Montana Pitch-Blend

Ingredient FAQs

Over the years we've responded to a variety of questions about our product ingredients. If you have a question, it's possible you'll find the answer here. If not, just use our contact form to reach us online with any questions you may have.

For general information about the benefits of our natural ingredients, see our All-Natural page.

About Pine Pitch

Q: Will pine pitch seal my leather?

No, our products will not seal your leather. Amber pine pitch provides a natural barrier that works together with our mink oil and beeswax without sealing off the leather in any negative way. No leather care or protectant will waterproof 100% - there are only better degrees of water-repellency that you can achieve. But while our products help prevent water from passing into your leather, they will not interfere with the normal and natural performance of your leather.

Q: Is pine pitch a black tar?

No, pine pitch is an amber tree sap exuded naturally by pine trees.

Black tar is made from trees via a chemical process. We have heard of products using tar for water-proofing, but we don't believe that would be appropriate for the look or smell of leather.

Q: Where does pine pitch come from?

Pine pitch can be harvested off the ground under the canopy of pine trees or off the trees themselves. It is a natural sap exuded by pine trees when the trees are trying to heal bark wounds or insect infestations. Sap is also a wonderfully fresh-smelling substance that when blended with our pure mink oil results in a pleasant and mild natural pine scent. Pine pitch also provides excellent water-resistance and anti-bacterial benefits without the need of any chemical or artificial additives.

Q: Does pine pitch provide a natural cover for hunting and sporting environments?

Yes, the amber pine pitch in our products yields a completely all-natural and familiar scent that has no chemical or surprise odors to animals. Sportsmen, photographers, and hunters have enjoyed using our products for years because they provide a natural cover when conditioning their leather boots and gear while also offering excellent water-repellency that helps keep them as dry as possible in the outdoors.

About Mink Oil

Q: Is mink oil the best choice for leather?

Yes, in our opinion, mink oil is the very best oil for leather goods. It is a wonderfully rich emollient with excellent absorption, uptake, durability, and a natural SPF.

Mink oil is so luxurious that it is even used in human skincare, haircare, and cosmetic products. It has also been used therapeutically on burn trauma patients as a super protective healing ointment.

Mink oil is an expensive natural resource that is difficult to find in leather care products in its whole oil form. Many products made with mink oil are often cheapened with other oils or petroleum additives to reduces the costliness of the oil for manufacturers.

At Montana Pitch-Blend we use 100% pure mink oil specially prepared to provide the highest quality ingredients for the best possible care of your leather. With our products, you will always get the best.

Q: Is mink oil better than neatsfoot oil?

In our opinion, yes, mink oil is definitely superior to neatsfoot oil. Mink oil is the richest emollient you could want for leather care. We believe, and leather professionals have told us, that good quality mink oil lasts longer and outperforms neatsfoot oil. Moreover, our products use an enhanced mink oil because it is blended with pine pitch preservative. Our Leather Oil conditions and preserves leather in a more powerful way than neatsfoot or even plain mink oil could accomplish. (Read our Uniquely All-Natural and Products pages to learn more.)

That being said, neatsfoot oil, which is derived from cow fat, is less expensive and therefore used as a less costly alternative in leather care.

In our opinion using plain neatsfoot oil instead of choosing our premium Leather Oil & Conditioner is settling for less than the best just to save a little money, and most importantly missing out on the unique benefits that make for beautiful, long-lasting leather.

Q: Is mink oil safe for leather?

Yes, mink oil is totally safe for leather and leather stitching. Mink oil is not only safe but it is the ideal choice in premium leather care. Explore our Uniquely All-Natural page to learn more.

Centuries of use
Mink oil used for leather in not a new idea; it has been used for reconditioning animal skins for centuries. As for our part, customers have been enjoying and recommending our mink oil-based products for nearly 30 years.

There has been misinformation, either careless or intentional, that has surfaced over the years regarding mink oil and animal fats. Stories of animal fats not being good for leather are completely false. But, sadly, some competing companies still try to scare customers away from products like ours that use mink oil. You can read more information on our Additional Info page.

Q: Can I buy plain mink oil from Montana Pitch-Blend?

No, we're sorry, but we do not sell plain mink oil. Years ago we actually did accommodate these kinds of requests, but discovered it required too much time and processing. The internet can be searched for mink oil retailers - we wish you the best in your search.

But if your purpose is to take the best possible care of your leather goods, we suggest that you can't do better than using our special blend of mink oil with pine pitch.

If you'd like to learn more about our products and why our blend is the best, visit our Uniquely All-Natural page.

About Beeswax

Q: Why do you use beeswax instead of paraffin wax?

Beeswax is a natural wax secreted by bees as they make honeycomb. This natural wax has superior properties for leather care: being virtually impervious to water it performs in extreme climates of heat or cold, has greater water-repellency, and it is also naturally antibacterial which aids in the preservation of leather's skin and fibers.

Paraffin wax is essentially a chemical hydrocarbon wax, mostly commonly derived from petroleum or mineral oil and has many industrial uses. In our opinion, although there are leather care products that utilize paraffin wax, we believe natural beeswax is a much higher performing and better quality choice. Paraffin wax is a much cheaper ingredient and as with the candle industry you will find the cheaper brands will utilize this ingredient more often. Paraffin is a white wax, but there are beeswax products that are bleached so that they yellow / orange hue of natural beeswax is no longer visible. To know for certain you need to ask.

Q. How is beeswax different from bee propolis? Does propolis benefit leather?

Beeswax is a natural wax secreted by bees from their abdomen, while propolis is picked up by the bees as they pollenate. Propolis is a sticky mix of tree resins and flower saps that is used by bees to seal unprotected parts of the hive due to the sappy texture and sealing quality of the substance.

For leather care, some companies utilize propolis as their key ingredient, but it would not be a better substitute for natural beeswax because propolis is only a partial mix of some tree resin with botanical elements. In other words, you wouldn't melt propolis into an oil and get the same performance or benefits as you would by melting beeswax into it.

Additionally, because propolis by volume is a very costly powdery substance, simply because so little of it is harvested from the hive compared to beeswax, it is therefore most commonly sold for human consumption as an herbal-medicinal product. So, when it comes to leather care, we wonder how much propolis is actually being added to certain leather care products that tout this ingredient. Quite a lot of propolis would have to be utilized in order to see a direct benefit to the leather, which would be cost-prohibitive in a leather care product with low retail pricing. Health care supplements, in contrast, are 2-3x as costly and therefore the use of propolis by volume makes more business sense.

Propolis does have some wonderful medicinal properties for bee colonies and humans alike, but for the purposes of leather care you simply could not achieve with propolis what you can with whole beeswax and whole pine pitch tree sap, as used in Montana Pitch-Blend Producst. Beeswax and pine pitch provide potent and undiluted preserving, water-repellant, and antibacterial benefits to leather skins that propolis can't begin to provide. That's why we use those ingredients and have not chosen to add propolis to our formulas and blends.

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