Read these 9 Cleaning Leather Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Leather tips and hundreds of other topics.
Old leather can return to its original appearance by applying moisture to the fabric. Many people recommended a solution in a ratio of 1:2 of white vinegar and an oil, such as linseed or mink oil. To nourish old leather:
· Obtain a dry chamois cloth
· Apply the vinegar and oil mixture to the leather to be restored.
· Using round strokes, wipe the leather for at least 15 minutes ensuring the whole surface is covered.
· Use another dry chamois cloth to remove the excess solution.
· Let the leather dry to a shine.
When removing grease or oil stains from leather, the best advice is to not use water to clean up the spill. It is well known oil and water ‘do not mix,' and water will cause the oil to spread even more.
· Start by using a dry clot and blot the excess oil away
· Using either talc powder or cornstarch, place a small amount on to cover the area.
· Let the leather sit overnight
· The next day, using a soft dry cloth, wipe the talc powder or cornstarch away.
The talc powder or cornstarch will act as an absorbent to lift away the oil or grease from the leather material.
In order to remove ink stains from leather, isopropyl alcohol is suggested. Isopropyl alcohol or “rubbing alcohol” can be purchased at any drugstore or pharmacy. It is recommended that a “spot test” be completed first on a small area of the leather, before using the isopropyl alcohol on a larger area.
When it has been determined the alcohol will not damage the leather, use a cotton swab and carefully dab the area where the ink is located. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes before wiping with a dry towel. This should remove ink from your leather garment. In situations where a large amount of ink has spilled on leather, it's best to get the leather professionally cleaned. Professional leather cleaning kits are available, which will remove leather ink stains.
Mildew or mold can be removed from leather in the same way ink is removed. A “spot test” should be performed to first test the leather material. Next using a damp cloth, and an equally mixed solution of isopropyl alcohol and water, wipe the area where the mildew or mold is located. Allow the leather material to air dry away from direct sunlight.
Leather specialty stores sell special products designed to care for your leather jackets. You can use a leather lotion to keep your jacket soft, leather wipes make a quick clean-up easier, and leather protector helps keep your leather jacket safe in winter months. One of the best tips of all to keep your leather jacket in good condition is to wear them regularly. If you have to put them in storage, make sure it's a well-ventilated area of your home.
If you live in a cold climate, salt applied to the roads and sidewalks can potentially cause stains.
To remove salt stains, a mild solution of 75 percent vinegar to 25 percent water should be used. In the beginning, complete a “spot test.” After the vinegar solution has been found mild enough, use a cotton ball to gently wipe away the salt stains from the leather garment. Allow the leather to air dry naturally.
Leather is not a synthetic fabric manufactured in a laboratory. For this reason, your leather garments should undergo maintenance periodically. Various ways to maintain leather include:
The way to remove gum from leather is just as easy as removing it from another fabric: use ice. Ice should be placed on the gum, until it hardens. Afterwards, the gum can be gently peeled away. However, it is important to remember when removing gum from leather, sharp objects will scratch the surface of the leather.
If your leather has become discolored, there are a number of leather recolor kits to restore the look of the original leather. A leather recolor kit can be for almost any type of leather garment or furniture to restore discoloration.
These kits can be purchased with all the supplies needed, such as brushes or applicators. Some of the coloring kits are also available as sprays to allow you to repair discolored patches. As with any product, complete a “spot test” first before applying it to the area.
If the area is to big to be colored using a kit, or if the job seems too complicated, instead have a professional restore the leather.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|