To enjoy your strop for a long time, it’s important to maintain leather strop with compound. You should therefore remove the compound from your strop from time to time and use some leather balm.
That sounds more exciting than it actually is (and it wasn’t interesting to begin with). Using an old t-shirt or cloth, lubricate the strop and allow it to affect the lever. At our website, we have a wide variety of pasta and balms. Making things with your own hands is more enjoyable for some people. It is a matter of preference.
You may need to repeat the rubbing if you notice the balm taking effect very quickly. When the strop is saturated, wipe it with a dry cloth to massage the balm in the strop and remove excess balm. You can leave the strop overnight for the balm to do its job.
You maintain the flexibility of your leather strop by renewing it from time to time. Additionally, (micro) cracks are prevented this way. In case you need recommendation for the best leather strop, we have a list for you.
Storing The Strop
After learning about Maintain leather strop with compound. The strop should be stored in a sealed plastic bag. In this way, you avoid dehydration, but more importantly: you keep your strop clean. When moving a finely polished cut across a strop, imagine that a grain of sand is on it. As a result, your blade will soon be covered in an extremely deep scratch. The nightmare continues. Make sure it doesn’t happen! During the use of multiple strops with different grain sizes, we advise against polluting the air with the grains. It’s a bad idea to put your micron 1 strop on your micron 5 strop. You risk having larger particles on your fine strop and creating larger scratches than you would like.
Maintain Leather Strop With Compound
To maintain leather strop with compound, when it is loaded with a mix of compound, metal residue etc., use coarse sandpaper to clean the surface, depending on the last treatment, then apply clear/white shoe cream (not shoe polish, as Stitchawl recommended here on BF). All the pricy advertised leather treatment oils and cremes seem to be ineffective when used in shoes. Repeat the application of the compound. Let’s hope Stitchawl also has something to say!
It should only need to be retreated with shoe creme once or twice a year if it is a strop without compound. I have (once) used isopropyl alcohol to clean a strop, but the leather dries out pretty quickly. The follow-up treatment with shoe cream or leather conditioner becomes more important when using it or any other solvent-based cleaner.
In my opinion, you should avoid the olive oil because it will turn rancid and sticky after a while. As it is used, the harder it will be to remove the old, sticky oil from the leather; it soaks in over time, and you’ll never get rid of it all. If you use too much mineral oil on leather (I have done this), it will always ‘bleed’ from the leather forever, and always leaves a slimy mess on the blade after stropping. A piece of leather treated like that was discarded (replaced with denim on the same block) since it wasn’t worth the trouble to clean it.
When it comes to leather strops, I believe minimalism is the way to go. Cleansers and other aggressive methods don’t necessarily have to be used when cleaning. The excess black swarf can usually be removed from a compounded strop simply by wiping it down with a dry microfiber towel or paper towel. Even if it seems dirty, it will still work as it should, so don’t worry about getting it immaculately clean.
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