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Need assistance with cleaning rucksack - M39

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors' started by lefty12, May 3, 2012.

  1. lefty12

    lefty12 New in Town

    I just got an M39 rucksack and was wondering if anyone could offer some assistance for cleaning/restoration.

    1. There is the standard surplus store smell, any way to get rid of it?
    2.The buckles look like there is some kind of oxidization going on. Kind of a "whitish" coat. How do I get rid of this?
    3. Leather is hard/tough. Thought of using Pecards. Any way to darken the leather a little?

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Much appreciated,
  2. On the leather try a variety of leather preservatives of your choice.

    If you can't toss it in a washer, try hanging it outside for a few days on the clothes line then pop into bag with one of those refrigerator baking soda deoderizers or febreeze.

    On the metal try semichrome or flitz.
  3. ThemThereEyes

    ThemThereEyes One of the Regulars

    I believe mink oil is supposed to soften and condition the leather, and I know for sure will darken it. I've read that anything gentle enough to use to clean skin can be used to clean leather. I tried a shea butter bar soap and a wash cloth to clean a couple of leather couches I received, and it cleaned them up nicely without doing damage.
  4. lefty12

    lefty12 New in Town

    Thanks! I'll give it a shot.
  5. Rudie

    Rudie One Too Many

    I disassembled mine from the frame and soaked it in water and wool detergent over night. After rinsing I let it dry naturally, then applied several layers of leather conditioner and leather wax. It worked fine for me, although it was quite difficult to attach it back to the frame.
  6. lefty12

    lefty12 New in Town

    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  7. Gijoe

    Gijoe A-List Customer

    The best way to cleaning the pack....use it hard and don't store in a room with dry climate. A bit oil for restore the leather is good but to much soiling the clothing !!! I use my pack since years, the leather is still soft
  8. Mink oil wasmostly noted for water proofing leather and always seems to darken it.
  9. andy richards

    andy richards Practically Family

    You can get rid of the surplus store smell by using a cup of vinager.
    Leave the rucksack overnight covered with a large bin and place a cup of vinager under it as well.
    The vinager will absorb any nasty smells. be careful though when removing the bin next morning...
    The whitish on the buckles is quite possible aluminum oxidation (or electrolyt corrosion if in contact with steel metal). This can easily be removed with a Scotch Bright cloth or a copper brush. There are various cleaning products for removing this kind of oxidation, commonly used in the automotive industries but this is far too expensive for a couple of buckles. Just clean with Schotch Bright and oil it with WD-40 or vaseline. Job don.
    Pecards is perfect, Mink Oil also.
    Good luck,
  10. lefty12

    lefty12 New in Town

    Awesome! Thanks!

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