Leather is skin… It needs to be taken care of.
In this blog we will go over
- General Guidelines
- What Goods and When
Note: These do not apply to suede!!! Learn more about the different types of leather
Two General Guidelines For Proper Leather Care
Damp Cloth Wipe Down
Its easy and free. Grab a clean cloth and give it a soak (NO SOAP). Wring out as much water as possible. Then wring it again for good measure. Gently wipe all surfaces. This can be done ONCE A WEEK. Or whenever you notice an excess amount of dirt or oil.
Specialty leather cleaners: Its okay to use a few times a year. Follow instructions on the cleaner you use.
When your leather is in the closet make sure it can breathe. Do NOT store leather in a plastic bag. This will lead to red rot. Red rot starts to take hold in high relative humidity and high temperatures. If you have a piece of leather that doesn’t get used as much, you should pull it out 1-2 times a month to air it out.
Caring for Your Leather
The solution to rough and dry leather. Think of it like moisturizer for your own skin. Conditioner will most like be used on belts or shoes because they are exposed to the sun more often then a wallet or key fob. Non the less conditioning will keep your leather looking fresh and rejuvenated. A general rule would be to condition 3-5 times a year but should be done as needed.
Scoop up some conditioner and gently massage it throughout the whole piece. Then grab a clean dry rag and wipe away any excess.
WARNING: Test a small patch! Sometimes condition can change the color of your leather. Its best to try to get white or a neutral color condition. Same goes for polish.
This is not necessary for care, but will give your leather a nice shine. Start by giving the leather a cleaning following the above instructions. Let them dry off for a short while. Then grab your rough horsehair brush and rub in a circular motion. Coat the leather well. Then grab a microfiber cloth or a soft bristle brush and rub until you are satisfied.
Again always do your research on an individual product to see how and when to properly use it.
Conditioning while keeping your leather clean and healthy is going to be enough for most waterproofing. Unless you are trekking through rivers or climbing snowy mountains, you probably don’t need to add anything extra.
If your leather does get wet. Its okay! Dry it off by dabbing a dry cloth ASAP. Set in a space that gets good air flow with moderate heat. Do NOT leave in the sun or use a hair dryer. To help keep the shape you can use shoe inserts or fill with newspaper.
Treating Specific Leather Goods
A full grain leather belt is a piece of work. It is a clothing accessory that can wear fast if not taken care of correctly. Make sure that you are hanging the belt in a low heat area.
A leather wallet may not need as much conditioning treatment as a belt or bag. The oils from your hands and being inside your pockets keep it moisturized. Give it a good damp cloth wipe down every now and then. Be careful on stuffing your wallet like a stocking. Stretching is irreversible.
One of the more expensive personal leather goods. Not something that you want to have cracking in a couple years. Wiping down is the top focus for a quality leather bag. After that just condition a few times a year to keep it looking fresh.
Leather shoes need the most attention. They will get the dirtiest and be exposed to the environment the most. You must wipe your shoes often. When you are not wearing them do you best to keep a cedar shoe tree inside. If they are feeling dry, give them a good conditioning treatment.