How To Maintain Your Tool Belt

We’ve discussed in our previous blog the importance of tool belts and how it can help you be more efficient in your projects. In it, we talked about the common materials used to make a tool belt such as leather and nylon.

In this blog, we will be providing tips on how to maintain and prolong a tool belt’s usable life span regardless of what material they are made of. 

1. Empty Tool Belt On Occasion

After using your tool belt for a while, it’s good to empty them out. You may find old tools, extra nails, and other things that you can remove to reduce your weight. Additionally, there may be potential stabbing hazards like an extra utility blade or staples at the bottom can risk a puncture, so remove them.

tool belts

2. Cleaning Tool Belt

Learning how to clean your tool belt is important because it helps maintain the durability and increases the lifespan. If you search on the Internet, you will find out that there are many methods that you can use, and it mostly depends on what material your tool belt is made of.

red nylon tool belt

A. Nylon-made tool belts – These materials absorb more dust and oil but are easy to wash. They are less durable, but  a proper cleaning will extend their life. To clean these types of tool carrier, you need:

  • A soft bristle
  • Mild soap
  • Stain remover if needed

Some nylon pouches may be fine going in a washing machine, but it is probably best to remove the risk and scrub by hand. A bit of soap, warm water, and another towel is all you need to make it clean.

Leather tool belt, R Dawg, hand tools, 01

B. Leather tool belts – There are two ways to clean leather tool belts. The first step is to wash it with mild soap, and water or a small amount of baby oil. Second step is to wash it with alcohol and Vaseline. It is important to keep your tool belts in good condition so that you can use them for a long time, as the leather will stretch out if not properly taken care of.

After cleaning them, hang the tool belt to dry, which can take 5 hours or more (one overnight is recommended). Once it’s dry, apply a leather oil protector which will take another couple of hours to dry again. This increases its waterproof characteristics and keeps it from drying out and cracking under too much pressure. 

3. Why Not to Place Leather Tool Belt In Dryer

  1. Leather belts will dry out if put in the dryer- tool belts contain essential oils that keep the leather supple, soft, and fresh looking. These essential oils will dry out causing the leather to become dry and brittle, it can also lead to crack and peel off.
  2. Leather Belts get wrinkly in the dryer- Placing them in the dryer can cause wrinkles. The wrinkles will develop because when leather gets wet, it stretches as the dryer heats up, and dries the leather.
  3. Weaken the adhesive– Leather belts are usually assembled by using adhesives on the inside of the leather belt. Adhesives are not heat resistant, and will weaken under hot temperatures, which can cause leather to break down faster than it should.
  4. Shape and size can be distorted with exposure to heat, it will no longer be able to keep its original shape and size. Heat will cause the fibers to expand when wet, shrink when exposed to high heat. Consequently, your leather belt may not fit or not be aesthetically pleasing.
  5. Surface finishes and treatments will be removed in dryer- it will expose the surface treatments and finishes to heat. It can also cause UV or water-proofing treatment to be removed.
  6. Stain and discoloration– Another possible downside is that the leather tool belt could develop some stains, and other discolorations.
  7. Sticky residue on the leather tool belt- continuous heat exposure will cause oils, finishes, polishes, and adhesives to build up over the surface of leather tool belts after it has been dried up. 

NOTE: Although low heat seems harmless, it has been shown that frequent exposure will cause serious damage over time. So it’s best to never put them in the dryer.

4. Before Cleaning Tool Belt

  • Empty the tool belt before cleaning.
  • Use a mild soap for cleaning. Use a non-toxic cleaner for better results.
  • Do not wash your belt on a rainy or humid day.
  • Do not wash/leave the belt in the water for a long time.
  • Always dry the belt perfectly after washing. Do not let any water on it.

5. Store Tool Belts Properly

Even the most durable tool belts need to be stored properly. Tool belt should be stored in a dry area like a garage or a toolbox. You want to keep it clean dry, and also away from other hazards like sharp objects that can puncture it. 

Always Treat Your Tool Belts as Tools

tool belt

Tool belts are like your tool of the trade. They are an investment that can help you finish your projects faster, whether it’s a DIY project or in the professional field. That’s why it’s important to take care of them and do conduct regular maintenance. To help you utilize efficiency on your tool belt, check out this blog.

Comment below any tips you have on how you restore and maintain your toolbelts or what you will be trying from this post.

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4 thoughts on “How To Maintain Your Tool Belt”

  1. Pingback: Gatorback Tool Belt Review - Green Build Co.

  2. Great share, I am looking to restore an old leather tool belt I found for very cheap, and this is my first leather belt, your guide really help me to restore it back to its original form.

  3. Pingback: How Do You Break in a Leather Tool Belt [Real Research!] - Artisan Belt

  4. Your article is creative, innovative, and different from the norm. You mention that some people have an “Empty Tool Belt On Occasion,” which I find to be clever because it’s something most readers can identify with!

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