Leather goods maintenance
Fine leather goods are the end product of thorough craftsmanship and deserve to be treated with care. To protect your premium quality leather products you have to take into account a couple of simple tips that will help you preserve their beauty and durability.
To begin with, even if your leather investment pieces (phone and iPad cases etc) may be a little tight when new, do not try to stretch them by forcing the leather with bigger devices than the ones they are created for, but patiently use them with care as they will loosen up within a couple of weeks. When you are not using the items, it is very important to store them in the right conditions, namely in their original dust bags on a shelf in the dark. It is also advisable to fill your leather products, especially your bags, with tissue paper to preserve their shape intact. Never store them in direct sunlight, plastic bags or nonporous materials.
An important issue to bear in mind is that leather is permeable and can never be entirely waterproof, so avoid dipping or dousing the leather items with water. If your beloved leather bag or wallet got too wet, allow it to air-dry naturally, away from any source of heat or direct sunlight. Equally important is to lay the leather as flat as possible in the case of bags, wallets or cases and to hang it up, if it is a leather belt, to avoid distorting its initial shape.
If you want to clean the leather goods you cherish, just use a dump piece of cloth. If not enough, the best cleaners are those you may also use on your own skin, such as gentle hand soap. For instance, you can put a bit of hand soap on a soft dump cloth and apply it onto the leather item through gentle circular motions. This way, the dirt will rise to the surface of the material. With a third soft cloth, buff your leather item and let it dry. If your leather item has a stain on it, a good fighting solution is to apply a paste made out of baking soda and water. Apply it directly onto the area and blot it off. Of course, suitable cleaning methods may vary depending on the type of leather your product is made of.
The best thing you can do to ensure the longevity of your leather products is to apply a high-quality leather cream/conditioner. For maintaining the leather and to provide water resistance, reapply two or three times per year. If you are living in a dry climate, this process should be repeated at least once a month. The way to apply cream/conditioner is to use a gentle, soft cloth. Apply a very small amount of the cream/conditioner to the cloth and then rub onto the leather product in a circular motion. You need to use a very small amount and then rub and buff it in as smooth as possible. Using too much, the leather will not absorb it, so you will simply have to wipe off any excess.
When cleaning and conditioning your leather products, keep away from products that use mink oil or other animal fats, petroleum or petroleum solvents, silicone, alcohol or other glossing agents. These ingredients can leave a greasy finish, stain, or cause a buildup on your leather goods. Before using any substance, do a spot test to see if the care products will create a stain on the material.
Always remember that choosing the right type of storage and cleaning and conditioning leather properly only takes a few minutes but will help you keep your favorite products looking as good as new no matter how old they are.