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How to Care for Buffalo Leather: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Care for Buffalo Leather: A Comprehensive Guide

If you are wondering how to care for buffalo leather, look no further. This article outlines everything you need to know.

How to Care for Buffalo Leather

    Buffalo leather is known for its distinctive grain that makes it very unique and desirable. Owning an item made of buffalo leather can be thrilling given its good quality and distinctive look. But how do you ensure you take care of it to maintain its life? Below is an overview of what is expected when caring for buffalo leather from the experts at Stonestreet Leather.

    The Basics of Buffalo Leather Care

    There are several different approaches you can use when it comes to taking care of your buffalo leather. The method you should choose depends on your concerns; it could be ensuring that your product retains its like-new quality or caring for the leather in a way that allows its life story and carrier to emerge with time.

    At its fundamental level, buffalo leather care involves:

    • Placing your leather away from direct sunlight to prevent the leather from fading.
    • Avoiding the use of chemicals and abrasives that interfere with the leather's protective surface.
    • Preventing any prolonged exposure to heat vents and radiators that cause the leather to dry out.

    Keeping the above in mind will not only ensure your product retains its new look but also will guarantee that the quality is well-maintained.

    Guide on How to Care and Protect Buffalo Leather

    If you are wondering how to care for and protect your buffalo leather, we’ve provided a few tips and tricks below.

    Drying the Leather When It Gets Wet

    The thickness of buffalo leather is a feature that makes it water-resistant for longer than other leathers. It's also possible to make your buffalo leather waterproof. However, as much as you can waterproof buffalo leather using waxes, saddle soap, and sprays, there are several factors you need to consider when drying out wet buffalo leather.

    First, try not to rub but gently blot the excess dampness as soon as possible. Using a heat source to speed up the drying process is not always advisable as it may cause further damage. When drying a buffalo leather product, such as a bag, consider stuffing the inside with a newspaper to aid in withholding its shape and allowing moisture absorption from the inside.

    Using a Conditioner if the Leather Dries Out

    Using a leather conditioner to condition your buffalo leather sofa, car leather seats, or other buffalo leather item helps maintain its elasticity. When leather dries out, it makes it more vulnerable to wear and tear. However, conditioning applies to specific types of leather, and for this case, never apply conditioner to burnished leather.

    Using Proper Cleaning Agents to Clean Your Leather

    Every material is prone to dirt, and your buffalo leather is no exception. This is why knowing the right way on how to clean it is essential.

    Always use clean hands to handle your leather as oil and residue quickly transfer to the leather. To correctly clean your leather, wipe off dirt using a damp cloth or a commercial leather cleaner such as leather honey.

    To remove dirt build-up from your sofa or bag, use a leather cleaner and a clean cloth to wipe off the dirt. Always ensure you use products free from solvents or silicone as harsh chemicals such as furniture polish, ammonia, or detergent can ruin your leather.

    Properly Storing Your Leather When Not in Use

    Buffalo leathers are exceptionally delicate, and that is why properly storing your leather ensures it becomes more beautiful, more interesting, and rugged with time. Always keep your leather in a space free from humidity, dust, direct sunlight, and heat. You can preferably use a fabric bag or box for storage. If you own leather bags, luggage, or jackets, always air them once every few weeks to protect them from mold growth.

    Conditioning Buffalo Leather

    It's your obligation as a leather owner to ensure it looks great throughout. Buffalo leather is a very complex material. That's why knowing how to clean it by spot treating, conditioning, and other methods to maintain it is essential. Conditioning your leather is one way to ensure it retains its elasticity and its life span is elongated.

    How to Condition Buffalo Leather

    A good conditioner will always protect the surface of your leather from stains and enhance its beauty. Different types of leather conditioner oils usually have remarkable results. Below are basic steps you can use to condition your buffalo leather.

    • Ensure the leather is clean and dust-free before you start.
    • Place the conditioner on a clean towel before you apply it to the leather. Never use the conditioner directly on your leather.
    • Spot test the conditioner to ensure you like the results.
    • Use circular motions to rub the conditioner over the entire sections of the leather.
    • Use a soft dry cloth to buff the leather surface after applying the conditioner gently.
    • Give the leather time to air dry before use.

    How to Treat Buffalo Leather

    How you treat your buffalo leather determines how best your leather serves you and the period of its extended life. 

    Steps to Treat Your Buffalo Leather

    Treating buffalo leather usually involves several steps that are vital to follow. This is what you should know:

    • Always keep your leather away from direct sunlight.
    • When handling your leather, always use clean hands as leather can stain easily.
    • Always ensure your buffalo leather is clean by wiping the dirt with a clean cloth regularly.
    • Apply conditioner twice every year to your leather to maintain its elasticity
    • Store your leather correctly in a place free from moisture and dust.
    • Always use general-purpose leather cleaners for your leather to avoid any sort of damage.

    Tanning Buffalo Hides

    The tanning process refers to the leather-making procedure in which an animal hide is turned into leather. Usually, this process aims to change the rawhide into a stable material that is suitable for several uses.

    How to Tan a Buffalo Hide: Methods Involved in Tanning Leather

    The two methods involved in leather tanning include:

    Vegetable Tanning

    The vegetable tanning process involves using tannins that occur naturally in the leaves and barks of plants. The stretching and application of tannins over several days result in a more flexible hide. The tannins held together in the collagen proteins of the hide coat them and cause them to become insoluble, making them more resistant to bacteria.

    Mineral Tanning

    This tanning process uses chromium sulfate. This process ensures the chromium complexes fit in fiber's collagen, and once it thoroughly penetrates to the desired level, the pH is raised to facilitate the tanning process. This tanning process usually results in more flexible and stretchable leather.


    Buffalo leather is a very complex material and can be easily damaged. So if you own a Buffalo Bill leather item, be it a buffalo leather bag, wallet, or a buffalo leather belt, the above information will be helpful when it comes to taking care of your items. Consider following the above guidelines to allow you to enjoy your leather products and items for years to come.