensive to repair/replace, so it's in your best interest to keep them in good shape from the start rather than trying to save them as they deteriorate. Additionally, the fix is never invisible. It may look the same, but does it FEEL the same? I'd put money on 'no'.
Before diving in, first was a test on my wallet, which I've carried for 4+ years in a back pocket. I have done positively nothing to as it pertains to leather care, other than I do my best to not let it get wet, i.e. drop it in the sink.
Cleaning and Leather Honey...wow! Just...WOW!
After a thorough cleaning with Lexol, to get the dirt out of the leather, I brushed on some Leather Honey. It has an odd feel to it...almost beeswaxy. It's not at all oily or slippery, like it appears. The next day, with my wallet feeling as if it were new...looks are another thing, but I don't care about look as much as feel...the cars were next.
I read about people expecting Leather Honey to 'heal' cracks and restore color. That's not what this is for, and it's not touted as such a product (which would be magic if it could, 'cause cracks are physical damage). Now, had it changed my wallet's leather from the color black to say, fuschia, I'd have an issue. This will not restore color to worn spots nor will it fix existing cracks. That's what dyes and repair guys are for. Additionally, after reading some of the negative reviews, I can't help but wonder what these folks expected. Restoration of worn/weathered anything isn't easy, and it won't turn out identical to the original. Items are new and original one time, and one time only.
Conditioning the cars' seats took some time and plenty of effort, and I wish it were warmer so the Honey may be better absorbed into the leather, but I'll tell you what, the difference in feel is amazing! The seats in my wife's 9 year old Lexus weren't this soft when the car was two years old! They didn't 'moo', but it was close.
Now, be aware, this is NOT a simple brush-on, wipe-off kinda thing. You've *gotta* follow directions, and I think it's better to apply too little rather than too much, as you can't really recover excess, and removal of any excess isn't easy. If using a foam sponge as an applicator, you can squeeze excess out, however. Having done it both ways, light and heavy, I'd MUCH rather go over it a second time than have to remove too much.
Tips: USE A LINT-FREE CLOTH! Heed the advice on the bottle! I thought the rag I was using wouldn't leave lint, but I'll be picking fuzz off the passenger's seat in my car for the next week. Applying with a foam sponge is perfect. Foam paintbrushes aren't sturdy enough, but the material is just right. I think removing with heavy-duty paper towels may be the way to go, too.
Get the 16 ounce bottle. It has no expiration date, and after you use it on a couple of items, you'll be surprised how many leather goods you have which you want to bring back to feeling new. I'm eyeballing our large L-shaped sofa, and while it'll be quite a bit of work, it'll be worth it. If you don't like it, I'd wager you could make the loss very minimal by eBaying the remainder.
Make certain you remove the excess a couple of times. I was tired and in a rush when I wiped down the 16 year old seats in my car, and I can see/feel I didn't remove all of the excess. It takes some arm strength, 'cause this stuff is quite viscous. The seats have a little bit of residue, but it's not oily, like I stated above, it's almost like wax. This is 100% my error. I should have taken more time. The good, no GREAT, thing is, a light leftover residue doesn't appear to stain clothes.
I parked my car in the sun, today, thinking maybe heat may help a bit of the excess soak into the leather. We'll see. In fact, I'll go check, now...
Nope, sunlight/heat (at least a nice late-February day in north Texas (mid-70's) doesn't help.
Let it soak in overnight, if possible. Do NOT rush it. Even with 16 year old car seats which have been in Texas their entire lives, a second coat is unnecessary. I might put a second on my wallet's exterior, just to see if there's a noticeable difference.
One other VERY important thing to remember. If you like 'slippery' leather, DO NOT USE THIS. It makes leather almost a bit 'tacky'. At least initially. After a few days of contact with clothes/skin, it feels pretty normal, but not dried-out and polished like it may have been before proper conditioning. The leather is back to the somewhat "grippy" properties it had, originally.
Update: while this was a review for the 16 oz. bottle, the 8 oz item is identical. After a couple of weeks, my wallet *still* feels great, which is a VERY pleasant surprise. Another thing, no odor with this stuff and no fumes. While I can't claim it's magic, they're close. My wife spilled a little bit of water on her car's seat when getting out, and she was amazed at how well the water beaded up and ran right off. It's like Rejex (used on automotive paint/windows, and much better than Rain-X), but for leather.
Any leather item, besides coats/jackets, is getting this treatment from now on. Fight deterioration from minute one.
389 of 434 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2012
In an attempt to keep my new leather dash from ever getting warped again, I looked into this product, given overwhelming number of positive reviews.
As the name implies, Leather Honey is a thick, translucent fluid that flows with a consistency not unlike corn syrup.
The instructions on the back reads:
Leather Honey revitalizes stiff, weathered leather
and softens, protects, and extends the life of new
leather. May darken some leather, but original
color usually returns over time. Use on all types
of leather except suede.
New Leather: Using a paint brush, sponge, or
lint-free cloth, cover entire surface area with
Leather Honey at room temperature: the warmer
the product, the easier to apply. Allow a minimum
of two hours for absorption (preferably overnight)
and wipe off excess.
Used Leather: Clean surface with mild soap and
warm water. Allow to dry. Follow instructions for
new leather. If necessary, apply additional coats.
Use only as directed.
Not for retail unless authorized.
A little goes a long way.
So.. with that I left my car to warm up nicely in the sun before applying the product. My car's interior colors were a mixture of black and light creme leather. I tested the product on a non-conspicuous leather spot behind my seat, and all was safe. It didn't change the color.
My first impression was the smell. It doesn't smell horrible, but it has a smokey smell to it. Very hard to describe. When applied the smell is very light and not too apparent, but out of the bottle it has a strong burnt+sour chemical smell to it. I get the impression they were trying to simulate the smell of natural treated leather. It will be entirely up to you to decide how compatible this leather is with your product. In case of my car's interior, I didn't mind it, as I believed the smell would mix right in with that 'new car' smell. I just wouldn't call it pleasant.
Next up-application. As I applied the Leather Honey onto a clean microfiber cloth, to my surprise it was clear as water, but thick like syrup. Even though my car was nicely warmed up from the sun, the product laid down thickly. There was an immediate tackiness as the towel moved across the surface of the leather. I can see why people say this product isn't oily, because oil is slippery when applied.
Still, I will be completely straight with you. Contrary to what other reviewers have stated, the the product IS oily. Very oily, but not in that slippery way. It leaves the leather glistening. Even as I turned the towel to wipe off the excess, the leather was glistening. That may be fine for things like shoes, but for car leather, especially dashboards, it's not good. As instructed, I left the product on the leather to absorb overnight, and on the following day I went over everything again with a dry towel. Still my leather was left feeling oily, and still glistening. When I took the car out for a drive, the spot where my elbow normally touches the window sill was very hot to the touch. As you may or may not know, oily things heat up very quickly (Ever microwave something oily, like a croissant? Yes, it takes only a few seconds). Anyway, removing my elbow, it left a dull spot! I took my dry towel and tried to wipe away the dull spot but it didn't go away. My elbow had pulled the oil right out of the surface of leather. So yes, this product is very oily, and a terrible choice for car leather. I also noticed that the smudges left behind on window glass when my towel rubbed up against it (unavoidable), were not easily wiped away. In fact the only way to get rid of it was to use glass cleaner.
Because it is oil based, this product is certainly capable of restoring dry, weathered leather. The downside is that it left my car's leather oily. I'm sure my leather loved it but but I didn't. And it leaves a slight tackiness to the leather that I found very unappealing to sit in.
I can see how this product will rock for maintaining shoes and purses, which explains the numerous positive reviews. But it is not at all a good product on leather which your skin touches on a regular basis. Your skin gives and absorbs oil too, and when it touches something treated with leather honey, it will take away some of that oil. Leather Honey is very thick and oily. I laugh now thinking about the recommendation of using a brush in the instructions. That would have been a nightmare to reduce down to an even layer. On one hand if you don't put enough on, it won't do any good for the leather. But if you do, it's very, very oily and takes many go-overs to get things to an acceptable state. And even after that you're left with a tacky, unclean feeling leather.
I would not at all recommend this leather product for cars or jackets. Sorry, as much as I loved the name and the idea behind Leather Honey, I must warn all car lovers to steer away from this product. I would recommend using Zymol's Leather Creme Conditioner. It smells better, goes on easy and wipes off without the issues I had with Leather honey. I ended up using it to restore my interior the way it was before I applied Leather Honey. I really hoped Leather Honey was a better product than what I was using, but it wasn't--at least not for what I bought it for.
Oh yes, I did mention jacket didn't I? Yes, I applied leather honey to my jacket at the same time. It was a mistake. It, too, was left feeling slightly tacky. It was an $800 Levi's Made and Craft leather motorcycle-style jacket (like a baby's butt, sheepskin soft). Anyway I'm sure with time the tackiness will go away and I'm left with a healthier leather jacket. I won't be doing that that again.
Anyway, this has been my honest review of Leather Honey. I hope it was helpful. Thanks for reading!
If you have any additional tips or suggestions for me, on the product or my review, I'd love to hear it! Leave me a comment. Thanks again!
143 of 158 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2013
I received my order today and applied it to a pair of light beige leather work gloves. Leather Honey is a viscous, colorless liquid that significantly darkened the leather. The bottle says: "MAY DARKEN SOME LEATHER; ORIGINAL COLOR TYPICALLY RETURNS OVER TIME." Bottle also recommends testing an inconspicuous spot first. I WOULD H-I-G-H-L-Y RECOMMEND TESTING A SPOT FIRST. (I'd like to include a photo with my review but it's not giving me that option). The degree of darkening is very severe. If this had happened to a nice pair of shoes, I would be very unhappy. Since it's just a pair of leather work gloves, I'm OK with it. Not satisfied, but not too ticked off either. I will NOT be using this on any nice leather that I really care about (nice shoes, belts, gloves, etc.). Since I just received it today, I can't yet make any judgement about the degree to which the color will or will not recover or anything about the claims of waterproofing, softening, preserving, etc.
UPDATE: It's been three weeks since I applied Leather Honey to a light-colored pair of work gloves. Despite the info printed on the bottle, the color did NOT return to anywhere close to original. Honey Leather significantly darkened these leather gloves. Again, not a big deal to me since they're just work gloves. But if you intend to use this product on some nice shoes, gloves, belt, jacket, etc., I would NOT recommend it.....unless you want the item darkened a great deal. So I'm lowering my rating from a 2-star down to a one-star. Just wanted to let you know my experience. Hope this helps you decide.
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2013
I conditioned about 15 pairs of leather shoes, slippers, flip flops and boots. A little goes a long way... I prefer to work it in with my fingers and a tooth brush for in and around difficult areas. Later you can wipe and buff out (with a terry cloth rag) what little is left. There was a problem and the Leather Honey company took care of it immediately! Wonderful customer service.
Now for the WOW factor... I found a pair of boots in the basement with an 1/8" or more of mold on them... on my way to the trash I remembered Leather Honey... That gooey leather product saved my boots... I paid around $200 for them, wore them a couple of times and forgot about them in the basement. See before and after photos...
165 of 187 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2010
I live in the desert and my very expensive leather couch has really taken a beating with the lack of moisture in the air. I have used no less than 10 other products to condition my cracking sofa. They all seem to work for a day or two and then the dryness and cracking return. I purchased this product and followed the simple instructions and I am amazed! My couch looks fantastic- it is still worn (as a 15 year old couch should be) but the rough, brittle feeling to the leather is gone. My couch feels and looks healthy again!
In addition to a fantastic product, this company provides amazing customer service! The have a customer for life !!
167 of 193 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2011
Like most buyers, I rely heavily on reviews when purchasing products and have never been lead so astray. Product is a little disconcerting when applying...it looks and feels like you're smearing honey on your expensive leather goods. After getting over the initial experience of smearing the conditioner on my new leather couch, the product does brighten and moisturize the leather, but it definitely does leave a residue. Applied to my couch and waited 12 hours and wiped off remaining material with clean, dry cloth. When I sat down, I could feel a sticky residue. I let it sit for another 12 hours, got another clean cloth and buffed some more with minor improvements. Only after the 3rd cleaning have I been able to get most of the residue off.
50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2012
I came back to retract my review where I blasted this stuff for making my leather too sticky and shiny...and for callnig it worthless...but I don't see my review online, so that's a good thing because I was wrong.
After I posted that review, I said to myself, "Well, I'm not going to spend $20 for this bottle and never use it again" so I pulled out my 20 year old L.L. Bean Wallet took all the stuff out of it, painted Leather Honey on it with a paintbrush--AND THEN RUBBED IT IN WITH MY HANDS instead of letting it sit overnight and "rubbing off excess with a lint free towel" as they suggest. Amazing difference. I mean amazing. The wallet's not sticky and it's not shiny--two of my complaints from my earlier review. It's soft, smooth, flexible, and perfect. So I used it on a new Saddleback wallet I'd bought and never used because it was stiff as a board--same method--painted it one, rubbed it in with my hands, twisting and turning the leather and kneading it like dough--same results. In 15 minutes after rubbing it in, giving it a shot of the blow dryer, and rubbing some more, that wallet is as smooth as a baby's butt, soft, and flexible.
So I just finished painting one side of my new $550 Saddleback Duffel bag--leather as thick as a saddle--and lined with pigskin. I painted it on, rubbed it in, and in 15 minutes, it's looking good. No darkening of color, no stickiness, and a lot smoother and flexible feeling. I'll hit it with the blow dryer in a minute and keep "kneading" the Leather Honey in, but I think I've found a winner. This Saddleback Duffel Bag was stiff as a cob when I got it 2 weeks ago and it would never fit in an overhead, but with a little elbow grease and Leather Honey, it's coming along. I foresee it being the best (and the heaviest at 17#) duffel/gym bag in the world after this Leather Honey softens it up.
So I was premature in my judgement of Leather Honey. They really do need to change the instructions because just painting it on doesn't work. YOU have to do a little work, too--but it's well worth the effort. Paint it on ALL the leather surfaces, not just the outside--use some elbow grease and rub it into the leather until the leather warms up a bit under your hands, hit it with a blow-dryer to warm the leather just a bit more, and then rub it in for a few more minutes.
62 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2011
I read all the 5 star reviews and decided to buy for my brand new leather couch. Applied the product with a sponge per the instructions and waited about 15 hours. It was not easy to apply to the leather because it is really thick like honey. After 15 hours, I wiped off the residue but noticed the couch was really sticky. I let it sit for 24 hours and wiped it down again. The couch was still sticky. About 3 days later, the leather felt like wax. It is sticky and not comfortable to sit on because the leather sticks to skin. I would not recommend this product for new furniture. I hope after a few more days the residue will go away but I don't think so.
The Honey Leather website says there are no complaints on this product. They need to look on Amazon more often. :(