Do you have a beat up pair of flats that are just begging for a rehab? I'm going to show you how Chamberlains Leather Milk can give your leather new life!
We all have a pair or two of well-worn shoes sitting in our closets. You know the ones. The shoes that fit so perfectly that you can't bear to part with them. Well, turns out you can rehab them and bring them back to life if you have the right products. I recently discovered Chamberlain's Leather Milk at the suggestion of Tracy, a leather expert from Legend Costumes and Leather, and I'm so impressed with the results. I took a pair of well-loved Mocha Snake Tieks and really improved their appearance with Chamberlains and a little bit of Frye Weather Proofing Cream.
I absolutely adore Tieks ballet flats, and in case you haven't read it already, you can check out my full Tieks review to see why I love them so much. You can also check out my post about how to pick the perfect pair of Tieks shoes to see all the fun colors and prints they come in. Tieks are really an investment. They cost a pretty penny, but they're totally worth it. But, what do you do when your leather shoes have become a bit lackluster? You grab some products and fix them up. That's exactly what I did with this pair of Mocha Snake Tieks.
I got a great deal on these shoes, but they were SUPER dry. I knew I could give them new life with a little bit of elbow grease. I ordered some Chamberlains Leather Milk No. 3 from Amazon.com after I'd read great reviews about it on various Tieks community posts.
What are the different types of Chamberlains Leather Milk?
Chamberlain's Leather Milk comes in a variety of different formulations. There are 6 different varieties to choose from and they all do something a little different.
- Chamberlains Leather Milk No. 1 - Leather Conditioner and Cleaner. This water-based leather cleaner will fix dull and dry, scratched up leather.
- Chamberlains Leather Milk No. 2 - Straight Deep Cleaner. This alcohol-based leather cleaner will clean dirt, oil spots, and denim transfer without the use of harsh chemicals. Just know that if you use No. 2, you'll want to follow it with a conditioner to keep the leather hydrated.
- Chamberlains Leather Milk No. 3 - Leather Water Repellent and Protector. This wax and oil-based formula will deeply condition your leather and repel water.
- Chamberlains Leather Milk No. 4 - Auto Refreshener - This water-based leather conditioner and cleaner is specially formulated for cars and trucks since it also has UV Protection.
- Chamberlains Leather Milk No. 5 - Furniture Treatment - This water-based leather milk will deeply condition and clean sofas, couches, chairs, ottomans, stools, recliners, sectionals and more.
- Chamberlains Leather Milk No. 6 - Boot and Shoe Cream - Like formula No. 1, this one will fix dull, dry and scratched leather without making your fine leather footwear greasy or sticky, like other products might.
The No. 3 formula was perfect for this rehab project. You can see the before photo on the left. The scales are very dry looking and you can see the dryness in between the individual scales, especially in the front. The after photo on the right shows a great improvement!
Before (left) and After (right) Chamberlains Leather Milk No. 3 (one coat).
I am thrilled with the results. There were some especially dry spots on around the edge of the opening that I dabbed with Frye's Weatherproof dressing leather conditioning cream. I've been using this for years to condition my Frye boots and it's a bit more heavy-duty since the consistency is more like a balm. I knew it would work great to hydrate and protect those really chapped spots.
What you should know before choosing Chamberlains.
Chamberlain’s Leather Milk recipes will likely darken the color of naturally tanned leather products, like boots and purses, but it may return back to its natural color once the product is dry. The exception is Chamberlains Leather Milk No.3. This will darken lighter leather and it's not recommended for suede or very soft and light leather products.
You should definitely spot test before applying to any of your leather items to be sure you can live with the results. Most, if not all, leather conditioners will change the color of natural leather goods since the conditioner is absorbed into the pores of the leather. It is skin after all.
Also, a little goes a long way. A bottle of Chamberlains should last you quite a while. You can get single bottles or combo packs on Amazon.
Donna T. says
Hi Ruth, would love your advice on caring for patent Tieks. I just recently purchased 2 pair of previously loved Tieks. One is the Biscotti Patent and it has a dark scuff mark. I checked your old post, but did not see anything specifically about the patents and I would love your advice. Also wondered if the Tarrago creams work well on the patents.
These 2 are now part of my collection, amassing 4 new pair since Christmas. Thank you for sharing your love of the brand to us new collectors.
Also, would you consider a post on purchasing sites for gently used Tieks?
Ruth V. says
Hi Donna! For patents, all you really need to do for them is wipe them with a damp cloth if they get a bit dirty. Tarrago creams won't work on patents (since the polish gives a matte finish and that wouldn't look good for patent leather). Is the mark on your Biscotti patents a true scuff, or is it color transfer? Sometimes when you store patent leather against antoher surface it can absorb the color. If it's a true scuff, you can true to use a gum eraser and lightly erase the scuff. If that doesn't work you can try a little acetone-free nail polish remover on a cotton swab, then rubbing the scuff off.
If it's color transfer, there isn't really anything you can do to help that. You can dye them a different, darker color but that's about all you can do.
I'm actually working on a post about purchasing sites for gently used Tieks. I'll hopefully have that up very soon 🙂
Donna T. says
Thank you Ruth, I am thinking it is a color transfer, but it is a small area, and I got a great deal. They are overall in really good condition. I have almost talked myself into trying one of the Mr Clean Magic Erasers to see if it will work. I’ll keep you posted.
Thank you for all of your great info on Tieks. Your love has influenced me. I got the chocolate brown and obsidian black for Christmas, Cardinal red for Valentines and Taupe for my March birthday. Just got the biscotti patent and the Ruby Red patent gently used on Poshmark . So looking forward to more of your Tieks post!
Donna T says
Hi Ruth, I have a question about storing Tieks when they are not being worn, lol! I noticed your storage cubby which is really cute. I have one of those shoe storage units that hooks over the door (fabric in back and plastic in front with little pockets). Is it best to keep the shoes folded or open? Do the patents need special consideration? I currently have them folded with the patients in the little black pouches. Would love your feedback. Just added the cream and ballerina pink to my Spring wardrobe 😉
Ruth V. says
Hi Donna! I'd leave them unfolded and I'd definitely give patents special consideration. Patent leather has a tendency to absorb color, so I keep the front of each one in a black storage pouch (left in one pouch and right in another - I have extras) and then try to not to have the backs touching anything that could transfer color. Another great idea to wrap each one in a no-show sock or ped. Think of the sock as a cover and put in on the outside of the shoe. I hope that helps!
Donna T says
Perfect! Thank you. I had some extra no show socks and they worked beautifully. I’m at 8 pairs and going strong?
Kelly Asbell says
I just got a brand new pair of Electric snakes and a color called chestnut from Tieks! What should I do before wearing them? Do I condition? Weather proof? I’m so lost!!
Ruth V. says
Hi Kelly! You don't really have to do anything to them if you don't want to. If you do want some care products, I've got recommendations here: