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your masterclass in leather care and maintenance


Keep leather items out of the sun

The sun will dry the leather out and cause it to become brittle. Once your leather has become brittle it will begin to crack and deteriorate.


Keep the items in a cool, dry place when not in use

Mildew can deteriorate leather if it is allowed to grow on it. Don’t leave your items in a humid or wet basement – this could promote the growth of mildew. Don’t keep your leather in plastic either. Removing all air supply from the leather is bad for the material


Keep leather away from abrasives that can scuff or cut it

Once leather has been damaged, there is no way to repair it. Keep in mind that you can only prevent this to a degree, so don’t obsess over it. Try not to leave your leather on a gravel driveway, for example. However, throughout the lifespan of your leather something is bound to happen to it.

Many people enjoy the look of worn leather and think its brings the material to life

You also should avoid letting your leather get stretched out. For example, if you stuff a leather wallet too full it won’t go back to its normal size afterwards. If you want sleek, new looking leather you should avoid stretching it


Add moisture to your leather

If you find that your leather is starting to dry out or crack it may be time to moisturize the material. Buy a leather dressing or a leather cream. If you can, contact the manufacturer of your leather to find out what they recommend. There are a number of oils and waxes that can help you reduce the cracks and dryness in your leather.

Add leather dressing intermittently. Even if you haven’t used your leather item for many years, don’t just keep it stored in a glass display case. You need to dress the leather periodically.


Keep the leather clean

Try to brush your leather down with a damp cloth at least once a week. If you are diligent about doing a quick clean of your leather then you won’t have to worry about deep cleaning later on, which is much more difficult.

If dirt particles get into the leather they can cause serious abrasion from the inside


Use a damp cloth

Start by brushing off any dirt of grime from the leather with your hand, then switch to a damp cloth


Do not use any soaps or cleansers

These types of chemicals can remove the natural oils in the leather used to preserve the material. Chemical soaps will cause the leather to dry out, crack, and begin to deteriorate. Stick with water.


Dry your leather slowly

For example, if you have a leather motorcycle jacket and you are forced to drive in the rain you may have to live with it being wet for a little while. You shouldn’t put your leather by a fire, out in the sun, or near a heater to dry it off like you would with cotton or cloth. Dry your leather in room temperature by letting it sit. 

Drying leather quickly will change its chemical structure, causing it to become brittle and crack


Shine polished leather

Caring for polished leather is a little different than other types of leather. You'll need a dry rag, a can of shoe polish, and a shoe brush. Brush off debris using the brush, then add a nickel sized dollop of shoe polish to your rag. Rug the polish over the shoe and then use the brush again to give the shoe a little elbow grease.

Buff out the rest of the polish with the rag. It should shine by the time you're done with it.


Keep suede leather dry

If you have an article of suede leather that gets very wet you should try to blot out as much water as possible using a paper towel. Like other types of leather, you should never apply heat.

If you have a hat or a pair of shoes that got wet you should stuff them full of paper towels while they dry. An even better option would be some sort of mold about the size of you head or foot. This will keep the leather from shrinking and becoming misshapen as it dries.


Rub suede to clean it

Rub the suede with a dry bath towel rather than using water to bring up the shaggy nap of the leather. You can also use a pencil eraser lightly to rub out small stains from the suede.

If you're wearing suede shoes try brushing them lightly with a wire brush or a fingernail file


Consider sending the suede to a professional cleaner

You can irreparably damage suede if you don't treat it delicately enough or use an unapproved cleaner. If your suede item is very valuable to you it might be worth it to invest in a professional cleaning.


Store suede in the dark

Make sure that the dark place you leave your suede in isn't moist, because removing mildew from suede is incredibly difficult. Transport your suede in a pillow case instead of a plastic bag so it can receive sufficient airflow.

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