Leather Therapy Makes Leather Behave...Beautifully

Leather Therapy vs Lexol Testing Review

MAY 1997: LEATHER CARE REVIEW

“We’ll swallow the price of Leather Therapy over old-favourite Lexol for maximum benefits when conditioning leather.”

The Bottom Line

“For conditioning, Leather Therapy Restorer and Conditioner was the clear winner, despite being one of the pricier products. We liked its ease of penetration, complete absorption and the fact it didn’t change leather colour. Plus, Leather Therapy’s promise of mildew resistance clearly puts it over the top.”

Michael Plumb’s Horse Journal
1997 Leathercare Product of the Year
Leather Therapy Restorer and Conditioner

From the beginning of article:

Leather Therapy Restorer and Conditioner is a viscous, golden liquid that feels slightly tacky when rubbed between two fingers. It has a pleasant, neutral odour. We tested pump-top, 32-ounce round plastic bottles with enough heft so that plastic did not squash awkwardly when lifted. Testers liked that. Testers also liked the smaller sizes with flip-top squeeze bottles because they were neat and dripless.

The manufacturer says Leather Therapy contains vegetable and other natural oils that duplicate the fat liquors used to soften newly tanned leather plus an ingredient for fighting mould and mildew. The manufacturer commented that, once the spores have started in leather, no product can completely kill mould and mildew without damaging the leather, but claimed that the product’s mildew-resistant ingredient inhibits the return of mould and mildew on properly stored tack.

Leather Therapy suppled new tack in one application without colour changes and multiple applications brought a 50-year-old western bridle back to useful life. Our Army relics became soft and supple again with a pleasing feel. One tester described its effect on her leather as “pliable without being limp”.

Testers liked Leather Therapy’s wipe-on ease. Though several commented that some leathers absorbed Leather Therapy more slowly than others, they noted it penetrated the leather completely without leaving any surface greasiness. One dressage rider felt that, without being sticky or tacky, Leather Therapy left the surface of her saddle slightly “grippy”, something she counted a plus. Testers also reported that the conditioning effects of Leather Therapy appeared long-lasting compared to other products. At the end of six weeks, the Leather Therapy-treated library panel was rated best in the test.

Though the product did not remove mildew stains, testers with mildew troubles reported diminished problems. Even when some mould or mildew reappeared (which happened on one of our library panels where furniture backs up to the wall), the amount was far smaller than testers would have expected before using the product. The manufacturer said the product has a cumulative effect, and repeated applications will help with trouble areas.

Bottom Line

Overall, we prefer liquid products for deep conditioning. We feel the beeswax-based pastes (we like Lederpflegecreme) are more appropriate for adding polish or a bit of waterproofing to the leather after a penetrating liquid conditioner had been applied. Pastes tend to be sticky, which we find tends to attract and hold dust and dirt. On the other hand, for waterproofing items like galloping boots or girths during mud season, pastes fill the bill better than the liquids. For conditioning, Leather Therapy Restorer and Conditioner was the clear winner, despite being one of the pricier products. We liked its ease of penetration, complete absorption and the fact it didn’t change leather colour. Plus, Leather Therapy’s promise of mildew resistance clearly puts it over the top.

Michael Plumb’s Horse Journal
1997 Leathercare Product of the Year
Leather Therapy Restorer and Conditioner