FAQ

FABRIC CARE

Do your products have a shelf life?

In general, we recommend using Otter Wax products within two years of purchase. Waxes are self-preserving, but because our products are biodegradable, it’s best to not leave them on the shelf for too long. Always store in a cool and dry place.

Do you test your products on animals?

Otter Wax does NOT conduct product or ingredient tests of any kind on animals. A few of our products contain cruelty-free and sustainable ingredients derived from animals such as beeswax, and lanolin.

What does "Castile" mean, and why use this in your Canvas Cleanser?

In earlier centuries, this all-vegetable-based soap was made in the Castile region of Spain from local olive oil. By the turn of this century, “Castile” had come to mean any vegetable oil-based soap, as distinct from animal (tallow) fat-based soap and is now also your guarantee that what you are using is an ecological and simple soap – not a complex blend of detergents. This is why our Canvas Cleanser is the best product to use when cleaning waxed or oiled fabrics, the gentle yet effective formula cleans fabrics and does not rapidly break down wax or oil treatments as harsh detergents would.

Where are Otter Wax products made?

All of our products are made by hand in Portland, Oregon. We’ve made it our goal to support our community by providing local employment opportunities and purchasing bulk ingredients from local manufacturers distributors.

How much Otter Wax Fabric Wax do I need?

There are several factors to consider when deciding how much wax you’ll need to purchase to finish a project. We recommend the regular 2.25oz bars for smaller projects such as waxing caps, shoes, bags, etc. The large 5oz bar is best suited for projects such as jackets, pants, etc. As a general rule of thumb, plan on using more wax to treat un-waxed or oiled fabrics. Factory-waxed fabrics are already saturated with wax, so will not absorb as much as an untreated fabric. Also consider the nap or weave of the fabric. Thick, unwaxed canvas (such as a Carhartt jacket) will absorb a lot of wax for the first application, but will require less in subsequent applications.

What's the difference between your Wax Bars and Fabric Dressing? 

Our Wax Bars are excellent for one-sided waxing because it creates a seal on the top layer of the fabric. It’s ideal for hats, shoes, and gloves, where you wouldn’t want waxed fabric in direct contact with your skin. Our bars are also great for quickly re-proofing factory waxed and oiled garments. Our Fabric Dressing is melted down when applied, thus permeating deeper into the fabric and yielding a more factory-waxed appearance. This is ideal for multi-layered coats and jackets, or for re-proofing factory-oiled fabrics.

I've applied Otter Wax, how long do I have to wait before I can use my item?

We recommend allowing freshly waxed items to cure in a warm and dry place for 24-72 hours before use. Lower temperatures and higher humidity will often extend the amount of time it takes for a waxed item to cure and the light tack subside. Heavy application of our wax may also contribute to longer cure time, so we recommend starting off with a light coat of wax and adding more if desired.

On what types of fabric can I use Otter Wax?

Our Fabric Wax and Fabric Dressing will work on most any type of fabric. Because our wax is made from all-natural ingredients, it will generally bond best with natural fibers (cotton, hemp, etc., however it is also very effective on blended fabrics where the proportion of natural fiber to synthetic is in the majority.

What happens to the color of the fabric once its been waxed?

Waxing fabric will darken the color of a fabric and give it a light shine. A distressed appearance and color variance is typical, so we always recommend testing our wax on a small inconspicuous area before waxing a larger area to ensure that the desired appearance will be achieved.

Why don't your products contain petroleum by-products?

Most products that contain petroleum by-products such as paraffin didn’t exist before the Industrial Revolution. Nature has always provided effective and healthier ingredients and it is our mission to reintroduce these natural products to consumers.

How often do I need to reapply the Fabric Wax and Fabric Dressing? 

Our Fabric Wax and Fabric Dressing are semi-permanent wax applications. This means that our waxes will remain bonded with fabric indefinitely, but may require a periodic touch-up in order to maintain its waterproofing ability. We recommend reapplying our waxes once a year, however certain "high-stress" areas of a garment, such as the hood of a raincoat or the knees of a pant may require a touching up more often.Can I wash an item that had been waxed?

Can I wash an item that has been waxed?

Our waterproofing waxes also act as a protective barrier against dirt, dust, and debris. Using a natural bristle brush is a great way to keep an item clean and also helps to smooth away the wax creases that may appear in "high-stress" areas. We recommend washing waxed fabrics with soap and water as infrequently as possible. When washing is necessary, we recommend proceeding with patience and caution.

How do I wash a waxed garment?

If spot cleaning the outside of a waxed item, dip a rag or soft-bristle brush into a mix of 16oz cold water and 2tbsp of our Canvas Cleaner and gently scrub until stain is removed. Allow cleaned area to completely dry, and reapply wax as needed. If washing an entire garment, fill a large bucket with cold water, and 4tbsp of our Canvas Cleaner. Turn item inside out and submerge completely. While item is submerged, use a rag or soft-bristle brush to gently scrub the fabric. When finished, remove and allow water to drip back into bucket. Do not bend or twist fabric to remove excess water. Keeping the garment turned inside-out, hang in a warm and dry place. When item is completely dry, turn right-side out and reapply wax to any areas where necessary.

 

LEATHER CARE  

Do your products have a shelf life?

In general, we recommend using Otter Wax products within two years of purchase. Waxes are self-preserving, but because our products are biodegradable, it’s best to not leave them on the shelf for too long. Always store in a cool and dry place.

Do you test your products on animals?

Otter Wax does NOT conduct product or ingredient tests of any kind on animals. A few of our products contain cruelty-free and sustainable ingredients derived from animals such as beeswax, and lanolin.

Do you use any fats or oils from actual otters?

Our products do not contain any otter by-products. The only animal by-products we utilize are beeswax and lanolin, both of which are sustainably and humanely harvested without any harm coming to the animal. (We wish we didn’t have to answer this question as often as we do.)

Where are Otter Wax products made?

All of our products are made by hand in Portland, Oregon. We’ve made it our goal to support our community by providing local employment opportunities and purchasing bulk ingredients from local manufacturers distributors.

What is Mink Oil, and why don't you use it?

Mink Oil is a refined skin fat harvested from the slaughter of the incredibly adorable and cuddly mink, which just so happens to be a close relative of the otter. It is most-often imported from mink farms in China and blended with petroleum distillates to stretch the resource. It’s effectiveness as a leather conditioner stems from its high concentration of palmitoleic acid, an excellent source of nourishment for skin, hair, and nails. Our Leather Salve and Leather Oil both have high concentrations of palmitoleic acid sourced exclusively from botanical sources.

What is Neatsfoot Oil, and why don't you use it?

Neatsfoot Oil is a yellowish oil rendered from the shin bones and feet of slaughtered cattle and often blended with petroleum by-products to increase shelf-life. We don’t use Neatsfoot Oil in any of our products because it is a yellowish oil rendered from the shin bones and feet of slaughtered cattle and often blended with petroleum by-products to increase shelf-life.

Why don't your products contain petroleum by-products?

Most products that contain petroleum by-products such as paraffin didn’t exist before the Industrial Revolution. Nature has always provided effective and healthier ingredients and it is our mission to reintroduce these natural products to consumers.

Can I use your leather care products on different colors of leather?

All of our leather care products are completely free of dyes or colorants and are safe to use on all types and colors of leather. Please note that when applying our products, you will likely experience temporary darkening as the nutrients are absorbed into the leather.

 

GENERAL  

Do your products have a shelf life?

In general, we recommend using Otter Wax products within two years of purchase. Waxes are self-preserving, but because our products are biodegradable, it’s best to not leave them on the shelf for too long. Always store in a cool and dry place.

Do you test your products on animals?

Otter Wax does NOT conduct product or ingredient tests of any kind on animals. A few of our products contain cruelty-free and sustainable ingredients derived from animals such as beeswax, and lanolin.

Do you use any fats or oils from actual otters?

Our products do not contain any otter by-products. The only animal by-products we utilize are beeswax and lanolin, both of which are sustainably and humanely harvested without any harm coming to the animal. (We wish we didn’t have to answer this question as often as we do.)

Where are Otter Wax products made?

All of our products are made by hand in Portland, Oregon. We’ve made it our goal to support our community by providing local employment opportunities and purchasing bulk ingredients from local manufacturers distributors.

Are your products safe for pets?

Our products are made from natural ingredients. However, we have never tested our products on animals, and our products are not meant for consumption. If you have concerns about using a product on your pet or if you have a pet that has ingested a product, please contact your veterinarian.

Can I still use your products if I have a bee allergy?

We do not use actual bee venom in our products – only bee by-products such as beeswax and honey (honey is only used in our lip balm). If you are allergic to bee by-products, then we do not suggest using our products. We recommend that you contact your health care provider to find out which products are best for you.

Why don't your products contain petroleum by-products?

Most products that contain petroleum by-products such as paraffin didn’t exist before the Industrial Revolution. Nature has always provided effective and healthier ingredients and it is our mission to reintroduce these natural products to consumers.

Are Otter Wax products different from other "natural" products like those found in other personal care lines? 

Yes! The term "natural" is used very loosely today, especially about personal care products. Many companies use petroleum-based ingredients, like mineral oil, chemical additives and preservatives, but call their products "natural" because they add a few botanical extracts. Otter Wax is different. We do not use cheap fillers, petroleum by-products, mineral oil or chemical preservatives.

I need Otter Wax this very moment, what are my options?

The first thing you should do is check our Stockist page to find out if there is a retailer near you. (We’re still expanding our base of retail stores, so please tell your favorite local retailer about our products!) If there isn’t a store near you, we suggest upgrading to Priority Mail shipping when checking out. We ship all orders out quickly, but this is the best way to ensure expedited carrier delivery.

 

ORDERS  

Do you ship to international destinations?

We offer shipping to most international destinations. International shipping rates can be calculated by adding an item to your cart and then inputing your shipping information into the shipping calculator located on the shopping cart page.

I need Otter Wax this very moment, what are my options?

The first thing you should do is check our Stockist page to find out if there is a retailer near you. (We’re still expanding our base of retail stores, so please tell your favorite local retailer about our products!) If there isn’t a store near you, we suggest upgrading to Priority Mail shipping when checking out. We ship all orders out quickly, but this is the best way to ensure expedited carrier delivery.

How can I track my order?

There are two ways to track your order. You’ll receive an email from us when your order ships out that will contain shipping confirmation and tracking numbers. You can also check the status of your package by creating an account with us during checkout, which will allow you log-in and check on the status of your order at any time. Please be advised that usually takes between 24-48 hours after receiving your tracking numbers for the link to become active on the USPS website, so don’t worry if the link is not immediately accessible.

How long will it take for my order to be delivered? 

Orders generally ship out within 24-48 hours of purchase, at which time you will receive tracking information. After delivery to the postal service, First Class shipments take anywhere from 4-7 days for delivery while Priority Mail shipments take between 2-3 days for delivery. If you would like faster shipping, you can upgrade your order to Priority Mail during checkout. Once we have delivered your shipment to the postal service we will be unable to make changes to your order.

How can I open a wholesale account?

If you are interested in becoming a stockist of Otter Wax products, please send an email to wholesale@otterwax.com to request our stockist application.

How can I calculate shipping costs?

To calculate shipping rates, please visit our shop and place all items you plan to purchase in your cart. Click the cart icon in the upper right of your screen to visit the cart page, where you can use the shipping calculator to calculate current rates.

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