CAUT

  • 1.  Pine pitch from leather

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-14-2023 14:09

    Dear CAUT community and Maine Chapter!

     Does anyone have experience attempting to remove pine pitch from fine leather?

     We recently purchased some beautiful hidrau piano benches and one already has pine pitch stains from an unsuspecting student(likely).

     Can a solvent work without ruining fine leather?

    Would heat help by softening the pitch?

    I have included our colleagues in Maine because they know something about pine trees!

    Yours,

    Michael Lynam RPT



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    Michael Lynam RPT
    Tivoli NY
    (207) 350-9548
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  • 2.  RE: Pine pitch from leather

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-14-2023 14:29

    Michael, just happened to see this…see what others say (by all means) however, I would recommend trying WD-40 (I know, shocking right?!!!??! My mentor 32 years ago would just about FAINT if you mentioned Umm…this product while near a piano or even discussing a piano!)

    However, if you simply place the bench outside in the hallway, or whatever…spray a bit of WD-40 on a rag and wipe gently I think it will dissolve it pretty fast and I'm pretty sure this would be harmless even on fine leather. Test in an inconspicuous spot underneath to be certain. See what you think & let us know. 
    Kevin F. (Piney Woods area of East Texas) 🙂🙂



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    Kevin Fortenberry
    Registered Piano Technician
    Longview, TX 75602
    806-778-3962
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  • 3.  RE: Pine pitch from leather

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-14-2023 14:41
    Michael

    I would try just soap and water, like washing a car that was parked under a tree and got tree sap on it

    John





  • 4.  RE: Pine pitch from leather

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-14-2023 14:47

    Hi John. 
    I did try saddle soap to no effect. 
    michael



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    Michael Lynam RPT
    Tivoli NY
    (207) 350-9548
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  • 5.  RE: Pine pitch from leather

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-14-2023 15:05
    Michael,

    I think it is the water that will dissolve it.
    I washed a lot cars as a teenager.

    John





  • 6.  RE: Pine pitch from leather

    Posted 11-14-2023 15:07
    I'd be thinking naptha or turpentine if it were me. They are pretty gentle solvents, not sure about the leather though. I can't imagine naptha hurting it, but test for sure.





  • 7.  RE: Pine pitch from leather

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-14-2023 16:50
    Michael,

    If you used saddle soap on it you might have to get that off before water and car wash soap will
    work. Saddle soap can have bees wax in it which will seal the pine tar from the water and soap

    John





  • 8.  RE: Pine pitch from leather

    Member
    Posted 11-14-2023 18:46

    Try contacting some of the companies that sell supplies to museums and those who take care of collections. Perhaps even a place that sells saddles and tack for horse owners. I have purchased various items from Conservation Resources to help with the cleaning of a 1920's Mason & Hamlin that had light mold and mildew. The wrong solution or cleaner may take the color out and/or make the4 problem worse.



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    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    (843) 325-4357
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  • 9.  RE: Pine pitch from leather

    Posted 11-15-2023 01:10

    Michael,

    WD40, Goofoff, turpentine, gasolene, xylene and even some strong detergents will all dissolve pine pitch to some extent, but alcohol is the best solvent.

    Unfortunately, alcohol might also discolor or bleed the fabric or pigments, so please test it on a corner or turned-down portion.  Use denatured or 99% alcohol for best results.

    (from someone who has taken chemistry and actually worked with pine pitch)



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    Blaine Hebert RPT
    Duarte CA
    (626) 390-0512
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