Leather is an essential part of many subminiature cameras, accessories and cases. And it is the most important feature of the appearance of many cameras. But it is often the first thing to deteriorate. So how can you keep your leatehr in top shape? Having cleaned and resurrected dozens of Minox cases over the years, I would heartily warn against the use of Neatsfoot oil, or any oil for that matter. The problems with their use are many, but mainly:
My standard treatment for all Minox cases (and all old leather products in general) is a gentle cleaning of the exterior with tiny amounts of saddle soap applied via a Q-Tip in a constant swirling motion. Allow the case to sit for an hour or so before taking a clean, damp (warm water) cotton rag and gently wiping it. Let it dry for at least an hour then repeat the saddle soap conditioner again and after an hour buff it with a dry cloth. If there are deep scars in the leather and you want to renew the exterior luster, use good old-fashioned Kiwi shoe polish applied with a Q-Tip and allowed to dry for an hour or so. Then use a dry cloth to buff the surface.
It is worth mentioning that I take great strides to keep all applications clear of the interior of the case. To that end, I pack the case with Kleenex prior to applying anything to the leather so as to keep any solutions from ever finding their way onto the surface of the camera.
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