Reptile Boot Cleaner on Ostrich Leather?

Lucanthracite02Someone recently entered this question into a search engine: “can you use reptile boot cleaner on ostrich leather?”


I will begin with some information. Reptile boot cleaner or conditioner has almost the same chemicals in it as general leather conditioner. That is, the product does not have soap or detergents in it, but it does have oils in it that are in very small particles and therefore are more easily absorbed into whatever it is applied to — snake scales, bird skin (“ostrich leather”), or real leather.

The answer to this question therefore is, yes, you can use reptile boot cleaner (conditioner) on ostrich leather. However, the reason why I do not recommend this practice is the cost. So-called “reptile” boot conditioner costs more than traditional leather conditioner, and they work the same way on ostrich skins that are tanned and treated much like cow leather is.

So, save yourself some money and use traditional leather conditioner on ostrich boots. Just to make sure your ostrich skins will be okay, try the conditioner you are using on a small spot first and let it dry. If it does not discolor the boot, then you’ll be fine. Then you can treat the entire boot and not waste product.

Life is short: read the label.

3 thoughts on “Reptile Boot Cleaner on Ostrich Leather?

  1. HI BHD.

    I’m glad you answered this question. I have a corollary question.

    Can you use regular conditioner on snakeskin and lizard without it darkening, or do you have to use special reptile conditioner. A couple of my pairs need some conditioning, but I don’t want to darken the leather.

    • OBMIT, thanks for your question. Answer: It depends on the condition the scales of the skins on the boots. If the scales are dry and curling, no additional moisturizing treatment applied with a good leather conditioner will make much of a difference. Those scales may not absorb any conditioner and therefore not change color.

      For scales that are not dried out, then “it depends” on the type of skin and the method used to apply the dyes that color the scales — most cowboy boots with snake or lizard are dyed — even “natural.” Those scales may or may not absorb conditioner and may or may not change color.

      The best way to check this is to apply a very small amount of conditioner to a small section of scales — such as at the back or bottom of the foot by the heel. Apply the conditioner and wait at least a day. Then check for any discoloration. If no change of color, then treat the whole boot.

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