The Water We Last With

As told by Greg Carmack

Ever had those water rings or spots come up on those beauties you lasted the night before? You rush into the shop and look first thing—letting out either a sigh of relief or a look of despair.

Greg Carmack Custom Boots

I think that the water we use has a lot to do with this problem. High mineral contents or salts may affect the process. I started using distilled water on light colors with excellent results. Then I ran across an old “secret”. The “old timers” talked about whale oil. It dissolves in the lasting water, turning it milky, and causes wet lasted boots to dry clean. I believe the presence of the oil causes the water to dry out of the leather more evenly, preventing some areas from holding water while others dry out. The problem is that whale oil is a thing of the past.

The good news is that you can get synthetic, water emulsifiable oil that is made for the shoe industry. You can add to your lasting water or just spray freshly lasted boots. Either method promotes even drying and will help ensure that sigh of relief.

Another thing I like to do is always let the boots or shoes dry upside down. Especially on boots, this lets the water get pulled by gravity out of the tops and not “pool” in the vamps and counters.