How to Clean a Sam Browne Belt

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A Sam Browne belt is a leather strap that is worn over the shoulder in many police and military uniforms. The belt is named for Sam Browne, a British officer that served during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. He wore his sword from a belt fastened across his shoulder, as this prevented the belt from falling during battle. Today, Sam Browne belts are mainly constructed of leather and are cleaned at home without the need for specialized products.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 tbsp. mild dish detergent
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • Large plastic spray bottle
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 gallon water
  • Soft cloths
  • Baby powder
  • Leather conditioner

Pour 2 tablespoons mild dish detergent and 1/2 cup white vinegar into a large plastic spray bottle.

Add 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/2 gallon water into the spray bottle.

Replace the bottle’s cap and shake to mix the ingredients.

Spray the Sam Browne belt on one side with a light coating of the mixture.

Wipe down the belt with a soft cloth. Do not work the mixture into the leather. Instead, use the cloth to gently wipe it across.

Dry off the Sam Browne belt with a soft cloth.

Turn the belt over and repeat the cleaning process on this side.

Hang the Sam Browne belt up to dry. Once the belt is completely dry, cover it with a light coating of baby powder. This will help protect the leather’s pores from any water damage.

Rub a light coating of leather conditioner into both sides of the belt. Work the leather conditioner into the Sam Browne belt on both sides using overlapping circles.

Tips & Warnings

  • Store the Sam Browne belt by wrapping it in acid-free tissue paper and keeping it in a box or hang the belt in a closet with low humidity that is away from a heat source.

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