A good leather conditioner replenishes the natural oils that keep the protein bonds between leather fibers strong. This helps the material stay flexible and avoid creases and cracks.
The Saphir Renovateur does this using mink oil – since leather is animal skin, it only makes sense to replenish it with a complete, natural profile of oils from another animal. In addition to its mink oil base, the Saphir Renovateur also contain mild cleaning agents that remove dirt and old polish for the conditioning oils to penetrate deeper.
How to use the Saphir Renovateur
- Remove your shoelaces and clean your shoe with a horsehair brush. If you have to use a leather cleaning agent like Saddle Soap or Saphir Reno’mat, do it before conditioning.
- To get maximum penetration, the Saphir Renovateur should be used before any additional polish is applied. Using either a dry cotton rag, cotton pad, or just your finger, pick up a dab of Renovateur cream approximately 1cm in diameter. Due to the richness of the Saphir Renovateur, this should be enough to cover almost half of your shoe!
- Using quick circles, spread the Saphir Renovateur over your shoe leather quickly. For a more even application, try to spread the dab of cream over a large area before working it into the leather. Use additional dabs until the entire shoe has been covered once. Don’t forget to condition the tongue as well!
While applying the Saphir Renovateur, you might notice that some colour rubs off on your rag. This is entirely natural – the colour is usually due to existing polish being dissolved by the mild cleaner in the Renovateur so that the conditioning oils penetrate deeper.
- You’ll notice that the conditioner soaks into the leather very quickly at first. Apply additional conditioner over the entire shoe until you notice that the uptake of the cream slows down and the surface of the leather starts to feel slightly sticky. You have thoroughly conditioned your leather at this point.
- Leave the conditioner to set in overnight, then brush the shoe with a horsehair buffing brush. If you had existing wax on your shoe before, you’ll notice that your shoe shines nicely after buffing. This is because the Renovateur’s mild cleaner dissolved some of the existing wax, which was then buffed into a shine.
FAQs about the Saphir Renovateur
How often should I use the Saphir Renovateur?
You should use the Saphir Renovateur during every polishing session, and before applying the additional polish. As a rule of thumb, this should be about once a month. However, there are also other factors at play. If you’ve used a cleaning agent on your shoes (e.g Saddle Soap, Saphir Reno’mat, rubbing alcohol), a good portion of the oils in your shoe leather would likely have been lost as well so you should always follow up cleaning agents with a good application of Saphir Renovateur. Water is also removes a significant amount of natural oils from leather, so if you’d spilled a drink on your shoes or got caught in the rain, you should nourish your shoes with a good dose of conditioning oils once it dries.
How much Saphir Renovateur should I use each time?
The amount of Saphir Renovateur required for a complete conditioning varies greatly on the type of leather you have and its condition. Regularly conditioned leather will require less cream on each application. Instead of using a predetermined amount of conditioner, you should strive to condition the leather completely. For the Saphir Renovateur, you can tell that the leather has taken up a healthy amount of oils when the rich Renovateur cream stops absorbing as quickly into the leather and starts to form a sticky layer on top.
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This article is a part of ShoeTree Project’s special How-to-use Series, a comprehensive series of structured guides that help budding shoe owners use their shoe care products properly and efficiently – check the rest out!