Picture of Home-made Leather Preserver and Waterproofing
I have a Kangaroo leather Aussie ranchers style hat, which is now 3 years old and has never been either cleaned, nourished or re-waterproofed.

Now that we are in Autumn and moving into Winter I thought it was about time I did something to maintain and weatherproof my hat, along with several other leather items Lois & I own.

Rather than just going into town and buying something suitable from off the shelf, I decided to have a go at making some myself: a decision that I believe to be absolutely the right one now that I have used some of it.
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Step 1:

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The Ingredients

200 ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

50g Beeswax: I was given about 250g of very old and very hard beeswax by a local beekeeping friend of mine.

20 drops of Lavender essential oil

10 drops of Tea Tree essential oil.

I have chosen to add the Lavender and Tea tree essential oils to make a nice smelling and insect repelling leather preserver....... but these are not necessary.

Step 2:

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The Method

Pour the Olive Oil into the jar, break up the Beeswax and add the pieces, and then place the jar and its contents into a pan of cold water.

Turn on the heat and begin to stir the mixture, continue doing this until the Beeswax has completely melted into the Olive Oil.

Remove from the heat, and carefully lift the (hot) jar and its contents from the pan. Add the essential oils and continue stirring the mixture until it cools and stiffens. This will take about 15 minutes, and it is not the most stimulating of tasks; I sat and did this while I watched the evening news on the TV.

Zapee made it!3 months ago

I've just made it! Thank for the tutorial! I added some silicone spray one of these jar (just way of test). Sorry if my English is not too good!


I have to thank you for this awesome idea! I do some leather work and was looking for a natural finish and this is perfect. I love the waterproofing qualities, but is also great for a skin cream in the winter because it cuts down on frigid wind.

rcameron25 months ago
made it and its fab. thank you taking time to post this.

kingscoforge8 months ago

I made a similar batch about 3 yrs ago , used it on a leather hat that felt like dry cardboard.. after 3-4 applications the hat is revived and soft and flexible.

jamesbarr1 year ago
I didn't follow your recipe but made a salve with olive oil and beeswax in it. had some on my hands when I handled a ditty bag I made. I noticed that the residual salve left a beauty shine on the piece. I decided to apply it all over it. the wax sealed the thread holes while the olive oil made the leather soft and supple. great recipe!
zconde1 year ago
Wonderful recipe! I thought about using eucalyptus oil but wasn't sure if it was too potent, anyone have an idea if this would work?
bigmark2 years ago
What about a black leather jacket??? My coat is brand new,but I was just thinking about all the rain we've been getting & was wondering if it could even be waterproofed.....Great
job...I will try this on my boots soon...
Kiteman2 years ago
Home-made dubbin, excellent!

What does it do to the colour/shine of the leather?
Gareth0123 (author)  Kiteman2 years ago
it gives an nice semi-gloss to gloss shine, but not quite a high gloss, which is exactly what I wanted; my main need was to nourish and water proof my leather items rather than to polish them.

When applied to the leather it is almost colourless; so the original or natural colour of the leather is more or less maintained.
raggedrose2 years ago
I did something similar years ago. I used basically the same recipe, only with liquid lanolin instead of olive oil. I figured using something as close to the oils the animal had produced when it was alive was a good idea, and I use liquid lanolin to oil my leather drumhead so I always have it around. It worked quite well, though it darkened the leather considerably and there really is no shine any more. I used it on a pair of homemade period shoes. They're ten-plus years old now and are still in good shape.