Angelus Deglazer is a very common deglazer used by those who work with leather. You will find it in most leather shops. However, some prefer to use a leather deglazer alternative as these can prove cheaper. Therefore, it is common to search for homemade leather deglazer solutions.
The best leather deglazer alternatives are rubbing alcohol or oxalic acid. In this article, we will discuss how to deglaze leather with these solutions.
Additionally, we know that some people want to know what is better when looking at Angelus Deglazer vs. acetone. We’ll tell you why acetone should never be considered when working with leather.
Best Leather Deglazer Alternatives
1. Rubbing Alcohol/Denatured Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a fantastic alternative to traditional deglazing products, highly effective at doing the job. This fluid is the same one that is commonly found in first aid kits and used as a disinfectant.
If choosing to use this method to deglaze leather, you can use rubbing alcohol that has either ethanol or isopropyl as its core ingredient. The commercial leather deglazers you find in the shops will also have one or the other ingredients in their formula.
You will find both 70% and 90% rubbing alcohol available to buy. You can use either option for an effective deglaze.
To use this method, you will require:
- Rubbing Alcohol/Denatured Alcohol
- Lint-free cloth (soft)/Microfiber Cloth
1. ADD FLUID TO CLOTH
Whichever type of alcohol you have chosen, be it 70% or 90%, add this to your Cloth.
Take the dampened Cloth, and rub it over the leather’s surface.
Let the leather air dry. This process will take a matter of seconds only. As soon as air drying is complete, your leather is ready to be worked with.
NOTE: Using rubbing alcohol can cause the leather to dry out, as the natural oils within the leather are affected. Ensure you condition your leather after work is complete so that it is restored to full health.
2. Oxalic Acid/Wood Bleach Crystals
You can ask for oxalic acid in the shop or wood bleach crystals, and 99% of the time, you will be receiving the correct product.
This acid is perfect as a leather deglazer and lets you dye or paint your leather after the process is complete.
You’ll find this method is ideal when working with leather that has oil, wax, or grease on its surface. In such a scenario, we recommend using oxalic acid rather than the rubbing alcohol method.
Oxalic acid is also a perfect substance to remove mold that has built up on old leather products.
To use this method, you will require:
- Lint-free cloth/microfiber cloth
- Oxalic Acid/Wood Bleach Crystals
- Mild Soap
- Warm Water (not boiling)
- PREPARE SOLUTION
The solution involves dissolving the oxalic acid in the warm water. Add one teaspoon to one pint of warm water.
You do not want the water to be boiling, nor too hot, as this will lead to vapors coming off the solution that you may breathe in.
NOTE: If using this method, ensure you prepare the solution in a well-ventilated area.
Dampen your Cloth with the oxalic acid solution, and rub over the leather surface. It is best to do this in a circular motion. Ensure you work evenly across the leather.
Let the solution soak into the leather for at least 3 minutes, but no more than a maximum of 5 minutes. This soak will remove any dirt, grime, or impurities from the leather.
Wash the leather with soapy water made up with mild soap. This wash prevents the oxalic acid from further reacting with the leather and damaging it.
Let your leather air dry. Do not begin working with the leather until it is completely dry.Remember, Oxalic acid makes a harsh solution. Ensure you condition your leather after work is complete so that it is restored to full health.
WARNING: A SOLUTION THAT IS TOO STRONG CAN CAUSE YOUR LEATHER TO DRY OUT AND CRACK. ALWAYS START WITH THE 1 TEASPOON TO 1 PINT OF WATER SOLUTION, AND ONLY INCREASE THE CONCENTRATION OF ACID IN SMALL INCREMENTS IF ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.
3. Why You Shouldn’t Use Acetone
Acetone should never be used to deglaze leather. While some people may recommend it, and it certainly has benefits when used with other products, it is simply too strong a solution and will cause damage to the leather you wish to work with.
WHAT ACETONE DOES TO LEATHER
Leather is tanned. When acetone is added to leather, the benefit of the tanning is removed as all the tanning has added to the leather dissolves.
You will find that acetone destroys leather grain, tanning, and leather fibers. The substance weakens leather, causes cracks, and can even eat through the leather leading to holes.
We often tell you after giving a treatment, whether it is darkening leather, cleaning leather, or deglazing leather, that you should use a leather conditioner to restore your leather to full health. When using acetone, there is not a conditioner in the world that can bring the leather back.
Angelus Deglazer isn’t your only option when wanting to deglaze leather.
While there is a common misconception that acetone is an alternative, we strongly recommend against it.
Instead, use either rubbing alcohol or oxalic acid. When used correctly, both of these alternatives work quickly and will not cause damage to your leather.
Once you have deglazed your leather with either option, you will be free to dye the leather, paint the leather, or tool the leather.