All Women's Talk

7 Tips to Care for Your Leather Accessories ...

By Rebecca

Genuine leather products are, in many ways, preferable to those made from cheaper, plastic leather imitation. Unlike faked items, the real thing will endure over time, and, if it’s looked after well, will remain resistant to cracking and breaking, and to a variety of minor nicks and scuffs as well. In order to make sure you get the most from your bags, boots, jackets and belts, however, you will need to make sure you treat them correctly. To help you with this, I’ve put together a list of 7 tips to care for your leather accessories.

1 Determine

DeterminePhoto Credit: qwikstep.eu

Before you can get on with the business of maintaining your leather product, you will need to determine what variety of hide you’re dealing with. If it is smooth to the touch with a sheen on the surface, the item is made from ordinary finished leather. If the surface soft and a little bit velvety, the item is unfinished leather, and if it’s very soft, and even fuzzier it’s suede. You will need to take care, when you are buying leather care products for these last two varieties that you purchase specially designed balms and creams.

2 Clean

../wp-content/uploads/2011/06/bucket-of-soapy-water-thumb6013185.jpg
Photo Credit: stockphotos.ro

To start with, it’s a good idea to get your leather product as clean as possible. If you are dealing with suede, you will need to get hold of an appropriate cleaning balm, but, while these do exist for use on your ordinary finished leather, you can also simply use warm soapy water and a sponge. Try not to get the item too wet; squeeze out the sponge so that it is damp before you apply it.

3 A Light Touch

A Light TouchPhoto Credit: classictouchcleaners.com

When you are dealing with any leather, but especially if you are working with an unfinished item or with suede, it is very important not to rub too hard on the surface. Leather is a porous material; no matter how smooth and shiny it appears, if you get a close enough look at it you will find that its surface is pitted and uneven. Thus, when you vigorously scrub at it with your cleaning sponge, you are simply further ingraining the stain. Instead, massage the area lightly in circular motions; you should find that the mark will dissipate.

4 Dry

DryPhoto Credit: blog.alwaysnevernyc.com
Before you get on to treating your leather product with a moisturising balm or a protector, you’ll need to let it dry completely. Never place the item in direct sunlight; this will simply dehydrate it. Rather, hang it up somewhere warm and well-ventilated to allow the moisture to evaporate slowly.

5 Condition

ConditionPhoto Credit: amazon.com
You will find a very wide variety of leather conditioning products available on the shelves today. The most effective amongst these are basic treatment oils, but you will find you have the option to go for balm or wax if you prefer. Many can be used on both finished and unfinished items, however you should always check the label to make doubly sure this is the case. Unless otherwise stipulated, simply massage oil into the entire surface of the item until it feels soft and flexible.

6 Polish

Photo Credit: leathergenie.co.uk

While it is not necessary (or advisable) to polish unfinished leathers or suede, it is important to maintain your smooth finished leather items. About once every week sit down with a good quality leather balm and soft cloth and get to work buffing the surface in circular motions. Try it: it's surprisingly therapeutic.

7 Protect

ProtectPhoto Credit: leathercleaner.co

In order to guard against the effects of sun, snow and rain, it is important that you regularly apply a defensive product to your leather item. You will need to buy a separate protector for your unfinished and suede products; the ones designed to work on finished leather are a too heavy for that porous, velvety texture.

Leather may not be as cheap as its imitation alternatives but it can be a fantastic investment. With the right care and attention, a genuine product can last you for years to come. Following the treatment instructions on my list of 7 tips to care for your leather accessories should help you to take yours from brand new to vintage. Let me know if you have any suggestions of your own to add.

Top image source: data.whicdn.com

Please rate this article

Popular

Related

Recent

Readers questions answered