Care of your BLD products:
Take good care of your leather, and it will last for many, many years, and get better and better with age. Inspect the product regularly for any damage and broken or missing parts. (Please do not use a defective item.) Contact us immediately with any concerns.
Leather care is easy! Don’t worry too much, and don’t be afraid to use your items — we promise leather is incredibly resilient, and regular weather won’t hurt it. If you think your item looks dirty, dry, or just need a little extra love, pouring a little leather conditioner on a cloth, and rubbing it in like lotion will usually do the trick. Baths and a jaunt in the river are just fine, but you might want to offer a little conditioner to your products afterwards. Saltwater can be harsh, so after a visit to the ocean, a good rinse in fresh water and proper conditioning will help preserve and protect your treasured leash or collar. See below for more specific information.
The most important thing to avoid is chewing: please don’t leave your dog unsupervised, because leather is a pretty tempting target to gnaw on. Hint: take the leash off in the car!
You’ll find an assortment of recommended products here. Always follow the product’s instructions for use.
Leashes and Collars:
Conditioning: To keep leather soft and supple and ensure a long life, they should be conditioned regularly with a quality leather treatment. New items don’t NEED treatment, but leather conditioner will soften the item so it breaks in faster. Condition the leather anytime you feel your leash or collar needs a little love, and it will look and feel like new! If it feels dry or stiff, condition it. It’s a good idea to condition leather before and after extreme exposure to the elements, or if your dog is bathed or goes swimming. Bickmore’s BICK 4 Leather Conditioner is our shop favorite. We use it to refurbish everything; it makes our leashes and harnesses look like new!
How do we use leather conditioner? Take a little scrap of cloth, like an old t-shirt or soft rag, moisten it with conditioner, and rub it in like lotion. That’s it!
Always follow the product’s directions and manufacturer recommendations.
Neetsfoot Oil: Neetsfoot is an old leather tack standby made from animal fats. It is great for moisturizing and softening leather with natural oils. In fact we hand oil every tan item we make with neetsfoot oil. Be sure not to over saturate or soak leather in neetsfoot oil, and give it plenty of time to soak in before use. Other conditioners can be used immediately after the product dries.
Cleaning: Most leashes and collars don’t need heavy-duty cleaning unless they’re very dirty. If the item has heavy soiling or ground in dirt, a leather cleaner is recommended. Try Saddle Soap or Bick1 Leather Cleaner. Then follow with a good quality conditioner, such as Bick4 Leather Conditioner.
The materials are very durable. However, the better care you take of your harness, the longer it will last. Since working and service dog equipment is used daily, we recommend periodic cleaning and conditioning. Keeping your dog clean and well groomed is always recommended, and this will, in turn, keep your gear in better shape.
How to Clean a BLD Harness Video:
Clean the shearling wool padding regularly by brushing and vacuuming to remove dog hair and debris; this will keep the wool fluffy, too.
If needed, the shearling can be deodorized with a natural, enzyme based pet-mess cleaner (like Nature’s Miracle). Spray the wool with the cleaning solution, blot dry, and allow to air dry completely (follow package instructions for wool).
The wool can be rinsed with water, or hand washed with a mild soap if needed (use a natural, gentle soap such as glycerin, castile soap, or Woolite). Be sure to rinse well and blot out the moisture with a towel. Air dry thoroughly before use (do not use heat). Condition the leather well after a good washing (leather must be dry first).
Clean and condition the leather regularly to ensure a long life. A good quality conditioner will keep the leather supple and protect it from the elements and keep your harness looking like new. Leather conditioner will protect the leather from the elements and preserve the harness by keeping the leather supple. We recommend conditioning before or after heavy exposure to moisture (rain, snow, after washing, etc.), or if it becomes soiled or dry. We recommend Bickmore’s Bick4 leather conditioner for a quality, easy to use product.
If your gear is very dirty, clean it with Saddle Soap or a quality leather cleaner like Bick1 Leather Cleaner. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You’ll find an assortment of recommended products here. (Waterproofing is NOT recommended—well conditioned leather will naturally be weather resistant.)
The handlebar wrap can be washed with soap and water, or simply wiped with a damp cloth anytime.
Handlebar wrap is a wearable part; it can also be replaced as needed. BLD has replacement handle wrap kits available, or you can find handlebar tape at a bicycle shop. For a quick repair of torn wrap, use some HOCKEY STICK TAPE. It is affordable, and available at sporting goods stores. Hockey stick tape is very durable, feels good, and will blend in nicely to the handlebar wrap. Don’t use electrical tape, as it will get sticky.