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I Forge Iron

The apron. Clean it?


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Been looking a bit critically at my apron the last couple months. Its dirty. Grease, grime, metal shavings, my sweat, all intermingled into my leather apron.

Was wondering, do you clean it? Do you clean yours? How do you do it? 

I know, its an oddball question. But one i wanted to ask since im not sure how to clean mine. Obviously, i cannot toss it into the washing machine. Wife would kill me (or at least make buy her a new one) . Hot water,  dawn dish soap, and elbow grease? 

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Welding jackets are usually swade, a fine brass brush is the go to for swade cleaning as is gleserin soap (saddle or bar) try not to get it sopping wet as it will get stiff. Best to apply the soap lather with a stiff nylon brush and then wire brush it after it dries to raise the nap back up
one might want to dress it with a spray of olive oil based cooking spray, again not so heavy as to stand your clothes or make the thing oily. It lubricates the fibers and helps with keeping it soft. Wetting it will make it stiff, so expect to work it over the banister to soften it. 
depending on the age, it may be brown or gray, gray is typically water buffaloe tanned with a chemical that can be washed in a machine, but be ware of wife...

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Do NOT use a serious grease cutting soap like Dawn or you'll turn your leather into cracklins. Mine is smooth out moose hide and only gets wiped off with a damp rag. It it gets too grotty it'll get saddle soap and a light wipe down with neatsfoot oil, boot/shoe water proofing. The boot dressing comes in a tin like shoe polish and you can dip a couple fingers and rub it in by hand. BEWARE OF IMBEDDED SPLINTERS IN THE APRON!:o

Bert's Bees makes a good boot dressing and may be good on leather aprons. I don't know. I've heard good thing about the boot dressing so maybe.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Even split it can be but it can be tanned and treated to be butter soft. It's weird to see a leather jacket about 3/16" thick that's soft and silky supple.

My apron is reasonably soft and supple for an apron and has stopped 9" grinding disk fragments almost without a mark on the apron or me. The thing's so heavy I only wear it when doing things that may hit me with hard sharp debris. The 9" angle grinder with a cup brush always has the apron between us. I've picked a couple wires out of it but they didn't go far. 

I rarely need it but having body armor is good to have when you do.

Frosty The Lucky.

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New guys.:rolleyes:

So long as you can pick it up without it slipping out of your hand and you don't look like you've been dragged THROUGH a manure spreader, your apron is just fine.

Frosty The Lucky.

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The Smithsonian uses olive oil to treat leather in its collection, and tho I have used neats foot oil for years (both 100% beef shin bone and synthetic) olive oil is less expensive and works very well, and cooking spray is easy to apply to swade. 
another oil that is cheaper than the alternative is soybean oil (sold as “vegetable oil”) it’s a drying oil like linseed oil and is recommended for making oil cloth from cotton instead of linen. Being a site cheaper than linseed oil it is my go to tool handle dressing.

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I remember reading an article about British Barrister's wigs that included a discussion about how to "break in" a new wig so it wouldn't look "new"----evidently if you are a lawyer in the UK, looking like you have years if not decades of experience helps...  Is this the Blacksmith variation?

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