Everyone loves to own an occasional leather item. However, leather garments are bound to cost a whole lot. Hence it is advantaging to know how to care for them.
When cleaning your leather items, always choose a product that helps preserve the leather's natural lubricating oils rather than strip them away. Avoid cleaners that leave any sort of grease or residue as it can make leather vulnerable to bacteria which will tarnish the leather and eventually break down the stitching. It is best to test out the cleaner on a less visible area before you start to clean the full surface of your leather good. Pay attention not to use heat to dry leather and always stuff the garment while it is being dried to maintain its original shape.
Leather needs conditioning and the oils found in conditioners help lubricate leather and replenish its elasticity. However, beware of products that contain petroleum or mineral oils as they will damage your leather goods over time. Do more conditioning if your leather item is exposed to hot sunny conditions or moisture. Similar to cleaning products, avoid conditioners that leave greasy residues.
Polish your leather item with a fine polishing agent for a clean and glossy finish. However be careful when polishing as some products contain coloring agents that might stain your item's natural color. Bear in mind that using animal fats might darken leather.
It is best to protect every new leather item before using it. Unprotected leather will stiffen and crack rather quickly. Protect your leather item against moisture such as rain, snow, sweat and other liquid hazards. Always remember to apply your protector on clean dry leather periodically and beware of the protector that might fill the leather's pores with grease. Tana Style 16 Protective Spray is a good recommendation for product protection.
Bear in mind that leather goods are best stored in cool, dry places and should never be stored in plastic bags or other nonporous containers. Always stuff empty leather handbags with newspaper to maintain the shape and avoid using metal hangers when hanging leather jackets or pants.
The best way to efficiently learn about your new leather item's care techniques is to ask the store manager or salesperson for specific instructions. Several grades of leather require more specialized maintenance and hence should be cleaned and maintained professionally.