Leather products such as shoes, belts, handbags, seat covers, and furniture can last for many years with proper care and maintenance. They will look great if you use the right leather cleaning products, as well as follow the proper leather care tips.
With hundreds of DIY and commercial leather care products, you might get confused on which product to use. As a guide, it is important to learn about the different leather cleaning and care options.
Leather Cleaning Products
Leather cleaning products simply function by clearing out dust, dirt, and stains from the leather. These cleaners can either be made at home or bought commercially.
DIY leather cleaners
The Internet can show you a lot of DIY suggestions in cleaning your leather items. Most of these are home-made products using ingredients you can easily find at home, such as detergent soaps, liquid soaps, olive oil, vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, cream of tartar, and even non-gel toothpaste.
- Mild detergent soaps and liquid soaps mixed with water may be used for regular cleaning and maintenance of leather. Simply mix 1 part of soap to 5 parts water and spray on clean cloth. Wipe the solution-damped cloth to the leather surface. Wipe with another clean damp cloth (water only) and then completely dry with a soft towel.
- Olive oil and vinegar mixture is also widely suggested for regular cleaning, using half a cup of olive oil and a quarter cup of vinegar. This can be sprayed directly on to the leather surface and wiped thoroughly after 5 minutes.
- Baking soda is also said to be helpful in cleaning leather surfaces that are stained with grease by absorbing the oil. Simply drizzle baking soda on affected area and rub with a clean damp cloth. Wipe off the powder after a few hours or on the next day and follow with a clean damp cloth. Dry completely with a towel.
- To clean stains, you can take advantage of the bleaching effect of the lemon juice and cream of tartar mixture. Make a paste using 1 part lemon juice and 1 part cream of tartar. Rub on affected area and leave on for about 30 minutes. Remove the paste using a damp sponge and dry with a clean cloth.
- You can also use non-gel toothpaste applied to affected area with a toothbrush to remove stains on leather surfaces. Wipe off with a clean cloth and follow with a towel
Commercial leather cleaners
While DIY leather cleaners give you good results, they may not be the best cleaner to keep your leather items in great condition in the long run. When not properly mixed or applied, it may even harm your leather. Commercial leather cleaners, on the other hand, especially those with the right composition, can give you the best results and give your leather a longer life.
The best leather cleaners are known to open up the pores of the leather and lift dirt up to the surface for easy cleaning. You should also make sure to find one with neutral acidity (pH) or acid-free and those without alcohol, abrasives, and harsh chemicals that all damage the state of your leather.
Leather Conditioning Products
After cleaning, it is best to condition your leather items. Leather conditioners act as moisturizers to leathers. They prevent the leather from drying and cracking and make them more supple and bendable. Leather conditioners bring out the color of the leather and help protect the surface of the leather. Using conditioners helps prolong the life of your leather items.
Leather Protecting Products
Leather protectants seal the surface of your leather and locks the leather’s natural oil and color. It protects your leather from harmful external factors, such as UV rays, water, ice, snow, and more. Some of these sealants come in the form of polishers.
While you can get a leather cleaner, conditioner, and protectant separately, some commercial products have combined cleaning, conditioning, and protecting properties already. Just make sure to read the description properly and follow the instructions to achieve the best results.
By utilizing the proper leather cleaning and care products, your leather items will surely remain in great condition for years.
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