Leather Reconditioning

Leather care is definitely a case of "less is more."  Beware of fancy leather cleaning kits, preservatives, and other products that in reality can destroy leather's natural beauty.  Leather that has been mistreated is likely to have a shorter life span, where as leather cleaned the right way will keep its luster for years.

What is the proper way to care for leather?  We suggest the following:

1.  Spills should be wiped up immediately with a soft cloth.  Most liquids will not harm the leather if cleaned quickly,  except for aniline leathers.

2.  If stains or ground-in dirt become a problem, leather should be cleaned by using a non-detergent, mild soap and water applied with a clean terry cloth towel.  Never use saddle soap or detergents, they will dry out and stiffen the leather!  After washing, rinse with a clean damp towel and then dry with another soft, clean cloth.  Allow any damp areas to air dry thoroughly.

3.  No chemical preservatives are necessary for leather.  Their application can close the "pores" of the leather, hindering its natural ability to breathe.  This can cause the leather to down internally and eventually deteriorate.  Over an extended period of time these preservatives can also cause the leather's finish to loosen, bubble, peel, or crack.  

4.  Stains on aniline leathers really can't be cleaned.  To test if the leather is aniline wet a small inconspicuous spot.  If the moisture soaks in and the leather darkens it is aniline and can't be cleaned.  Leather Restoration NW can recolor and apply a top coat that will protect it from further damage but it will lose some of its softness.  

5.  For oil stains, apply a little corn starch.  After this dries, brush it off and repeat as necessary.  This will absorb the oil into the powder.  Head and body oils that accumulate over time will not clean out, since they saturate the leather.