How to care for leather?
by Grace Mukai on Nov 03, 2020
Having a collection of luxurious leather items, ranging from handbags and purses to wallets, belts, journals, and even furniture means having to worry about caring for them. No one would be willing to part with their beloved pieces, due to a little tear or stain. So maintaining these items is crucial.
Here is everything you would want to know when it comes to cleaning and caring for your leather.
Everyday guidelines for caring for leather
You do not need to have to wait till your leather wears out before you start caring for it. There are everyday rules which you can adhere to, not only to extend the life of your leather but to also avoid unnecessary tear and wear.
- Always set aside time, at least once every week, to clean off dust or spots on the leather. Always do this with a brush or a soft cloth.
- Leather has a tendency to stretch. For your handmade leather bags or wallets, you need to avoid putting in heavy things or even overfilling them, to maintain their original form.
- To reduce scratches on your leather accessories, avoid sharp or rough surfaces, and chunky jewelry.
- Though leather has some level of water resistance, it isn’t waterproof. Avoid possible contact with water.
How to store your leather accessories?
Storage plays an important role in caring for and maintaining your leather. Proper storage means you can avoid damages to your leather and also maintain the appearance of the leather. There are key things you have to keep in mind when storing leather.
Keep away from direct sunlight, as this would cause the leather to fade. Artificial sources of heat are a no. Heat only makes the leather break and crack.
Don’t use a plastic bag to store your leather, as they do not allow for proper ventilation. You do not want the effect of heat ruining your leather.
Cleaning your leather
- Leather should be cleaned regularly using a soft cloth or brush.
- Always spot test your cleaning products first in a hidden spot on your leather, to make sure they don’t cause any damages to your leather.
- Do not immerse your leather in the water when cleaning. Rather, use a damp cloth mixed with mild dish soap to wipe the surface of the leather.
- Always ensure to condition your leather regularly.
- Do not machine wash your leather.
- To disinfect your leather, always use a steam cleaner.
- Leathers don’t do well with heat. Avoid ironing your leather. Store away from sunlight and do not dry your leather with artificial sources of heat, like a hairdryer for instance.
How to care for a specific leather item?
Leather needs to be cared for every day. Proper storage plays a huge role in maintaining your leather. Different types of leather require different caring techniques. Below are tips on how to care for certain leather products.
Leather shoes would always look great when cleaned and maintained regularly. So, avoid neglecting your shoes. Like all leather products, your shoes need to be cared for properly.
Ensure to dry out your shoe from natural perspiration. Clean it regularly with a soft cloth to remove dust. Always condition your shoes to help maintain them longer. To remove stains on your leather shoe, test out the stain-removing product on a hidden part of the shoe to avoid damaging the shoe.
Like other leather products, avoid contact with water.
Handbags and backpacks
Always cover your handbags and backpacks in a dust bag, to avoid accumulating dust on them. Store your bags away from sunlight or any form of heat. Avoid hanging your handbags or backpacks, to avoid stretching the handles. Instead, place on their base, making sure that there is enough room for their handles as well. You do not want handles that are distorted or bent.
Try not to overfill your bags to avoid distorting their original silhouette.
Leather travel bags are designed to be durable, with the wear and tear of traveling in mind. So it’s quite easy to take care of. Always make sure to clean your travel bags before and after each trip.
Be careful to minimize contact with the floor to avoid scratches on your leather.
Belts are common and necessary accessories in our wardrobe. You want to make sure that you rotate them since it’s more likely that it is worn almost every day.
Always hang the belt by the buckle and avoid rolling it up to avoid imprints from the hardware. This would make the belt retain its original silhouette.
The first thing you would want to do is identify the kind of upholstery you have since different leathers have different cleaning requirements.
When cleaning leather furniture, avoid using saddle soap, oils, detergent, or any abrasive materials on it. Instead, distilled water and mild liquid soap are recommended. Before you commence any cleaning activity, always make sure to vacuum or clean off the surface to get rid of dust.
How to maintain different types of leather?
Cleaning and maintaining your leather both come hand in hand. Leather comes in varying textures. So when working with such versatile and multi-faceted material, you would want to be careful about the maintenance choices you make, since whatever you choose could either break or make the material of the leather for so many years to come.
- For leathers like bison leather or snakeskin, make sure that you make use of non-abrasive clothes when cleaning since continuous friction would damage the surface of the leather. Always store these types of leather away from sunlight or heat.
- Leathers like suede and nubuck are prone to oil and water stains. Always use a dry cleaning method when cleaning this kind of leather. For tough stains, ensure to use a suede cleaning solution.
- Like every other leather, printed leather should be cleaned with a damp cloth.
- Keep in mind that colored polish can alter the appearance of printed leather and should be avoided. If there is any need for protective sprays or conditioners, ensure to always test it on a hidden part of the material.
- Just like suede and nubuck leathers, velvet leather requires a dry cleaning method. Ensure you do not vigorously rub the surface. Use a soft brush, or if necessary, your palm would do just fine.
Cleaning and maintaining your leather isn’t as daunting a task as you thought right? Just like you deserve the best accessories, your leather accessories too, deserve the best treatment. If you follow these cleaning steps, then you’re sure your leather would stand the test of time and would last for a very long time.