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How to use prepare and use chamois leathers

Picture of large chamois

Our sheepskin chamois leathers are tanned with fish oil to make them soft, absorbent, and durable. To ensure optimal performance any residual tanning oil or lint should be removed from your chamois prior to its first use. By following the simple steps below you can guarantee your new chamois will deliver the desired results.

Step 1 – Gently clean your chamois in warm soapy water. Use a mild soap designed specifically for car cleaning – ClasX Winter Wash is ideal. General purpose soaps, that are designed to break down grease and oil, will strip your chamois of its protective tanning oil. Once cleaned fold the chamois over a few times and wring it out.

Chamois being cleaned in soapy water
Chamois being rinsed in clean water

Step 2 – Swirl your unfolded chamois in cold clean water. Take it out the water, fold it over several times and twist it firmly. If the water has developed a yellow tint repeat steps 1 and 2 using clean water until the water runs clear without any yellow tint. The tint comes from the excess tanning oil that protects the chamois during shipping or extended storage. However, it should be removed to prevent any streaking when the chamois is used.

Step 3 – Once your chamois is cleaned properly you can use it or hang it up to dry. If you opt to dry it, gently stretch the chamois back to its original shape by pulling opposite edges. Hang the chamois away from direct sunlight and allow it to dry completely. As the chamois dries it may become stiff, but it can be easily softened by wetting it again. You should never store a wet chamois by balling it up or sealing it in a bag.

Chamois being stretched to pull it back into shape
Chamois being pulled across roof of car to dry it

How to use your chamois –  1. Dip your chamois into a bucket of cold water and wring it out.  2.  Open the chamois out and sweep it gently over your car until it stops taking on water. Wipe the surface in straight lines, applying minimal pressure. 3.  Rinse the chamois in your bucket and repeat until the whole car is dry. 4. Rinse the chamois out and store it for next time (see Step 3 above). 

Not only does chamois dry bodywork well it also collects any grime left over from washing your car. The beauty of chamois is that it releases this dirt when you rinse it. Contrary to what advocates of man-made products say a chamois will only scratch paint if the dirt isn’t rinsed out. This also true of modern man-made materials that don’t hold as much water as natural chamois. 

Chamois leather hung out to dry after use

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