Washing Leathers - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-08-2007, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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Washing Leathers

Now I know, I'm donning my flame proof suit before I get started.

I've had the same onepiece track suit for about 5 years. It's a very ventilated Teknic and it fits very tight but just right.

See the picture attached.
At that trackday there was a swarm of lovebugs and the suit got covered with them.

Sunday morning I did the unthinkable. Before you read on you must know I did this with the full understanding that if it failed I was fully prepared to replace the suit. I drew a tub of warm water about 1' deep and sunk the suit under water. I used a stiff brush and saddle soap (rich glycerin soap) and scrubbed them top to bottom. Of course the water turned a dark color, some might guess that was years of accumulated dirt (some of it probably was) but I suspect most of it was dye.

Drained the tub, filled it and rinsed a second time. Now the suit weighed approx 400lbs (exaggerated for effect but they were heavy) - took them out to the garage and aimed the garage fan at them.

By 6:00 last night they were dry enough to put on. No shrink.
I hung them back up in the garage overnight and tonight they'll get a full leather treatment.

Other than the scuffs they look brand new and fit fine.

I'm not recommending you do this, just sharing what I did.
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-08-2007, 07:08 AM
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FLAME ON!

Nah... just kidding. People tend to forget that leather was once skin. Much like our skin. As far as I know, as long as you do the process right, you can wash leather. Getting leather wet is not the big issue, it is how your dry it. Some what like shrinkable materails - sweaters for instance. As long as you are not machine drying em, they should be okay. You are also going to leather treat them which will help with keeping them supple and in good condition.

Next time though, I would say go grad some leather shampoo, and leather specific conditioner. Also, do not use a harsh brush your leathers. That can damage the grain, the dyeing and such. Probably a lot of what you saw in the "Dark Waters" was accumulated dirt, and a little bit of dyeing. Or... if it was a cheap a** suit, then it would be A LOT of your dye. It is concern when drum dyeing or just dyeing leather. However, you are wearing a $1400 Teknics Speedstar Suit - and if right, that is the Roo skin which is not as porous as cowhide. Or is your's cowhide? Anyway, as long as they were properly drum dyed, you should not have lost a lot of dye. I believe they are drum dyed hides from Brazil - decent materials. So... let us know if you noticed any fading on the suit.

Whew... that was exhausting.

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post #3 of 14 Old 10-08-2007, 07:11 AM Thread Starter
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good eye. Yes, it's a Speedstar, I believe it's not Kangaroo.

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post #4 of 14 Old 10-08-2007, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetblast10 View Post
good eye. Yes, it's a Speedstar, I believe it's not Kangaroo.
Okay... then it might be an earlier Speedstar, when they were offering both hides. It would say Kangaroo skin on one of the labels.

Well, cow hide will take to washing better than Roo skin would. As long as you don't see any badly faded portions on your suit, you are fine. Just be sure to do the conditioning on it. That will make sure it stays supple and does not dry up and crack. That would kill your leathers.

And next time young man - NO HARSH BRUSHES! The hot water soak will lift of most dirt, and you can actually just use a towel to brush off the more hardened debris.

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post #5 of 14 Old 10-08-2007, 07:18 AM
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Like WIM said, with anything leather, Boots, suits, thongs, or gloves drying it is key. Do it wrong and you will end up with more shrinkage than if you just jumped in a tub of icewater.

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post #6 of 14 Old 10-08-2007, 07:22 AM Thread Starter
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just hung it up in the garage with a heavy duty hanger and let it air dry.

One thing I read was be absolutely sure all the water has evaporated before using the leather conditioning. That'll be tonight.

I'll get a softer brush for doing it next time, probably another 5 years from now.

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post #7 of 14 Old 10-08-2007, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justintyme73 View Post
Like WIM said, with anything leather, Boots, suits, thongs, or gloves drying it is key. Do it wrong and you will end up with more shrinkage than if you just jumped in a tub of icewater.
THONGS ?!?!

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post #8 of 14 Old 10-08-2007, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetblast10 View Post
just hung it up in the garage with a heavy duty hanger and let it air dry.

One thing I read was be absolutely sure all the water has evaporated before using the leather conditioning. That'll be tonight.

I'll get a softer brush for doing it next time, probably another 5 years from now.
Better of to lay it flat to dry, unless it is nearly dry already... which I believe you indicated earlier on.

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post #9 of 14 Old 10-08-2007, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WIM-RC51 View Post
Better of to lay it flat to dry, unless it is nearly dry already... which I believe you indicated earlier on.
yep, already 95% dry, by tonight it'll be 100% and ready to condition. Good to know for next time.

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post #10 of 14 Old 10-08-2007, 08:34 AM
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Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwww. All that black "stuff" was probably my titanium nitride sweat.

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post #11 of 14 Old 10-08-2007, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetblast10 View Post
yep, already 95% dry, by tonight it'll be 100% and ready to condition. Good to know for next time.
One thing to do with suits - especially in the knee area where or where they have the accordion panels - check the suit from inside, check on the inside for moisture especially in those areas. Since you could not turn the suit inside out, it may retain moisture on the inside... like it did your sweat buddy. But... do that before you condition.

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post #12 of 14 Old 10-08-2007, 09:14 AM
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The most I have ever done is scrub'em with a brush and the garden hose set to "mist", then let them dry and condition them.

But then that's probably why they smell so wonderful.

I get the feeling you kinda wanted a new suit so ya rolled the dice.

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post #13 of 14 Old 10-08-2007, 09:31 AM
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I know more than a few people who just wing them into the washing machine. Perhaps when the wife's not around.

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post #14 of 14 Old 10-08-2007, 11:50 AM
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Sheeeeeeeeeet, mine dried in an hour!

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