Here is a general "cheat sheet" which will answer commonly asked questions regarding BioThane®. Our goal is to have well-educated and happy customers that are aware of not only the benefits of BioThane, but also its limitations. Should you find yourself still having questions at the end of this FAQ, feel free to reach out to us prior to placing your order so we can help.
BioThane® is the brand name of all coated webbing products made by BioThane Coated Webbing Corporation. Located and manufactured in the USA, we are proud to exclusively utilize genuine BioThane®-brand waterproof coated webbing. Due to their extremely high manufacturing standards, regulatory compliance, quality raw materials and rigorous testing, BioThane® has superior UV stability and outdoor weatherability than its competitors.
Under the umbrella of BioThane products there are several subgenres. Each subgenre will have a different look, feel and performance standards. At Sloppy Chops Co. we stock BETA BioThane. Beta BioThane is composed of a woven polyester webbing with a soft PVC coating intended to mimic the look of leather. This PVC coating makes it waterproof, durable and easy to clean, yet still supple.
Beta BioThane is available in two (approximate) thickness profiles: 2 millimeter and 4 millimeters. The difference in material thickness is due to to the amount of PVC coating applied to the polyester webbing and does not change the strength of the material. The 2.5mm thickness is generally preferred for collars and leashes on smaller dogs and cats or where the lightest weight material is preferred; 4mm thickness is generally used for leashes and collars on medium to large dog dogs for a slightly more padded feel.
Here is a list of our current thickness profiles for each width of flat Beta BioThane we stock:
- 1/2 inch (2.5mm)
- 5/8 inch (4mm)
- 3/4 inch (2.5mm)
- 1 inch (4mm)
- 1.5 inch (4mm)
- 2 inch (4mm)
BioThane's strength is determined by the material's width and not its thickness profile (2mm vs 4mm). Here is a list of BioThane-tested break strengths for the widths we stock:
- 1/2 inch (500lbs)
- 5/8 inch (625lbs)
- 3/4 inch (750lbs)
- 1 inch (1000lbs)
- 1.5 inch (1500lbs)
- 2 inch (2000lbs)
In most cases, water and dish soap is all you will need to clean your collar or leash. You can then wipe with a dry cloth and it will be ready for its next adventure. Special care may be needed if your collar is outfitted with crystals or other such embellishments. More information on specialized care can be found in our Crystal and Cabochon & Fancy Oval FAQ.
Additional Care Notes:
- Do not allow DEET to come into contact with BioThane as it will adversely affect the material, causing tackiness or pitting of the material.
- In the event your collar or leash comes into contact with an especially smelly substance (such as skunk spray), create a paste by mixing hydrogen peroxide, dawn dish doap and baking soda; allow the collar to sit in mixture, rinse and repeat as needed. This solution is not recommended for collars with embellishments.
- Do not leave your pet gear outdoors for prolonged periods or in direct sunlight
- Inspect your gear regularly for signs of wear or fatigue
- If your pet will have exposure to chlorinated or salt water while wearing our products, we do recommend rinsing them with fresh water after exposure to enhance the hardware/product's longevity.
- Do not use wire brushes or wool pads to clean BioThane or its hardware
While BioThane is highly stain-resistant and very forgiving of most substances, it is not always 100% stain-proof. Lighter colors are more apt to become stained than darker colors. For especially stubborn stains, you can utilize a magic eraser and/or lemon juice & baking soda to help lighten any staining significantly. For the hardware on your collars and leashes, we recommend cleaning regularly with Brasso or similar product to remove the patina from the hardware, which can leave residue on BioThane.
EXAMPLE OF LIGHT-COLORED BIOTHANE POST CLEAN:
EXAMPLE OF LIGHT-COLORED BIOTHANE THAT UNFORTUNATELY STAINED AFTER EXPOSURE TO HORSE MANURE:
BioThane has an excellent and well-deserved reputation of being a low maintenance and easy to care for product, but in addition to touting its benefits, we think it is equally as important for our customers to be aware of its limitation, as no product is infallible. Here is a list outlining many pros and some corresponding limitations of BioThane material we have encountered.
• Waterproof -- Yes, BioThane is waterproof. As opposed to some imitation brands made with nylon webbing, BioThane utilizes a high quality polyester core which is extremely strong, does not stretch, is UV-stable, and does not absorb water. Per the manufacturer, BioThane products do not need to have their ends sealed by heat or specialty finishes (as other products may require) to protect the product and/or increase its longevity.
• Smell and Stain-resistant -- BioThane is incredibly odor resistant and very easy to clean with soap and water in most instances; however, BioThane is not 100% 'stink or stain-proof' as many makers profess. Especially permeative substances (such as skunk spray) can affect the material, leaving a lingering odor even after vigorous cleaning. Refer to our Care section above for more information and tips on how to clean and maintain your gear if usual maintenance does not do the trick.
• Resistant to abrasions, cuts, cracks, mold and mildew -- BioThane is strong and abrasion-resistant. We have consistently dragged it on the ground, and gotten it caught under boulders with little more than light wear showing, but it is no match for sharp objects (including teeth!) which can puncture the material. As such, do not allow your pet to bite or chew on BioThane as it can be marred or chewed through. If your leash or collar's outer PVC coating becomes compromised, you may be happy to know that the strength of your leash/collar is not affected unless the inner polyester webbing itself is damaged.
• Fade resistant -- unless left outside for prolonged periods, BioThane highly resists fading. Most items will retain their original color throughout the life of the product. Neon colors (such as the Fluoro Pink and Blaze Orange) tend to experience fading at a faster rate that other colors and color transfer can occur as well. We recommend storing such colors away from one another so they are not in direct contact and at risk of color transfer.
• Has the appearance, softness and flexibility of leather without the break-in period, even in freezing temperatures -- Unlike leather, BioThane does not require conditioning or oils and will likely require little in the way of cleaning and maintenance. BioThane will not stretch over time. BioThane also does well in lower temps, retaining its flexibility and brittleness not becoming an issue until temps of -49°C | -56°F are reached.
• One of the least discussed traits we have encountered with BioThane is that unlike leather, which gets softer with use, BioThane's pliability decreases over time. These changes usually take years to occur, but pinpointing an exact lifepsan of the product is impossible due to differences in each product's environmental exposures and each animal's unique body chemistry. Per BioThane directly,
"Biothane is a man-made PVC product and as such, additives are included in the manufacturing process which make the material soft and flexible. A combination of abrasion, sunlight, heat, cold, oils from the dog, water, time, and other such various environmental exposures, will eventually work out these additives, decreasing the flexibility of the material over time and perhaps even lead to cracking. "
As such, these changes are considered a normal aging process of the material. BioThane Corp. is working on identifying more exact causes that exacerbate a decrease in pliability or cracking of the material. If you have ever experienced a decrease in pliability or cracking of genuine Beta BioThane® (whether it was purchased from SCCo. or another shop), we invite you to fill out this survey -- results of which are shared directly with BioThane to aid them in their efforts.
• BioThane is not vegan-certified. While BioThane is not made with any animal products, it is not vegan as some of the dyes and lubrication used in the manufacturing process could have animal byproducts in them.
Overall, BioThane is an excellent product that requires very little in the way of maintenance compared to other products, however, it is good to recognize it is not faultless. Our goal is always to educate our clients so they may make the best decision regarding which products are best for them and their pet's lifestyle. Should you think of any questions, do not hesitate to contact us as we are always happy to help.