How to Clean Leather The Right Way
Leather has been one of the oldest, if not THE oldest material used by humans. From basic clothing to modern day fashion accessories and luxury materials, high-quality leather has been the preferred material to use for its durability, feel, comfort, and style.
The natural properties of leather creates a challenging cleaning regimen for many. With leather being so resilient to damage and day-to-day wear, most of us don’t bother taking care of our leather goods until a serious stain or damage appears on them.
When that occurs, the panic sets in and we get desperate with rubbing the stains or using all sorts of household chemicals that end up damaging the leather instead of cleaning it.
How Hard Is It To Clean Leather?
Even though cleaning and restoring the leather requires quite a bit of effort for the untrained, unless the stain is serious or damage has taken place, almost anyone can clean their leather goods with little drama as long as the right tools and products are used.
Whether it’s your favorite leather boots, handbag or furniture, you can make your leather items spotless like new again by sticking to the following general tips:
Removing Plain Dirt and Dust
If the leather surface is simply dirty and not stained, then the all you need to do is rinse the dust off with a clean and damp piece of microfiber cloth.
However, it is very important that the cloth is mildly damp and not soaking with water in order to avoid water stains. You wouldn’t want to saturate the leather with water unnecessarily.
In case the item is made of unfinished leather, then you can remove the dirt with saddle soap and a slightly wet sponge.
In order to remove a grease stain you should wipe the stain as soon as possible with a clean cloth.
On the remaining spot, you should apply some talcum or cornstarch powder and you will be able to wipe the grease completely after approximately 4 hours.
Removing Blood And Urine
Removing these types of organic stains can be done by rubbing the affected area with a mildly soggy piece of cloth. When the mark is no longer visible, let the leather item dry naturally away from heat sources.
The easiest way to remove ink from leather is by applying hairspray and rubbing the stain out with a dry, clean cloth.
Because ink stains are among the most difficult blemishes for leather, if this method does not help, it is advisable to visit professional leather cleaning service.
Removing Water Stains
In case the leather item was out in the rain or has been accidentally soaked with water, the best thing you can do is let it dry out naturally away from any heat sources.
After it is completely dry, you should apply a quality leather conditioner to restore the natural flexibility and softness of leather.
A simple way to blot off gum from a leather item is to rub a pack of ice cubes on the area. Because the cold will cause the gum to harden you will be able to just gently pull the gum out of the leather.
However, if you notice there is still some gum left on the leather, you should lightly heat the gum with a hair dryer and remove it with a clean cloth.
Removing Mold And Mildew
Mildew and mold can be washed off leather by using a cleaning solution incorporating 1 cup of rubbing alcohol and 1 cup of water.
Dampen a clean piece of cloth in the solution and twist and press it on the damaged area so that you pull the mold out.
In case the mold or mildew reappears regularly, then it is advisable to call on the help of a professional service to clean the leather.
source: How to Clean Leather