The Do's and Don'ts of Cleaning Leather
Stains, as nasty as they can be, are just a sign of you enjoying life. Thankfully, the art of cleaning leather is a simple one. While major stains are best left to a specialist dry cleaner, small spills and marks can be relatively easy to manage on your own.
Whether it’s a leather jacket or a pair of leather pants, here’s a rundown on how to ensure your piece stands the test of time and stays intact.
- Dust Off First:
Before diving into any cleaning process, gently remove dust and dirt from your leather garments with a soft, dry cloth. Use a dry cloth to absorb any excess liquid from a spill, too.
- Spot Test:
It’s always a good idea to do a little spot test on an inconspicuous area of the garment before using any leather cleaning products. This helps to make sure it doesn’t discolour or damage the leather in any way.
- For Oil Stains:
Leave talcum powder or cornstarch on the stain for at least 10 minutes before dusting it off. The oil should absorb into the powder and out of the leather.
- For Wine Stains:
While it might be risky, for those feeling brave enough, lightly dab your leather piece with one part lukewarm water and one part vinegar – it should do the trick.
- For Light Scratches in Natural Leather:
Apply a high-quality leather conditioner. We recommend Saphir’s Smooth Leather Mink Oil Lotion. Apply it thin using a soft cloth and let it absorb for a few hours. It’s also a good idea to condition leather to keep the material nourished and looking shiny, brand new.
- Do not put leather through a normal wash and dry cycle, treat it gently.
- Don’t scrub. Scrubbing vigorously or using abrasive materials can scratch the leather’s surface. Instead, opt for gentle, circular motions when cleaning.
- Don’t pour water on any stains, this will cause it to spread and make your life a lot harder. Instead, use a damp cloth and keep water exposure to a minimum.
- Don’t leave a stain unattended for a long period of time – the quicker you can treat it, the easier it’ll be to come out.
- Skip Harsh Chemicals: It goes without saying but stay clear of bleach, ammonia or other household cleaning products when treating leather.