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Thread: What is the best way to prepare shoes for using the Hydrator-3.3 as a pre-conditioner?

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    Default What is the best way to prepare shoes for using the Hydrator-3.3 as a pre-conditioner?

    >>> Hi Roger, Marcus here.
    >>> I'm curious what you think is the best way to prepare leather shoes for using the Hydrator 3.3 preconditioner.


    If you could be more specific and shows the different leather types my answer will be more helpful.
    Preconditioning may be very vague as well depending what you want to achieve with it.
    Do you want to stretch the leather?
    Do you want to swell the leather to open-up the stick together fiber?
    Do you want to remove surface tension so that fat liquor therefore will provide you with an even appearance?
    And many other purposes - Hydrator-3.3 is a wild card, so to speak and you must know what you want out of it.
    Please see Hydrator-3.3 application and usage below.


    >>> Besides usual, using a brush and getting off the dirt, what do you recommend, and NOT recommend?


    This soil removing process will depends on leather types.
    Smooth leather - use horsehair Brush-1 or Eraser-4 for sticky soiling
    Nubuck leather - use nubuck Brush-2 or Eraser-4 for sticky soiling
    Suede leather - use suede Brush-3 or Eraser-5 for sticky soiling or exfoliating crush naps.


    >>> I've read some people say use just warm water.

    Any temperature above 50C is bad for leather - shrinkage problem and dried stiffed.
    Water has a pH value of 7 which is very far away from the pH value of leather average 4 (one thousand times difference in ionic strength)
    Common issue with water is water stains or rings especially lighter coloured leathers.
    See some video using steam to clean their car and auto leathers - the more sensitve leather will shrink and stiffen up.
    Correction is by reverse relaxing the leather with Hydrator-3.3 to rectify the shrinkage and Fatliquor-5.0 to soften up when dry.


    >>> Some say using warm water and soap.


    Soap because of the residue also know as scum will accumulate soiling like a magnet - see them on basin, bathtub and shower where soap is used.
    Check from their MSDS (material safety data sheet) its pH value.
    Any alkaline above 7 will denatures the protein leather fiber shifting it negative that repels the negative leather constituents like the dyestuff and fat liquors.
    Common issue is same, as using water and ageing will shows unwanted soiling accumulated by the surface coated scum.


    >>> Others say use some sort of specific cleaning solution, or just wipe with a damp towel, or some other method.

    It depends on how pH sensitive is your leather types, its color - marks and rings is a common problem.
    Correction to the problem for water rings and marks is proven to used Acidifier-2.0 a pH2.0 pH balancer will prove pH theory works.
    Scums may be removed with Degreaser-2.2 > Acidifier-2.0.
    Warm water, soap or specific cleaning solution (unless it is leather-safe with a pH value of 3 – 5) appearance side effect may not show on black or dark colors but will show easily on lighter colors and more often the absorbent types including suede and nubuck.
    Stiffness will still be noticeable when the original fatliquor leaches or migrates to form rings especially the absorbent types.


    >>> In your experience, what is the most ideal way to clean/prepare the leather?

    Dry soil removal is the first step and can be accomplished with brushing with appropriate brushes, erased with appropriate eraser, wiping with preferred choice of cloth or compressed air


    >>> Or is it safe to apply the Hydrator 3.3 with some some light brushing off the dirt on the leather?


    Hydrator-3.3 as mentioned is just like a wild card and yes it can be used as cleaning as well prior to fat liquor replenishing it.
    Hydrator-3.3 has no detergency ingredient although it foams-up when shaken but only works by surfactancy power.
    It's pH value at 3.3 is the closest to the iso-electric point of the leather or pH neutral or pI, thus works in harmony with its existent leather pH chemistry integrity perfectly.
    Do not be surprise if penetrated soiling is also wick to the surface as an extra bonus especially for nubuck and suede that need re-napping or porous leather that need surface soiling brush and erased.

    Roger Koh
    Leather Care Consultant
    [email protected]


    Further readings:
    The multi functional abilities of Hydrator-3.3 include:
    a) To check for surface tension for an even appearance free from blotchiness prior to fatliquor replenishing.
    b) To plumps, relaxes and separates crushed, shrunk and stick together fibrils for manipulating away-unwanted creases and wrinkles.
    c) To clean the leather of structural foreign contamination, the plump and limp leather is squeeze with towel laid between the leather and a smooth spatula or equivalent.
    d) To rectify alkaline overexposure areas by facilitating colloidal water movement to redistribute the leather constituents from surrounding areas.
    e) To activate the dormant dyestuff within the leather structure for color refreshing.
    f) To facilitates colloidal water movement within the inter-fibrillary spaces for wicking foreign soiling particulates to resurface.
    g) To stabilize, pH balance and charge the protein fiber below its iso-electric point (pI) ionic positive to hydrogen bond with the ionic negative fatliquor more effectively.
    This universal Hydrator-3.3 is for all leather types including pigmented, aniline, vachetta, nubuck, suede, hair-on-hide and woolskin.

    Instruction:
    A. Surface Tension Inspection:
    A1. Spray Hydrator-3.3 evenly and wipe with lint free towel to free of surface tension for an even appearance prior to fatliquor replenishing.
    B. Stiffness, Creases and Wrinkles:
    B1. Saturate the thickness of the leather to an optimum level with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers.
    B2. Cover up with plastic wrapping to control evaporation and let it dwell up to 72hrs for softness.
    B3. Manipulate by stretching and cross flexing to relax the leather to satisfaction prior to fatliquor replenishing.
    B4. With satisfaction the Fatliquor-5.0 has to be immediately replenished while the leather is perhaps at 50% Hydrator-3.3 moisture level.
    C. Cleaning:
    C1). A combination of cleaning while saturating the leather is done with horsehair Brush-1 on the surface and towel extracting it. Deep cleaning beneath the surface from the leather structure for liquid stain is done with squeezing the leather with a smooth spatula with a towel in between to reduce abrasion and absorbing the foreign contamination – See F below
    D. Rectify Alkaline Overexposure:
    D1. Saturate the thickness of the leather to an optimum level with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers.
    D2. Cover up with plastic wrapping to control evaporation and let it dwell for redistributing of the leather constituents from surrounding area.
    D3. Observe for appearance and test by finger for tactile squeaky feel prior to fatliquor replenishing.
    E. Activating Dormant Dyestuff to Resurface:
    E1. Saturate the thickness of the leather to an optimum level with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers.
    E2. Cover up with plastic wrapping to control evaporation and let it dwell up to 72 hours for excess dyestuff to resurface.
    E3. Remove plastic cover and let it natural dry to observe color improvement prior to fatliquor replenishing.
    F. Removing Penetrated Stains:
    F1. Saturate the thickness of the leather to an optimum level with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers.
    F2. Cover up with plastic wrapping to control evaporation and let it dwell up to 72 hours for foreign soiling particulates to resurface.
    F3. Remove plastic wrapping, replace with tissue paper without airspace to trap stains as it dries instead of remaining on the surface. Recommend that Fatliquor-5.0 is replenished in combination at this stage especially if the leather has already show signs of cracking.
    F4. Peel tissue paper when crispy dry and erase with Eraser-4 or Eraser-5 for suede accordingly prior to fatliquor replenishing.
    Last edited by Roger Koh; 01-08-2015 at 03:11 PM.

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