Why is beewax so important in leather care?

In the four steps of leather shoe care, except cleaning, the products for the other three steps all contain the ingredient beeswax, so why is beeswax so important in leather shoes (leather goods) care?

Beeswax has good waterproofness, in fact, this is very easy to understand, all wax, including unfavored paraffin, is waterproof.

Beeswax has good adhesion and durability with leather. The so-called smooth skin surface is actually textured, under microscope it is rough and uneven, and beeswax can be attached to it tightly.

In addition, the melting point of beeswax is 60 degrees, so it remains in a solid state under normal circumstances, and it is not easy to fall off. This saves you the trouble of constantly applying wax.

In terms of care products, products for smooth leather strongly warn “do not use on suede leather”, however beeswax can be used on suede because beewax mainly plays a role on the surface of the leather. However, it should also be noted that if suede is smeared with beeswax, the color will appear darker.

Beeswax can give enough lubrication to the leather without softening it.

The first commercial product of beeswax was invented by Ome Daiber in 1933, when the purpose was to care for mountaineering and skiing boots. On the one hand, the shoes needed to be waterproof, on the other hand, maintaining the hardness of the leather was desired, this kind of workwear boots, did not want its leather too soft.

All kinds of grease have one problem, that is easy migration. The biggest problem of migration is that after completely penetrating the leather, it will go to the inside of the leather, that is, where it touches the feet or socks, and then the grease will stick to the feet or socks.

In addition, if the grease completely fills all the fiber voids, then ventilation, including absorbing moisture (sweat), will be a problem. Beeswax can keep them in the fiber from wandering around.

Grease can also make the leather soft.


I have even seen some “heresy”, claiming that beeswax is the only one needed for leather care, but I think in principle, those oils are still necessary to supplement the oil applied in the leather manufacturing process and volatilize in later use. In addition, whether beeswax alone can keep the leather soft is also a problem.