Magazine Reviews


Leather Mate
Leather cleaner and conditioner

Some leather jackets fade away before the leather itself loses its luster, before the seams break, the liner shreds and zippers pop off.  However, certain leather goods--like my vest from S&S Product--just keep on giving good service and never seem to deteriorate.  Except the black color that's turning gray from long exposure to sunlight.  After some six years of service, it had faded across the tops of the shoulders and the back.

Before buying some expensive leather dye, I decided to give Leather Mate a try.  Its reputation had preceded it--I'd heard of it before by word of mouth.  It's a paste that comes in 7-ounce jars and it's been made for more than 50 years in Italy.  The maker claims that, used as directed, one tub is enough to condition about 300 pairs of boots.

The main ingredient is a highly refined lanolin oil, an oil used in expensive skin cosmetics.  Carnauba is another main ingredient, along with natural plant enzyme cleaners.  There are no silicones, detergents, petroleum or alcohol-ingredients that have raised some controversy about long-term effects on leather.

When I first rubbed on the Leather Mate, I was surprised at how dark it immediately colored the leather.  Other than a commercial dye, I'd never used a conditioning product that blackened leather so thoroughly.  And it didn't overwhelm me with any obnoxious fumes.  When finished, the vest appeared near-new, it didn't feel sticky or greasy—-it felt natural.

A year after applying the Leather Mate, the vest has faded only slightly, and has retained its original luster.  I applied a very small amount to the shoulder area to freshen it up.

Leather Mate comes in neutral--the overall most popular tint--and black, which is more preferred among the biker crowd.  It has a 100 percent money back guarantee, and we're not asking for our money back.  It seems to work great.

Leather Mate works on boots and gloves, even luggage, anything made of--guess what?--leather.  Not recommended for suede, nubuck, lamb or deer skins.  When using it, follow the directions and test it on a small area first.

Product: Leather Mate
Price: [USD] $19.99 plus $4 S&H for 7 oz. in neutral or black


Motorcycle Tour & Cruiser/August 2001 


MOST OF US HAVE A FAVORITE PAIR OF BOOTS OR leather jacket we love to ride in.  The one we always mean to take out and polish or clean, but never seem to get to.  I recently came across a product that's so effective and easy to use that maintaining my leathers has become as regular a habit as cleaning my bike.

Leather Mate isn't new.  Made in Italy, it was introduced to the European market in the 1970s, made its way to Canada in the ‘80s, and came to the United States in the ‘90s.  This one-step leather and vinyl care product is a blend of all-natural products.  The main ingredients are lanolin and carnuaba wax.  The lanolin comes from sheep's wool and is similar to the type found in expensive cosmetics.  Carnuaba comes from trees grown in South America.  Leather Mate contains no chemicals or petroleum, so it will not hurt the leather.

The directions sounded too simple to be true.  Simply dip a corner of the supplied applicator sponge into the jar and scrape the excess off on the lip of the jar.  (You only need to use a small amount).  Then gently rub it into the surface you're applying it to.  That's it!

As you apply the cream, it's actually doing several things.  It cleans, conditions, and preserves, leaving behind a protective coating.  To remove stubborn stains, apply a second coat, let it dry for a minute, and gently scratch the surface with your fingernail.

It took me about 15 minutes to do two pairs of boots that haven't been polished or treated in months.  When I was done, they looked like I'd just taken them out of the box.  These results inspired me to open a shoeshine operation in my living room.  After 15 pairs of shoes and boots, I still had plenty of the 2-ounce sample jar left.  The company says that a 7-ounce bottle will do approximately 200 pairs of shoes.  Luckily, this product has a long shelf life, so you don't have to do them all in one day.

Leather Mate is available in the neutral version I used and three colors: black, brown and white.  For most polishing, the neutral does the trick.  A specific color is recommended if what you are using it on is in particularly rough shape—for instance, if your riding leathers are seriously scuffed.  Special colors, like blue or red, also are available in a 1-ounce size.  Prices range from [USD] $4 for the 1-ounce size to [USD] $19.99 for a 7-ounce container.

Leather Mate is for smooth leather only, however, the company also makes a Leather Mate Tenderly for suedes, nubuck and other porous leathers.  MT&C




All of the goods and services listed in ProductSpotlight are chosen by Rider’s editors based upon the interest to the readers.  The following section is provided free of charge to vendors of motorcycle products and services, who bear sole responsibility for the accuracy of claims and specifications contained therein.

Leather Mate is a true one-step smooth leather and vinyl care product that contains natural lanolin and carnuba wax, plus cleaners and emulsifiers.  It cleans, conditions and instantly revives and preserves old leather and revitalizes its color. Leather Mate comes in neutral or black and works onshoes, boots, motorcycle apparel and many other items.  Leather Mate, Glendale, California 91204.

Practical Horseman, September 1995

Leather Mate

This one-step leather cleaner and conditioner is imported from Italy and also can be found in stores under its European brand name, Urad.  The lanolin and carnauba-wax (a substance also found in automobile polish) formula is nontoxic and can be used on any smooth leather, but not on suede-type surfaces.

Our tester, a professional hunter trainer with over thirty years tack cleaning experience, found the product did the best job of removing grunge lining a bridle or on the panels of a saddle if she first scrubbed the tack with a sponge or terry cloth towel dampened with plain warm water, and then used Leather Mate, which does not need water, with its sponge applicator.

The cleaner/conditioner, which comes in neutral or black, went on evenly and left even old, dry tack with a lustrous glow.  The rich, soft appearance remained through the next day, instead of fading after a few hours as many other cleaners do -- so in addition to using it for basic tack care, our tester plans to use it as a finisher at shows, where the gleam of cared-for tack can make all the difference between so-so and exceptional turnout. 

While its initial cost seemed high for the small jar size, our tester found that a little Leather Mate went a long way; the large number of applications she got from a single jar justified the price.