Have you noticed any peeling or cracking on your leather goods? Or are you bothered by stains or marks left on it? Dealing with these issues can be frustrating, especially when you're unsure how to fix it.
While information is always one click away nowadays, getting different advice everywhere you turn sometimes makes the problem more challenging. Here are a handful of so-called "leather care remedies" that will do you more harm than good.
There is a lot of misinformation out there. Remember these tips, or what was once a minor problem could become a major one!
What's the real deal in using the wrong leather care products?
Leather goods, such as bags, wallets, shoes and jackets are not only stylish but also durable, making them a popular choice for many people. But, without the right cleaning and maintenance protocols, your pristine leather items can suffer.
The leather item starts to dry out. Using incompatible products in maintaining leather items, such as harsh chemicals, alcohol-based products, or strong industrial solvents, does more than just remove dirt and grime from the surface of the leather. These substances actually strip away the natural oils, drying the leather out and making it brittle and prone to cracking. That's where your nightmare can start. Once the damage is done, fixing it becomes much more tough.
A lot of seemingly more budget-friendly products sold on Amazon and other marketplaces often contain harsh chemicals not ideal for cleaning leather. Stay away from products that contain isopropyl alcohol, ethanol, ethyl alcohol, bleach, and other harsh substances at all costs—regardless of what you read online.
Wrong items can cause color fading. Maintaining your leather products with chemicals found in everyday household products, such as nail polish remover. Do not attempt to use fingernail polish remover to get a stain or mark off your leather. It contains acetone, which removes all color from leather, creating a large bleached-looking spot around the area where it is applied.
Leather might lead to loss of water resistance: Many leather care products are designed to maintain the water resistance of leather. However, the moment you start using the wrong products is the start of making the leather more susceptible to water damage and stains.
What other leather care remedies should I avoid?
Window cleaner – Many people group Windex and other window cleaners in the "harmless cleaner" category. While these cleaners are often mild, they still contain alcohol that ruins the topcoat on leather furniture.
Markers – Using a similar colored marker in an attempt to conceal a problem in your leather is likely to make the problem area worse and even more noticeable. Finding a marker that will match your leather dye well is darn near impossible, and the ink itself can be damaging. Many types of leather have a sauvage, or marbled-looking, finish that you can never recreate with a marker.
Shoe polish – Remember this: the leather on your shoes is tanned differently from the leather on your furniture. Furniture leather will not accept or soak up shoe polish the same way shoe leather does because it is made differently. Shoe polish will just cause a gunky mess on your furniture and on the pants of everyone who sits there.
Hair spray – Some sources swear by hair spray to remove stains and marks on your leather. Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is definitely a bad idea. There are a couple of significant problems with hair spray. First, most hair spray contains alcohol that damages leather. Second, hair spray is not very effective for removing marks, and its sticky residue collects more dirt and dust, causing further problems and discoloration in many cases.
Disposable cleaning supplies such as disinfectant wipes or pre-wet sponges. Most of these products contain alcohol and are not a good idea to use. We strongly advise against using them. However, if you still decide to use them, make sure you carefully read the label and ensure that the product does not contain any alcohol.
Toothpaste - Toothpaste is sometimes recommended as a leather cleaner due to its mild abrasive properties and ability to remove superficial stains. However, it's important to note that toothpaste's abrasive nature can cause damage to the leather's surface. The gritty texture of toothpaste can create micro-scratches and wear away the protective coating or finish of the leather.
So, what should I use for my leather cleaning needs?
Ensuring proper maintenance and cleaning is the only way to save your leather from damage and preserve its beauty and longevity. Regular cleaning and conditioning can help to keep the leather supple and prevent it from cracking or drying out.
Instead of waiting for a disaster, like replacing your leather goods due to damage caused by the wrong care products, you can use Clyde's Leather Cleaning Foam on the surface.
With its non-toxic and odorless feature, you can easily remove even the toughest dirt from your worn-out leather items without worrying about drying or discoloration.
Using a rag, massage the foam into the leather in circular motions until most of the dirt is removed. The special foaming action helps lift dirt without leaving soap residue on the surface.
Dry the leather with a towel before moving on to the next step.
After cleaning it, you must remember that leather should be regularly conditioned to keep it moisturized and prevent drying out. The frequency of conditioning depends on the type of leather and how often the item is used. You can use Clyde's Leather Conditioning Cream to protect your leather from dirt, water, and oils, making it more supple.
Making the most out of your leather items might sound like an expensive or hassle task, but the truth is, you can avoid that situation. With the right tools and products, you can quickly restore your leather and make it look new again.
Clyde's Leather Care products are made available for professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike. Feel free to explore our products here!