Leather is one of those materials that always requires high maintenance to preserve its natural glow. Like the skin, it needs constant care and attention because any neglect or ill maintenance will ultimately show on the goods. If you own a luxury leather item, it can be a waste of money because it will affect the leather item’s appearance and overall quality in the long run. That’s why it is very important to know how to take care of leather goods properly and correctly.
What are the best tips and tricks in taking care of leather goods? Do not expose the leather to sudden temperature changes, direct sunlight, water, and excessive amounts of moisture. Also, use only the best leather restoration kits and cleaning products specially designed for the purpose.
This article will tell you more about everything you need to know in taking care of your leather. You will also learn some tips and tricks used by leather craftsmen and leatherworking experts in conditioning and taking care of their leather goods after production. You must know how to take care of your leather goods because it greatly affects the overall quality of the products. If you are planning to sell your goods, you should know how to make them look visually appealing apart from the design and craftsmanship.
- Importance of Leather Care
- Factors That Ruin Leather Goods
- Leather Care Tips And Tricks
- Do Not Touch Your Leather With Dirty Hands
- Wipe Spills As Soon As Possible
- Do Not Put Leather Clothes in the Dryer
- Let the Leather Dry When It Gets Too Wet
- Use the Best Leather Conditioning Agents
- Consider Having Your Leather Waterproofed
- Practice Proper Storage For Your Leather Goods
- Never Spray Perfume On Your Leather Goods
- Always Consult A Leather Care Expert
Importance of Leather Care
Without a doubt, leather care is very important. Lack of leather care might result in bad quality, damage, and worse, rendering it useless because of too much damage. Find out why leather care is important here.
Leather Is A Fragile Material
We all know that leather is a sensitive and fragile material for goods, such as clothes, bags, and even book covers and furniture covers.
A simple wiping of dishcloth and water will never work on it, as some leather hides are not water-resistant, to begin with. What usually works on materials such as plastic and fabric will not work on leather.
Leather is expensive for a reason because of its high maintenance requirements to retain its quality polish. Leather is also sensitive to heat, as it may crack when exposed to higher temperatures. Exposing it to moisture will also make the leather rot and disintegrate. Hence special care is required.
It Requires Special Care And Attention
As mentioned above, leather is a fragile material, and it requires special care and attention. Special care and attention mean that common cleaning tools and materials are not applicable or insufficient for leather care.
You cannot use normal cleaning agents and cleaning tools because it would damage the leather and affect its quality. You should use cleaning tools and cleaning agents specially designed for leather because they will do the job of maintaining its high quality while cleaning it thoroughly.
Keep in mind that these might be more expensive than the normal cleaning agents and tools, but these ensure that leather will be taken care of for optimal results.
It Affects Overall Quality
Suppose the leather goods are well-maintained using the proper cleaning tools and agents. In that case, it will reflect on the appearance and overall quality of the leather. It will look shiny, soft, and sturdy.
On the other hand, if the leather goods are neglected, the temperature changes will reflect as it might crack, break, or become heavy with moisture. Eventually, it will rot and therefore be unusable because of its sorry state.
If you plan to sell your leather goods as a craftsman or as a leather goods collector, you must know how to take care of your leather goods to keep their optimal state. Remember that the leather quality will have a major impact on how you sell it or if you can sell it in the future.
Factors That Ruin Leather Goods
Some factors play a huge role in ruining leather goods. Damaged leather does not look good and is visually appealing, and it might affect the sellability of the leather goods. These factors should be avoided so that the optimal condition of leather would be preserved and maintained.
Exposure to the Sun
Exposing leather to the sun is like giving your precious leather bag a death sentence. This is because exposing too much to direct sunlight can damage the color of the leather and the overall quality. Aside from discoloration, it would also cause the overall look of the leather, making it look old and worn out even if you do not use them more often.
For example, suppose your leather couch has its back on the window or is exposed by the window. In that case, the sunlight can enter the house and land perfectly on your leather couch daily. This is enough to make your leather couch look cracked, old, and more of a hand-me-down than a new couch.
The same goes for your leather accessories in the car. The sunlight beams through the car windows, causing your leather accessories to flake, crack, and the color affected. It is best to move the leather furniture away from the direct path of sunlight, and in the case of cars, park in your garage or somewhere shady.
Sudden and Extreme Temperature Changes
Suppose you move your leather luggage from somewhere warm to somewhere much colder (basement) or somewhere much hotter (at the attic). In that case, it is sure that the sudden temperature changes would damage your leather goods.
This is also the same as parking your car outside at night. The temperatures dip especially lower in the winter months. Sudden temperature changes or extreme temperature shifts can greatly affect the overall quality of the leather.
It is important to keep your leather goods at room temperature, not too cold, nor not too hot. Keep your leather furniture in areas where there are no sudden changes in temperature, whether you turn the AC or the heater on.
For cars, always park your car in the garage at night to keep the temperature acceptable for your leather upholstery.
Using Harsh Chemicals and Soaps in Cleaning
The entire point is to tell you how to clean and take care of your leather properly. However, chemicals and soaps that can damage your leather goods can fast track their way to deterioration. Rather than making it clean, products with harsh ingredients in them can actually result in damaged leather.
Other products can cause the leather to get dry, cracked, and dull over time. Therefore, you must use cleaning products that are specially designed to take care of leather. Always buy leather cleaning solutions and leather restoration kits to ensure that you would be able to provide the best care for your leather goods.
Too Much Exposure to Heat
Leather is a material sensitive to temperature changes, as mentioned earlier. It should only be stored in places with a stable temperature. Thus, keep your leather goods away from any heating vent.
We cannot help but keep the house warm, especially in the winter months, but always place your leather couches far away from the heating vent so that you would not end up with damaged leather.
Ensure that the cabinets where you keep your leather bags are far from any temperature shifts so that your bags, luggage, and clothing will last longer. Lastly, I would never be tired of reminding you that parking your car in the garage or somewhere shady is the best for your upholstery.
Not Cleaning Stains ASAP
Spills on leather happen, especially if a leather jacket or a pair of high-quality leather gloves. How fast or slow you wiped the spills away from your leather would greatly affect the overall quality of your leather. The stains can become much more permanent and noticeable, especially if you spilled Worcestershire sauce over your white trench coat.
You should always use a good leather restoration kit, which usually has a protectant included in the kit to remove the stains as soon as possible. Always remember that cleaning it right away would help, and your leather goods will thank you so much for that.
Leather Care Tips And Tricks
Now that you know that leather should be taken care of properly, here are some tips and tricks you can use for your leather goods. It is always the best way to research because not all leather goods appreciate a one-size-fits-all treatment.
Do Not Touch Your Leather With Dirty Hands
It is always a given that you should never touch your leather goods with dirty hands. Not only leather, but all materials should never be handled with dirty, greasy, and filthy hands.
Always wash your hands and dry them properly before touching your leather bag. Especially if you just went to the bathroom, dry your hands properly before touching your leather bags. Leather can absorb water and dirt, and it can affect how leather looks for you.
Always make sure to wash your hands, sanitize them, and keep them dry before coming in close contact with your leather goods.
Wipe Spills As Soon As Possible
Wipe it carefully with wet wipes that are alcohol-free immediately. Always wipe spills as soon as possible, and never let them sit on the leather. Never let the stains and spills sit for a long time because the leather would absorb the liquid, damaging the leather from the inside.
If the spills are from sauces, there is a chance that it would be cake outside, and it would be much harder to remove on the leather goods. Wiping the stains and spills as soon as possible can work wonders, and the stains would be much easier to work on than old stains that were kept there for a long time.
Do Not Put Leather Clothes in the Dryer
Washing your leather jackets, pants, gloves, and coats is a must, but do not put them in the dryer just like any other normal clothes. Putting leather clothes in the dryer, even if it is faux leather, would damage the leather terribly by exposing it to higher temperatures. Exposing the leather to higher temperatures would make the leather crack, flake, and get more damage.
Leather clothes require special cleaning and laundry, so it is best to send your leather clothes to the laundromat and let them do the job for you. It is better to spend a few bucks for laundromat services rather than scrimp on those and end up buying a new coat worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Let the Leather Dry When It Gets Too Wet
This happens especially to leather outerwear since they are the ones that get the most exposure to temperature changes. They usually get too wet because of the weather, and it should not happen most of the time because leather should never be wet.
Thus, it is important to let the leather dry naturally instead of exposing it to the sun or putting it in the dryer. Leather would dry up naturally without being exposed to higher temperatures, only damaging the leather and affecting its overall quality.
Hang the leather clothes dry in the shade or inside the laundry room for colder seasons. If you do not know what to do, always go to the laundromat, and they can help you sort things out.
Use the Best Leather Conditioning Agents
If you want your leather goods to last long, you must use the best leather conditioning agents available. Using these can extend the life of your leather goods as far as possible. This would also prevent your leather goods from discoloration, chipping, cracking, and rotting from the inside.
These products have very little to no effect or negative impact on your leather hide. These will keep your leather much more supple and robust in appearance. These products also stave off some of the negative effects that the environment can have on your leather goods, such as lack of moisture, excessive moisture, and others.
Consider Having Your Leather Waterproofed
Most people do not realize that waterproof and water-resistant are two different meanings; yet, they use them interchangeably, even on leather. Leather is naturally extremely water-resistant, thanks to the tanning process, but it is not completely waterproof.
Leather will absorb water when exposed for prolonged periods. It would be an easy factor towards disaster, as the excess water can cause the leather to rot from the inside.
While many people would rush to buy waterproofing sprays that are available all over the market, I strongly discourage you not to do so because using them would make your leather goods look cheaper.
You can use creams and waxes specially designed for waterproofing, especially if you are planning to wear your leather clothes in the wetter months. However, if you are not keen on exposing your leather clothes in the colder seasons, you can skip waterproofing altogether.
While waterproofing your leather would protect it from water. Obviously, it will not change the fact that it will inhibit the beneficial aging process, and we all know that naturally, aged leather is one of the most luxurious things on earth.
Practice Proper Storage For Your Leather Goods
If you are not using your leather bags, it is best to store them properly to prevent any damage to the leather and the product itself. Always stuff your leather handbag with bubble wrap or parchment paper to restore and hold its original shape. Never use newspaper as it will smear and affect the inside of your bags.
Use the original dust bag that came with it when you bought it to put the bag there first before putting it in its original box, and never forget the silica gel packets. The packets will avoid any dampness settling on your leather bag, preventing it from peeling away. It is also highly recommended to air your leather bag once every two weeks. This tip is recommended to prevent mold growth, which can also damage your leather bags.
Never Spray Perfume On Your Leather Goods
Sometimes, leather goods have a funky smell, especially if the leather quality is not that great compared to luxury goods. The first instinct you would do is to spray perfume on it to get rid of the smell.
Again, I am telling you that this is a wrong tip and you should never do that to any leather goods. Spraying perfume, which usually contains alcohol, can damage the surface of your leather goods, exposing it to risks of discoloration and peeling away.
Similarly, do not put perfume bottles inside your leather bags in case the perfume spills inside. This measure prevents anything from getting damaged, be it the leather or the lining, or even the hardware.
Always Consult A Leather Care Expert
Lastly, if you do not know how to handle taking care of your leather goods properly, never do those do-it-yourself tips and hacks on 5 Minute Crafts because they are never leather care experts, to begin with.
Most luxury brands and other high-end brands offer aftercare services for your leather goods, including repair, spare parts replacement, and many others. Avail the opportunity because they know what to do.
Similarly, leather care experts are everywhere to help you take care of your leather goods properly. They can also recommend products that you can use to maintain the exquisite quality of your leather goods yourself in the comfort of your home.
Owning a leather item requires paying attention to aftercare. This will allow you to keep your leather item last longer without affecting its overall quality. It is important to take care of your leather items to make sure your money is well-spent. After all, leather goods are naturally expensive, so we must do our very best to care for our hard-earned money.