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5 Common Causes of Dry, Cracking Leather
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5 Common Causes of Dry, Cracking Leather

Leather is a timeless and luxurious material that adds a touch of elegance to any item it adorns, be it a sofa, jacket, or bag. However, over time, leather can lose its natural moisture and become dry, leading to unsightly cracks and a diminished lifespan. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the common causes of dry, cracking leather and discuss the importance of leather care, including the use of appropriate leather conditioner.

Understanding Dry Leather

Dry leather is a condition where the material lacks the necessary moisture content, causing it to stiffen and eventually crack. Numerous factors contribute to this problem. Let's take a closer look at some of the most common causes and how you can prevent them.

Lack of Regular Conditioning

dry leather without conditioning

One of the primary culprits behind dry, cracking leather is the lack of regular conditioning. Leather, like our skin, requires moisture to remain supple and flexible. Without proper conditioning, the natural oils within the leather dry up, leaving it vulnerable to cracking and damage. To prevent this, it is essential to use a high-quality leather conditioner on a regular basis.

When choosing a leather conditioner, opt for one that is specifically formulated for your type of leather. Different types of leather require different levels of conditioning, so it's crucial to choose a product that suits your specific needs. For example, full-grain leather may benefit from a heavier conditioner, while softer leather may require a lighter formula. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure you are using the conditioner correctly.

Regular conditioning not only helps to maintain the moisture balance in your leather items but also keeps them soft and supple. It forms a protective barrier against environmental elements, preventing excessive drying and cracking. Make conditioning a part of your leather care routine, and you'll notice a significant improvement in the longevity and appearance of your leather goods.

Exposure to Sunlight and Heat

Excessive exposure to sunlight and heat can rapidly deplete the moisture levels in leather. The ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can gradually fade and dry out the leather, making it more prone to cracking. Similarly, placing leather items near sources of heat, such as radiators or fireplaces, can lead to moisture loss.

To protect your leather, it's advisable to keep it away from direct sunlight and heat sources whenever possible. If you have leather furniture, consider rearranging it to minimize direct exposure. You can also use curtains or blinds to limit the amount of sunlight that reaches your leather items. Additionally, avoid placing leather goods near heating vents or other sources of heat.

If your leather does get exposed to sunlight or heat, take immediate action to restore its moisture content. Apply a leather conditioner that contains UV protection to prevent further damage from sun exposure. Additionally, consider using leather products that have been treated with special oils or waxes, as they can provide additional protection against fading and drying.

Low Humidity Levels

Dry and arid environments, such as heated homes during winter or air-conditioned spaces, can cause leather to become dry. Low humidity levels draw moisture from leather, leading to stiffening and eventual cracking. Maintaining a moderate humidity level in your home or using a humidifier can help combat this issue and keep your leather items in good condition.

Using a humidifier in your home can help add moisture to the air, preventing it from being excessively dry. This is especially important during the winter months when the air tends to be drier. Additionally, avoid placing leather items near heating vents or areas with high airflow, as these conditions can contribute to moisture loss.

In addition to using a humidifier, consider using a leather conditioner that contains moisturizing agents. These conditioners can help replenish the lost moisture in your leather items. Additionally, you can use leather moisturizers or leather balms to further enhance the suppleness of the leather.

Harsh Cleaning Products

cleaning products

Using harsh cleaning products not specifically designed for leather can strip away its natural oils, leaving it vulnerable to dryness and cracks. Abrasive detergents, bleach, or solvents can be detrimental to leather and should be avoided. Instead, opt for a mild, pH-neutral leather cleaner that will effectively clean without causing damage.

When cleaning your leather items, start by removing any loose dirt or debris with a soft brush or a damp cloth. Then, apply a small amount of the leather cleaner to a clean cloth and gently clean the surface of the leather. Avoid applying excessive pressure or scrubbing vigorously, as this can damage the leather fibers. After cleaning, use a separate clean cloth to remove any excess cleaner and allow the leather to air dry.

After cleaning, it's important to follow up with a leather conditioner to replenish the moisture and oils that may have been lost during the cleaning process. Conditioning also helps to restore the natural luster and suppleness of the leather. Be sure to apply the conditioner evenly and allow it to fully absorb into the leather before using or storing the item.

Moisture-Trapping Products

Avoid using products that can trap moisture and prevent it from escaping, such as adhesives, stickers, and other sticky materials. These items may leave residue on your leather goods or even attract dirt or dust particles that will damage them over time. If you do use adhesives or other sticky materials on your leather items, make sure to remove them properly and clean the leather afterward.

It's also important to periodically inspect your leather items for any signs of moisture or mold growth. If you notice any dampness, immediately remove the moisture and allow the leather to dry completely. You can use a soft cloth or sponge to blot the area and then allow it to air dry. Mold growth on leather can be particularly damaging and may require professional cleaning and treatment.

The Essential Role of Leather Conditioner

Regular conditioning with a suitable leather conditioner is vital for maintaining the health and longevity of your leather items. A good quality leather conditioner replenishes the moisture content, softens the material, and provides a barrier against environmental factors. When choosing a leather conditioner, opt for one that is compatible with the type of leather you have and follow the manufacturer's instructions for best results.

Leather conditioners come in various forms, including creams, lotions, and sprays. Creams and lotions are usually thicker and provide a deeper conditioning effect, while sprays are more convenient to apply and can be used for quick touch-ups. Whichever form you choose, make sure to apply the conditioner evenly and in a thin layer. This allows the leather to absorb the conditioner properly without leaving any residue.

Clyde's Leather Conditioning Cream: The Best Leather Conditioner for Cracking Leather

When it comes to finding the best leather conditioner for dry, cracking leather, Clyde's Leather Conditioning Cream is a top choice. With its high-quality formulation and trusted results, Clyde's is a product that delivers on its promises.

Clyde's Leather Conditioning Cream is specifically formulated with natural ingredients like beeswax and lanolin to nourish and protect all types of leather. Its unique blend deeply penetrates the leather, restoring its natural oils and preventing dryness. The cream creates a barrier against environmental factors, ensuring that your leather remains supple and crack-free, even in harsh weather conditions.

Applying Clyde's Leather Conditioning Cream is a breeze. Simply apply a thin layer of the cream, allow it to penetrate, and then gently buff off any excess. Its ease of application makes it a convenient choice for regular leather care routines, saving you time and effort.

By using Clyde's Leather Conditioning Cream regularly, you can significantly extend the lifespan of your leather items and maintain their original luster. It's a cost-effective solution in preventing costly repairs or replacements.


Dry, cracking leather can be a frustrating issue, but it is also preventable. By understanding the common causes behind this problem and adopting a regular leather care routine, you can extend the lifespan of your cherished leather items. Remember to use a high-quality leather conditioner, avoid exposing your leather to prolonged sunlight, heat, and low-humidity environments, and choose a leather conditioner that is suitable for your specific type of leather. With proper care, your leather items will retain their beauty, softness, and durability for years to come.

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