Leather jump ropes are a classic staple of the old school boxing gym. Solidly built and often beautifully crafted with wooden handles, leather jump ropes do require some basic leather care. Prevent unnecessary wear on your jump rope by storing it hung from the middle of the rope with the weight of the handles free to keep the rope straight. Leather ropes new and old will deteriorate quickly if used without regular treatment to keep the leather hydrated.
Rub a cotton rag in the saddle soap to pick up a small amount of soap.
Spread a thin layer of saddle soap on all sides of the leather.
Spray a little water on the rag and add more saddle soap to develop a lather on the leather. Work the lather gently into the leather.
Wipe all the lather off of the leather. A clean wet sheen from the saddle soap will remain.
Hang the jump rope to dry.
Pour a very small mount of neatsfoot oil on a clean cotton rag.
Spread a thin layer of the oil on all sides of the leather. Hang the rope. Repeat this step daily until the rope retains a hydrated appearance. Then repeat whenever the rope starts to look dry.
- Leather jump ropes should be treated whenever they dry out excessively or develop discoloration from the buildup of oil and dirt. Avoid wrapping the leather rope around the handles for storage.
- Keep soap and oil away from the ball bearings inside the jump rope handle. Treat the leather slowly over several days to prevent soaking. Do not use the jump rope while the leather is soaked.
Alberto J. Medina is a small-business owner, personal trainer and professional writer. He holds a bachelor's degree in exercise and health promotion from Virginia Tech, and is an ACE-certified advanced health and fitness specialist as well as a health coach and group fitness instructor.