Easy Leather Care Tips Every Student Can Follow
Student life is all about living off minimum allowances and finding means to increase the lifespan of the important things you own. One of the kinds of expensive items that almost every student possesses is leather. Leather goods such as jackets, loafers, handbags, wallets, etc., require regular care and maintenance to last longer.
Why Does Leather Need Extra Care?
Leather is a natural fiber that is soft and wears off as it ages. Because it is basically skin, it stretches, tightens, hardens, and even cracks due to weather conditions, usage, and exposure to water and sunlight.
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Leather tends to decay after absorbing water. It also stretches when subjected to hanging or holding heavy items. But if you follow the basic care guide and condition the hide at least three times a year, you can significantly improve its life and maintain its newness for as long as you use it.
Easy Care Tips for Your Leather Goods
Just like every other item in your possession, leather also needs to be looked after on a regular basis. You should not wait for your product to get visibly dirty to clean it. You can perform the below steps as a part of your care routine.
If your product is not too dirty, use a soft, damp cloth to clean the surface. If there is dried dirt on your item, scrape it off gently. Use a mild cleansing product available in the market to clean it.
It is better to know which kind of leather you have in order to choose the right cleaner for it. Many brands recommend on-shelf cleaners suitable for different leather types, check for such instructions from the brand, and use suggested products.
Leather is prone to damage if it dries out. Conditioning is an important step for keeping the material supple. If you do not use your item very frequently, conditioning it 2-3 times a year would be sufficient. But if you use it often, you should clean and condition it after a number of uses.
Similarly, during cold weather conditions, you should resort to conditioning your product more. It will ensure that the leather doesn’t lose its softness and structure. It will also prevent the material from cracking.
Polishing the leather is a crucial maintenance step to keep the shine of your article intact. Polishing is specifically ideal for goods that you want to look shiny and opulent at all times.
You can skip this step if your item carries a more casual and rough style, such as a wallet, duffle bag, or rugged boots. You may let them develop their own look with time and only carry out timely cleaning.
A protective layer prevents your article from absorbing water. It also makes removing dirt or oily stains easier. You can take a protective cream of your choice, but it is advisable to use wax-based cream to add a waterproof surface to the leather.
If not stored properly, the material can get mildew or damage through scratches and warping. You should never pack your leather goods in plastic bags. Keeping it in a moist place can cause further harm.
You can use white cotton or muslin storage bags for this purpose. Avoid using colored packing as the color stains may get transferred to the leather. For compact items such as purses, wallets, or jackets, you may use a white pillowcase as a storage container.
You should also be cautious of leaving your leather items exposed to direct sunlight. The damage and fading caused by it are almost irreversible.
Along with the basic maintenance, you can follow some extra tips to increase the durability of your leather items. There are different types of leather; some require extreme pampering while others are not-so-delicate.
Leather that has layers, such as pigmented or semi-aniline, requires minimum attention. While the one with lesser treatments needs more care. Here’re some useful tips to help you take advanced care of your products:
- Try not to spill water or any other liquid on your leather item because for some kind of hide, removing a stain is tougher than you would think. Some stains cause fading of the material if you try to get rid of them.
- If water falls on it by accident, pat it dry immediately. Stuff tissue papers inside the product to absorb moisture completely and let it air dry naturally. But remember, water spots hardly get away from Nubuck/Suede leather.
- Remove dust with a soft brush or soft cloth after every use to prevent buildups.
- Refrain from using hairsprays, perfumes, sanitizer, or toothpaste on your leather.
- If you notice faint scratches, use the same colored polish to smoothen the surface. If there’s a deep cut, hand it over to a professional to fix it.
- You can use a mixture of distilled water and rubbing alcohol taken in equal amounts to stretch an item that has shrunken.
- Be wary of wearing your leather goods against scratchy things. The continuous friction can diminish the finishing and create small scuffs.
- Oily stains can simply be wiped with a dry towel, and leather will absorb the remaining oil. You don’t need to wash it off.
- Learn what kind of leather you own and treat it accordingly.
Leather is one of the most durable fibers if taken care of properly. Once you learn how to maintain this one-of-a-kind material, it becomes easy to own and enjoy your luxury pieces for a long time. Also, if something happens to your leather items, treating which is out of your scope, it is best to give it to a professional rather than experimenting. However, the above-mentioned tips are more than enough to extend the material’s resilience.