Tips To Clean Your Leather Gun Holster

Posted By on Apr 4, 2016 |


If you have recently obtained your concealed carry license or permit from your local state, then you are now allowed to carry a handgun in a concealed or visible manner while in a public space. If you want to specifically conceal your weapon on your body, then you will need a proper holster. The best holster will allow for concealment, ease of gun retrieval, and comfort and many people choose to purchase leather holsters for themselves. The holsters are meant to be durable, but you will need to spend time taking care of a leather one. Keep reading to learn about some cleaning tips to assist you. 

Remove Debris From The Leather

Since holsters are supposed to be used and secured close to the body, the leather is likely to become quite dirty. Skin cells, dirt, and debris will build on the exterior of the holster. This means that you will need to clean the holster quite often. A quick dusting with a soft microfiber cloth after every use is a good idea to remove surface debris. About once a month you should complete a more thorough cleaning to release ingrained debris. While proper cleaning can retain the condition of the leather, the wrong cleaning product can ruin it. To understand which types of products are best, you need to know that leather hides are slightly acidic with a pH between 4.5 and 5. Most cleaning agents, like saddle soap, have much higher pH levels. Saddle soap has a pH above 10. If this cleaner or another one with a high pH is used on the leather, a reaction will occur between the leather and the cleaner. The reaction will fade the leather and break down the fibers that make up the hide. Consistent use of an improper cleaner will destroy the structural integrity of your holster and leave the color faded. 

For the best results, utilize a cleaner that has a pH formulated especially for leather. Lexol products are a good choice, and these cleaners contain cleaning agents alone. This helps to keep the leather moist since drying additives like alcohol are not included. When using the cleaner, spray a generous amount on your holster and use a microfiber cloth to buff the leather until a foam is created. Use a clean cloth to wipe away the foam and the dirt that has pulled up from the leather. Dampen another microfiber cloth and wipe down the holster to remove leftover soap.

Release Stains

Once you complete the cleaning, you should inspect the back of your holster for any dark stains. If the leather appears discolored, then sweat from your body has likely caused the staining. This is to be expected due to direct skin contact. However, if the sweat stain is left to dry, the leather will crack and break apart. This generally occurs as the hide absorbs the salt and moisture is pulled out of the hide. The fats in the sweat will cause discoloration as well.

If you notice sweat stains, then treat them immediately after you clean the leather. You will need to use white vinegar to do this. Vinegar will neutralize the salts in the sweat, so mix about one cup of white vinegar with one cup of water in a small spray bottle. Spritz the stain lightly and allow the vinegar to soak into the leather. Use a clean cloth to blot at the stain afterwards. When you are done, use a wet rag to gently wipe the entirety of the holster. Vinegar has a slightly lower pH than the leather, so you do not want it to remain on the holster for too long or it may weaken the hide a small amount.

If you are serious about carrying your handgun after applying for a concealed carry license, then you will need a good holster made from leather. Cleaning the holster should be part of your gun car routine, so make sure to clean the right way to reduce damage concerns. For more information, contact companies like Chauncey’s Pawn & Gun.