Let’s face it, leather goods aren’t exactly pocket-friendly if you’re buying good quality leather. But no matter how good the quality is, the thing with leather is that yes, it has a darn good shelf life only if you know exactly how to care for it. Otherwise, your precious leather items are going to give up on you just like most of your dreams do. Haha JK! Or am I? Anyhoo, if you’re wondering what compelled me to share this information with you, it is because I am sick and tired of feeling upset after looking at my leather jackets and bags and shoes go bad within no time. Until last week when I finally looked up where I was going wrong. So with all the tips I gathered, here I am, passing them onto you so you don’t face the same heartbreak as me. Ready? Go!
Follow these 10 rules and thank us later:
1. Keep it away from humidity
Humid conditions pave the way for all your leather items to soak in the moisture from the air leading to those heartbreaking cracks and growth of mould and mildew. But what if you’re living in humid areas? Store them where your leather goods can breathe and also ensure that you’re cleaning them regularly with a damp cloth and drying them as well. Also, avoid storing them in plastic as plastic cuts off air circulation.
2. Keep it away from sunlight
Leather as a material already has some amount of moisture which is what makes it soft. Exposing it to sunlight for an extended period of time will cause it to dry out which will eventually lead to the material cracking up. Hence, don’t store your leather goodies under direct sunlight neither dry them like that if they ever get wet. The best practice would be to let them dry naturally without any additional heat. No dryers either.
3. Dust it weekly
Leather as a material is porous in nature and easily absorbs all the things it shouldn’t (just like us with negative thoughts, haha). So regularly dusting off your leather items with a slightly damp cloth and leaving it to dry naturally will prevent any kinds of abrasions caused due to dust.
4. Moisturise/condition your leather items
Leather tends to lose its natural moisture over time and if you let that happen without intervening, you’ll notice your leather items start to crack up. To prevent your leather items from losing that moisture, it’s advisable to condition them with an appropriate leather conditioner. You can buy these conditioners on e-commerce websites but ensure that the product mentions what leather items it can be used for. For example, jackets might require a slightly different conditioner than leather sofas. When you condition it, also matters. In cases like leather jackets, if you use them quite often, the best practice would be to spray the conditioner on it every month. Items you don’t use regularly can be sprayed on every 2-3 months.
5. Keep it away from sharp/pointed materials
Leather as a material is quite soft in nature. So even if you stick a nametag on it, chances are that nametag will cause minor rips to the fabric while getting it off. So imagine keeping leather with items that have embellishments. It’s a bad idea because it will cause unnecessary abrasions. The best practice is to store it away from humidity, heat, plastic and about any place that have the potential to cause it harm.
6. Store leather bags with bubble wrap rolls
Yes, it’s not the best idea to store your leather bags stuffed with newspapers rolls as they can expand the shape of the bag and as you know, leather is not the best when you want it to return to its original shape. Most of the times, it doesn’t happen. Use cloth rolls or butter paper rolls to stuff the bags instead.
7. Polish your leather shoes
Remember back in school when all of us had to ensure we didn’t come to school with dirty shoes? Yes, that may have been a painful task back in the day but it teaches us an important lesson about shoe maintenance. Polishing your leather shoes is important to increase the shelf life of the shoe and keep it in good quality for a longer period. If you wear them on a daily basis, it’s ideal that you gently wipe the shoes with a damp cloth and a brush with slightly stiff bristles to dust off any dirt. You may also use shoe polish 3-4 times a week for that extra shine.
8. Hang your leather clothes
Never, absolutely never fold your leather items ever. If you want to keep your leather clothes intact, without any permanent creases, cracks or random rips, hang them onto hangers and not too close to one another so they can breathe.
9. In case of stains, attend to them quickly
You must attend to the stains quickly so that they don’t end up leaving a permanent mark. So different leather products may require you to try different processes. In the case of leather jackets or other leather clothes, dip a cloth in a solution of some water and white vinegar and rub it over the stain in a circular motion. You can also some amount of alcohol on a cotton swab and rub it onto ink stains. Once done, you can condition it with a leather conditioner to retain the material of its natural oils and moisture.
Lastly, we hope your precious leather possessions never suffer from any cracks, rips, abrasions or stains and last for as long as eternity! Got any more smart tips that you think people should know about? Tell us in the comments below.
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