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How to clean a leather knife sheath (help needed)


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#1 zodd

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 05:20 PM

Hi guys

ive just inherited this item from an uncle of mine, who knows im into bush craft type stuff, and knew I was in the market for a knew knife.

He says its been in a mouldy section of his garage for a while and that a short wash cycle in the washing machine will fix it right up.
thought I would get some other suggestions as its real leather and Im not sure the washing machine is the best place for this.
I already know what im going to do to restore the knife as the blade is in ok condition im going to scrub it down with wire wool to remove any rust then sharpen with water stones and rub on leather belt.

Any ideas on how to restore the sheath to its former glory would be greatly appreciated

#2 Beast

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 05:33 PM

Leather sheaths are bad to store knives in as they tend to retain water. If I were you I'd get a new nylon or kydex sheath for it.

#3 AmBe

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 05:37 PM

never tried it, but I have heard tea tree oil is good at removing mold/mildew from leather.

#4 mushmonkey

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 05:45 PM

Any ideas on how to restore the sheath to its former glory would be greatly appreciated


From the pic, I don't see any damage to the leather from mold, still that can be fixed with a dark black leather/shoe dye and some cleaning. Do not put it in the washing machine, please.

I think your best bet is to go to a quality shoe repair shop, buy some black leather dye, a horsehair shoe brush and leather cleaner.

I brought back some spotted/damaged leather coats, leather luggage just by cleaning, dying, and then polishing (with a shoe buffer and/or black shoe polish). Remember to do all cleaning or dye jobs in sections. This is less important on a small leather sheath than on a leather coat, but it bears mentioning.

Other shops that might have what you need also work with leather, like fancy hat shops, belt makers, and luggage repair.

I used to work with leather as a cobbler, for what it's worth.

P.S. When dying over another dye job on leather, go darker if possible. That way there is less of a chance of seeing the damaged areas.
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#5 zodd

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 05:47 PM

Leather sheaths are bad to store knives in as they tend to retain water. If I were you I'd get a new nylon or kydex sheath for it.


i may end up taking your advise on that, as it will be a working knife, and may well see a lot of bad weather. but for now i would still like to get it cleaned up as the old guy made it himself and i will need something to take it to the shop with when i get a new one.

would i need to get one specially made do you think?

thanks for the speedy responses.

#6 zodd

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 05:58 PM

From the pic, I don't see any damage to the leather from mold, still that can be fixed with a dark black leather/shoe dye and some cleaning. Do not put it in the washing machine, please.

I think your best bet is to go to a quality shoe repair shop, buy some black leather dye, a horsehair shoe brush and leather cleaner.

I brought back some spotted/damaged leather coats, leather luggage just by cleaning, dying, and then polishing (with a shoe buffer and/or black shoe polish). Remember to do all cleaning or dye jobs in sections. This is less important on a small leather sheath than on a leather coat, but it bears mentioning.

Other shops that might have what you need also work with leather, like fancy hat shops, belt makers, and luggage repair.

I used to work with leather as a cobbler, for what it's worth.

P.S. When dying over another dye job on leather, go darker if possible. That way there is less of a chance of seeing the damaged areas.



yea i can tell dude some great advise there. i think regardless i will take it to a local shoe leather guy and get him to inspect it. there was some mould on it, but it has had a wash with a sponge and some luke warm water.

growing mushrooms in a confined space i do worry about any organisms that i may bring into my working environment. any ideas on the inside of the sheath?

#7 bugs

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 07:42 PM

Wilson's leather used to sell a leather cleaner that worked well for my jackets. Also a leather conditioner to keep them supple so they didn't crack.

#8 RestartLater

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 08:53 PM

hm maybe saddle soap will work fine?

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