As with all tools, there is a care and maintenance procedure if you want your tools to last and do you proud, and as with any sports equipment to retain its worth, kept in good condition, it has to be maintained in order to work to your satisfaction and for the betterment of your sport. The same applies with whips, a good quality leather whip is very sensitive to environmental conditions.
There are certain procedures that should be carried out when taking care of your whip. Because a whip is made of leather, you have to be careful not to expose it to moisture, this could cause changes in the texture and elasticity creating a completely different feel and use. For instance, dampness can cause leather to shrink, or to stretch out of shape, it can also create mildew if left exposed to the damp elements for too long.
If you use your whip in the correct manner, and keep it in top shape, it should last you a long time and give you great service. There are obstacles that can create havoc with a whip, sharp objects, concrete or any other abusive treatment will soon show wear and tear and even destruction if overly abused.
Part of this maintenance should include leather dressing, this is critical to the strength capabilities of the whip. A dry whip will lose its strength over time using the correct dressing is also important, it can either dry your whip or moisten it out of shape, so using the correct dressing for your whip is an important issue. Using light oils and oils with tallow should not be used. A good cream dressing is always a safe bet and a light conditioning every six months or so should keep it refreshed.
The cream you use should be comparable to the length of your whip. For instance, for a 3’ whip a dob about the size of a dime in the palm of your hand should do nicely, the longer the whip adjust accordingly. This amount does not include oiling the fall; smaller amounts should be used individually for this purpose.
Your whip should be conditioned regularly and if it gets dirt and sand embedded within, this can create wear internally, it should be washed out with warm soapy water and dried, no heat, once dry a deep coat of leather dressing should be applied. To apply cover the palms of your hands with the selected amount of cream and gently massage it throughout the complete length of your whip.
The time between conditioning should depend upon how often and how long you use your whip. If, for example you use it every day for any length of time you should consider the conditioning every two to three months, the fall should be conditioned after every practice. Also humidity should be considered, living in a desert atmosphere will require you clean your whip more often because of the arid environment.
In addition, you have to consider, living in an arid, desert type environment, the destruction the sand and dust can cause your whip. If living in this type of environment regular cleaning is strongly advised. When these circumstances arise warm soapy water, gently dried natural heat, no hair dryers, and then wiped down with a soft cloth.