Do you have leather accessories or furniture at home? It’s time to clean and protect your leather the way the pros do it. Today is Leather Day on our blog!
Leather products are probably the most stylish things you can own, right next to genuine jewelry. Leather goods are timeless and distinctive and are considered heirlooms to be passed down from generation to generation. If you want your leather accessories and products to withstand the test of time, you have to learn how to clean it and protect it.
How to Clean Leather Professionally
We prefer the more natural way of cleaning genuine leather. Begin the cleaning process with a mild cleaning solution created from vinegar and distilled water. Combine these two ingredients in a bowl in an equal ratio.
If your leather still looks good and doesn’t have that much grime on it, you can reduce the quantity of vinegar that you are using. White vinegar and apple cider vinegar can be used for cleaning leather. Vinegar not only helps remove dirt and grime, but it also sanitizes it.
Get a clean piece of cloth, douse it with the cleaning solution, and wipe down the leather generously with the mild cleanser and sanitizer. The leather has to become damp. In the beginning, there is going to be a little resistance to the water because the outer layer of the leather is relatively dry. Still, as soon as you start boosting the surface with more cleanser, the leather is going to start showing signs of being wet.
We do not recommend using any kind of vinegar straight out because pure vinegar may be too harsh for genuine leather and you can damage the leather eventually if you use too much.
Is your leather too dirty?
There are times when vinegar just doesn’t cut it, and much of the visible grime or dirt remains on the surface of the leather. If this is your problem at the moment, you need to clean the leather with soap. However, we can’t use dish soap or laundry detergent because these can be too harsh for genuine leather.
We need to use mild baby soap to clean your leather. We recommend mild baby soap that is already in liquid form because then you won’t have trouble measuring the ingredients for the cleanser that you are going to make. Combine one quart of water and about five drops of mild baby soap in the bowl.
You can also add a few drops of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to the mix as a conditioning and antibacterial agent. Apply this solution directly to the leather with your fingers.
Scrub with the tips of your fingers and spot clean if you see any stains that cannot be handled by the first solution. We recommend that you use distilled water as regular tap water has a lot of essential residues. These residues can show up on the surface of your leather after the cleaning process.
How to Protect Leather
After wiping down the leather with the cleanser, it’s time to apply a cleanser with natural oil. The natural oil will help condition the leather and make it last longer.
To do this, combine two parts of natural oil with one part lemon juice. You can use extra-virgin olive oil, olive oil, coconut oil, walnut oil, or even avocado oil if it is available. The oil will provide the right kind of hydration to the leather while the lemon juice will take care of any remaining dirt on the surface of the leather.
After combining your protectant and cleanser, get a small sponge or piece of cloth, and begin applying it to your leather. The leather has to absorb the protectant; it has to show signs of dampness, the same way that we make the leather damp with the first formulation, which was designed to remove most of the grime on the leather.
What a lot of people don’t realize at this point is that because leather absorbs moisture (either directly or through the air), it also absorbs dust, pollen, and other stuff from its surroundings.
This is the reason why heavily used leather goods like handbags are the dirtiest, and you do not even notice that they are beginning to change colour after a few months.
The change in colour indicates the leather is absorbing your skin’s natural oils, but also sweat and dirt from all the days that you used your satchel. Now you know why it is paramount that we take cleaning leather seriously because no one likes using a bacteria-laden handbag or bag.
After applying the protectant solution, it is time to apply some essential oil to your leather. Apply about twenty drops of essential oil to your sponge or cloth and rub this vigorously to the leather. The key here is to massage the oil into the leather.
Work the oil into the material and spread as much fat as you can throughout the leather surface. Be sure to use essential oil that you love smelling because your leather accessory is going to feel of this essential oil for some time before the strength of the essential oil dissipates.
Are there any dry methods for cleaning and conditioning leather?
A refreshing dry method for cleansing leather and conditioning it at the same time is applying beeswax to the surface of the leather. General use beeswax can be purchased from clothing stores. Heat the wax slightly in a pot or saucepan and gently apply the beeswax to the surface of the leather.
You can combine the beeswax with neutral oils like olive oil or almond oil, too. Apply any additional oils and scents with a clean, microfiber cloth. Gently work the oil/s to the leather after applying the beeswax.
After wiping the surface of the leather, get another microfiber cloth and wipe away any excess oil or beeswax from your leather. Finally, you can buff the leather with a piece of banana peel. Natural banana oils will remove any remaining grime and will also polish and make your leather shinier. Perfect!
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