The Working Man's Guide to Maintaining and Caring for Your Leather Belt

We all know how essential a trusty leather belt is in our everyday grind. It's more than just a means to hold up our trousers—it's a badge of our hard-earned, honest workwear style.

Embracing the challenges of life, our belts are expertly crafted to endure whatever you throw their way.

They stand unwavering, requiring no special maintenance or care to maintain their strength, integrity and resilience. 

However, if you desire your belt to maintain its cosmetic appearance for years to come, you must guard against dullness, discolored patches, and dry hairline cracks.

This all-inclusive guide is packed with tried-and-true leather care tips and will guide you through the nuances of cleaning, drying, and even patching up your faithful belt.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to properly clean, dry, and store your leather belts
  • How to repair small damages on your own
  • How to prevent common issues and ensure your leather belts last longer

Let's dive into the practical side of things. How do we clean and dry leather belts?

A Gentleman's Guide to Cleaning and Drying Leather Belts

man wearing leather belt and sheath

You’ll know it's time to clean your belt once you spot visible stains on it—whether sweat, oil, or dirt stains.

First things first: It’s important to know your leather type as this plays a big role in how you clean it. Follow the following steps to clean your American Bench Craft belt:

  1. Begin by gently rubbing your leather belt using a soft, dry cloth

  2. If you encounter a stubborn stain, use a leather-specific cleaner safe for use on full-grain leather products. Apply a small amount to a soft cloth, then gently rub it onto the belt in circular motions

    Remember to test the cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn't discolor the leather

    Don’t use soap and water as some soaps can damage the leather or cause it to dry out

  3. Follow it up by wiping the belt with a clean, dry cloth

  4. Lay your belt flat on a towel or let it hang out on a belt hanger, but keep it away from sunlight or heat sources. Avoid the temptation to blast a hairdryer on it as heat can make the leather stiff or even cause it to crack

  5. Did your belt have a run-in with water? Don't panic. Blot off the excess water with a dry towel and let it air dry fully. Afterward, a little leather conditioner or leather balm will rejuvenate the leather, replenishing its natural oils, and keep it from cracking

Regular belt cleaning and drying has the following benefits:

Prolonging Your Belt's Lifespan

Leather Balm

Consider this: You're a firefighter and your hose is your lifeline. When debris and residue build up inside, it becomes less effective, potentially endangering lives.

Similarly, your Brigadier Belt endures its own form of wear and tear from the accumulation of dirt, oils, and grime. They're like the soot and ash that clog up the hose, causing the belt to degrade faster.

Regular cleaning acts like a maintenance check, clearing these obstructions and ensuring your belt can serve you reliably through the years.

Additionally, using our Leather Balm will protect, rejuvenate, and shield your belt to ensure its longevity and maintain its appealing appearance throughout its lifespan.

“I have been buying my leather conditioner from American Bench Craft for about 5 years and this product is phenomenal… It conditions leather and does an excellent job protecting leather from the elements.”
Christina M., Verified Buyer

Warding off Damage

We've all experienced the panic of spilling food or drink on our clothes. When such mishaps occur on your leather belt, it's not just about appearance—these substances can actually harm the leather.

Picture salt or sticky residues as little “piranhas”, nibbling away at your belt's leather. Regular cleaning swipes these threats away, keeping your belt safe and sound.

Keeping Your Belt Smelling Fresh Amidst Labor

Leather, just like our skin, has pores that can trap scents over time. Particularly if you're a laborer or handyman, sweating it out on the job, your belt is likely to absorb some of that hard work aroma.

Cleaning regularly helps clear out these pores, letting your Working Man’s Belt breathe and keep those workshop smells at bay.

A clean belt, in this sense, is like stepping into a newly cleaned workspace—it just feels fresher and more ready to take on the day no matter what handyman tasks you're tackling.

Upping the Comfort of Your Belt

Over time, dirt and sweat can create a rough surface on the underside of your full-grain leather accessories, which can be uncomfortable against your skin.

Regular cleaning keeps the leather smooth and comfortable.

By following these leather care tips, you can keep your rugged leather belts and other durable leather goods looking great for years to come.

Storing Leather Belts

leather belts on hanger

You've got your hands on an assortment of American Bench Craft leather belts, don't you?

Maybe you're sporting the Working Man's Belt on Mondays, switching to the Journeyman's Belt for your midweek hustle, and then ending your week on a casual note with the Everyday Belt.

But hey, let's not forget these belts are more than just accessories—they're about durability, too.

Here's the thing, though: to keep these bad boys in top-notch condition, you've got to give them some TLC. And we don't just mean a good cleaning now and then—although that's important too. We’re talking about how you store them.

The key? Hanging them in a cool, dry place. No sunbathing for these belts—direct sunlight can be harsh on leather, causing it to dry out or fade. 

And as tempting as it may be to just roll them up and toss them in a drawer, that's a no-go too. Folding can cause creases and damage over time.

Oh, and one more thing: skip the plastic bags. They're like kryptonite to quality leather accessories—trapping moisture and encouraging mold growth. Cloth covers or natural fiber bags are the way to go.

Get it right, and you'll keep your beloved Working Man's, Journeyman's, and Everyday belts looking sharp and staying tough for years. 

The table below provides a comprehensive comparison detailing the impact of various storage materials and conditions on your leather belts.

Material Effect On Leather Belts Recommendation
Plastic Bags Traps moisture, encourages mold growth Not recommended
Cloth Covers Allows the belt to breathe, reduces risk of mold Highly recommended
Natural Fiber Bags Maintains the natural properties of the leather, reduces risk of creasing Highly recommended
Cardboard Boxes May cause creasing if not stored properly, absorbs excess moisture Use with caution
Leather Hangers Maintains the shape of the belt, reduces risk of creasing Highly recommended
Direct Sunlight Causes the belt to dry out and fade Avoid exposure
Drawers (when folded) Can cause creases and damage over time Not recommended

Repairing Small Damages

Got a tear on your leather belt? Follow the following handy leather belt repair tricks

First up, grab some leather glue. Apply a tiny bit to the roughed-up area, and gently press the edges together. Let it dry—patience is key here. After it's completely dry, use sandpaper to gently blend the edges so they match the rest of the belt.

And for those annoying scratches, a little bit of leather conditioner goes a long way. Just massage a small amount over the scratch and give it a few hours to work its magic. This simple step will soften the scratch, making it less noticeable.

Remember, taking care of these little issues right when they happen can save your Double Prong Belt from major damage in the future.

If the damage is more than a minor tear or scratch, don't hesitate to call in a pro. They will have your belt back to its hard working best in no time.

Expert Tip: Fix small damages on your leather belt with leather glue and sandpaper. For scratches, use a leather conditioner to restore the look.

Preventing Common Issues

man in Dress Belt

Caring for your handcrafted leather belts isn't complicated if you stick to a few straightforward steps.

Water damage, for instance, is a biggie. If your belt gets a bit wet, just give it a quick wipe with a dry cloth and let it air dry somewhere cool and breezy.

And watch out for fabric transfer. That's when the color from your clothes bleeds onto your leather belt. To prevent this, refrain from wearing your belt right after cleaning it. Wait till it's fully dry. If you notice any stains, clean your belt as soon as you can, before the color sets in.

You can also apply a leather sealant that’s safe to use on full-grain leather. It builds a protective layer on the leather surface, preventing moisture, oil, and dirt absorption.

So there you go—some quick tips to keep your rugged leather belts in tip-top shape for years to come. 

The table below shows some of our full-grain leather belts. Visit the collection page for more options.

Journeyman’s Belt in charcoal gray


Brigadier Belt in black


Double Prong Belt in brown


“Not only is the belt of superior quality … the customer service is too. American Bench Craft went over and above to make sure I had my order in time for the birthday party.”
Linda B., Verified Buyer

Honest Workwear Style From American Bench Craft

You know as well as we do that a solid leather belt really pulls that workwear vibe together.

That's where a top-notch full-grain leather belt steps in. The belts in our collection are tough as nails and will help you sport the look you need—work wear or casual wear, dressing up or down.

As emphasized in the introduction, our belts are made to withstand anything you throw at them, ensuring unparalleled durability. 

Taking care of your belt is paramount if you desire it to maintain its cosmetic pristine look. Ensure you clean it regularly, store it properly, and address minor tears and scrapes promptly.

Now, if you're looking for durability and versatility, why not check out our handcrafted leather belts? Every single one is made by expert hands who value quality and detail.

We guarantee that they'll stick with you, adding that rugged touch to your look for many, many years.

“This belt will be in my family for many years. True quality, craftsmanship, and stylish design. Thank you.”
Kenny R., Verified Buyer