Leather products are not exactly cheap. After all, it is a natural product that is very resistant and has a long shelf life, provided it is properly cared for. And the right leather care is also the keyword for today’s topic. So that you can enjoy your leather products for a long time and make them look like new in the long term, the right care technique with suitable means is essential. And the type of leather, among other things, also plays an important role. So what you should pay attention to depending on the type of leather and what the right leather care products are, you can find out from us today. We also explain to you whether and to what extent home remedies can help with leather care.
Leather Care And Home Remedies – Are They Effective?
In order to make leather durable, it is preserved. To do this, it goes through a preservation process called tanning. The right leather care should continue this process so that the leather remains supple and tear-resistant for a long time and is protected from self-deterioration. That is also the reason why home remedies are not suitable for this purpose. Sooner or later, these spoil on the leather, which also causes it to deteriorate more quickly. Special leather care products are therefore the better choice, because these are manufactured in such a way that they are also protected from spoilage.
Home remedies and products such as milk, potatoes, onions, banana peels, eggs or even body lotions are recommended for cleaning leather and caring for it. The fact is, however, that these products can not only worsen the leather or the area to be cleaned, but also interrupt the preservation process for the reason already mentioned. In addition, there are unpleasant smells, which for example result in onions and are particularly unfavorable for furniture and clothing made of leather. In most cases, a simple damp cloth is better for the leather than the common household remedies. So if you are caring for leather, home remedies are not recommended. Instead, it is better to invest in special funds than to save in the wrong place.
Use the correct leather care products
Regardless of which leather care product you choose, make sure that it does not contain any silicone. These clog the pores of the leather.
Care milk for leather
The care milk is a mixture of water and various fats. It is typical of this milk that it is very thin. This allows her to penetrate deeper into the leather. The best way to apply it is to use a soft cloth to which a little of the care milk is applied and then gradually rubbed into the entire leather.
The cream, on the other hand, is, as you may already guess, thicker, but it is used for the same purpose. Because the care cream is thicker, it cannot penetrate as deeply.
Care grease is a rather controversial product, as some believe that it clogs the pores of the leather. However, there is no real evidence for this. Fat is only used to care for smooth leather. Because it is moisturized, the surface always remains a little greasy, but this also has a water-repellent effect and can thus protect the leather from water and other stains by preventing the liquids from penetrating the leather.
Leather care oil
The oil is also intended for use on smooth leather. The risk when using it is that the leather gets a permanently oily surface. This is what the oil and the care grease have in common. But especially with dried out or very firm leathers that have not been properly cared for for a long time, for example, these two products prove to be very promising and effective.
This spray makes the leather material more resistant to dirt and moisture. For this reason it is often used for the leather care of shoes. But not only there the spray proves to be very practical. It can also be used with other leather products. It is an irritating product and should only be used outdoors.
Types of leather and proper leather care
The smooth leather is divided into two subspecies: the open-pored and the covered smooth leather. The open-pored smooth leather, in which the natural texture can still be perfectly recognized, is also called aniline leather because it is dyed with aniline dyes. The care milk is recommended for cleaning and care. The cream can also be used for leather care.
The covered smooth leather is dyed with aniline like the open-pored leather, but it also has a covering pigmentation. This is where the two terms “open-pored” and “covered” come from. By covering the pores, the leather also becomes more resistant. For this reason, a care grease or oil can also be used for care. Do not overdo it with the quantity, but use the products sparingly.
Regular leather care is recommended with the products mentioned. Then you can be sure that the leather will stay supple for a long time. If you should spill something on it, avoid rubbing movements when cleaning, because then you will help the liquid penetrate deeper into the pores. Instead, dab away the stains. Liquids that have already penetrated are best sucked up by pressing a kitchen towel onto the area. Stains that have not been removed immediately can be cleaned with special foam or rubber.
As the name suggests, these are rough types of leather, which also includes suede. Since these do not have such a smooth surface, they are also more susceptible to dirt and moisture, which is why an impregnation is recommended. It is best to do this immediately after purchasing. Even with this type of leather, liquids are best simply dabbed off.
Use a sponge or other material that is very absorbent. This is even more important here than with smooth leather, as moisture penetrates faster and more easily. Therefore, water is forbidden for cleaning. This causes stains that remain permanently on the leather. The best way to remove dirt is with a suede brush. You can also use it to repair the rough surface structure.
If you want to properly care for artificial leather, the care products are not suitable for real leather. Products that contain oils should also be avoided, as these attack the synthetic leather. Instead, care products that are specially designed for artificial leather are recommended. But keep in mind that even these will not prevent the synthetic leather from becoming brittle over time.
The right leather care and cleaning depending on the product
Depending on what the leather was used for, it is of course stressed in different ways. Gloves, for example, tend to get dirty quickly, while a belt that is worn often tends to crack. The surfaces of the leather couch and the car seats are in turn rubbed or scratched. Depending on the situation, different types of leather care and cleaning must be carried out. A few tips below:
The leather belt
Somehow you can’t please the leather belt. If you rarely wear it and leave it in the closet, it dries out and becomes hard. If you wear it regularly instead, it will eventually crack and become brittle. What is right? You can prevent both problems by using leather grease or oil sparingly. In this way, the leather remains soft and flexible and can withstand periods of rest in the closet as well as the movements and bending while wearing it. In addition, the belt is provided with a protective layer that prevents it from getting dirty too quickly. These two products are only suitable for smooth leather. Maintenance oil can, in turn, be used for more sensitive leather.
Light stains can be removed with water in circular movements. For more stubborn ones, it is best to use curd soap or neutral soap. The special saddlery soap is also suitable. Distilled water is preferred as it does not leave any edges. Use a circular motion to clean the area to minimize pore penetration. You can first dab off fresh stains with a cloth. Let the belt air dry.
Maintain and clean leather couches and armchairs
Leather furniture should ideally be cleaned once a week. But before you get started, first test on an invisible area to what extent the leather can be washed off by spraying a few drops of water on it. If the drops remain on the surface, they can be wiped off. But if you move in, dry cleaning (dusting) or at most only slightly damp cleaning is possible. Finally, the surfaces must always be rubbed carefully as dry as possible.
Leather care should be carried out once or twice a year. This is particularly recommended before winter, as the dry heating air also dries out the leather. Use a product that is tailored to the respective type of leather, which you can inquire about in stores. Care products protect the leather and keep it supple and shiny. Leather care should always be carried out after a thorough cleaning so that the leather pores are unclogged beforehand. Then the care product can be absorbed by the leather. The following applies to cleaning:
Leather care for smooth leather furniture
Since smooth leather only absorbs dirt to a limited extent, it is sufficient to wipe the piece of furniture with a dry duster to remove crumbs, dust and other dirt from everyday life. If necessary, thorough cleaning is carried out with a simple damp cloth.
Cleaning more sensitive leather is a bit more time-consuming and should be treated with more care. Dirt like crumbs and dust can be removed with a vacuum cleaner. A thorough cleaning and the cleaning of stains is again done with the help of mild soapy water and a cloth that you do not get too wet. Instead, wring the cloth out as hard as possible so that as little moisture as possible can penetrate the leather. Avoid rubbing too hard or too long in one area, as this can lead to shiny spots.
Leather gloves are items of clothing, but of course they shouldn’t be put in the washing machine. But since they come into contact with a lot of dirt, simply wiping them off is usually not enough. Hand washing with lukewarm water and mild soap is the right solution. Simply leave the leather gloves in the air to dry. Under no circumstances should they be placed on the stove, heater or other heat source for this purpose. Then the leather hardens and shrinks. Remove stains from suede with a soft brush.
Caring for leather gloves is just as easy. Use care oil or cream that you leave to soak in for a long time. Only then can the gloves be worn again. Give the products enough time to penetrate the leather in order to guarantee its permanent elasticity and to maintain or refresh the shine.
Leather care for the wallet
Constantly in use and therefore heavily strained the wallet. For this reason, it is also changed relatively frequently. But if you are fed up with it or if you have a special piece of jewelry that you don’t want to replace so quickly, the right leather care is your helper. The smooth leather can be cleaned quickly and easily with a damp cloth, after which you can pamper it with care milk or cream. Oil and fat are theoretically suitable, but rather unpleasant, as they have a moisturizing effect and your wallet will always feel greasy. Suede protemonnaies are as easy to clean as suede furniture.
Maintain and clean the leather bag
The bag is an everyday companion and helper that is also entitled to adequate leather care. Impregnation immediately after purchase is the first step in order to be able to use the bag for a long time. The subsequent care naturally depends on the type of leather. Then use the care tips and products already mentioned. Does your favorite bag already show some cracks? Do not despair, because in many cases these are quickly covered with colored cream. After applying this, distribute it again with a brush. In this way you avoid deposits on branches.
Clean and care for leather straps on watches
Sweat is just one of the many contaminants that the watch strap is exposed to. First remove coarse dirt such as crumbs and dust with a dry cloth. Then use a soft cloth dampened with mild, soapy water to wipe the tape. Finally, apply care milk or cream for leather care. Here, too, as with the wallet, it is not advisable to use greasy care products.
The best way to clean leather seats in the car is with special cleaners, which you put on a microfiber cloth after vacuuming the seats and which you then wipe the surfaces with. Perforated areas are wiped with caution. No moisture should get caught in them. Then spray a spray cleaner on the seats for deep cleaning and spread it with a soft brush. Perforated areas are not sprayed directly. With a dry and soft microfiber cloth, wipe this spray up again, removing the dirt.
Then use a suitable leather care product that you first evenly distribute and then leave on for at least an hour. During this time, the car should not be exposed to the sun. Then polish the surfaces by removing the excess agent with a microfiber cloth. Before you start caring for the leather in the car, test the product in advance on an invisible area.