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Revive Leather with DIY Cleans

May 25, 2024
Revive Leather with DIY Cleans

Confessions of a Leather Lover

I kind of love my white leather handbag. Like use it all year round, throw all the things in it, wear it with all the outfits, love it. I’ve had it for ages — as a matter of fact, my mom bought it for me as a gift when we lived in NYC, and that’s coming up on closer to a decade ago than not — but it has been looking a bit worse for wear for longer than I’d like to admit.

However, the only experience I’d had with cleaning and restoring white leather up until now was in grade school, and to say it scarred me would be an understatement. The situation involved a beat-up pair of Keds and an awful white paint-like substance applied through a sponge (or was it a roller ball?) which was attached to the opening of the bottle containing the aforementioned awful substance. It without a doubt neither cleaned nor restored my leather Keds, and there’s a very distinct possibility that the whole thing ended with me in tears because it was the worst.thing.ever.wahhhh. Yes, it was the 80’s, and yes, I was an overly dramatic pre-teen, obviously, but the experience never quite left me.

But I digress, and ultimately, when my beautiful white leather handbag reached a point closer to bag lady than proper lady, something needed to be done. I found white polish at a local shoe repair/key cutting shop (why do they always go hand in hand? never mind, but they do, don’t they) and was instructed to make sure I cleaned the bag with methylated spirits before applying it. Supplies collected and bag contents emptied out, I crossed my fingers and got to it.

DIY Leather Cleaning Secrets

The results were better than I could have hoped, and I was once again the proud owner of a proper white bag. Of course, I proceed to abuse – I mean, use it relentlessly for the next few months, so it’s due for another clean — but at least this time, I know there’s hope!

According to the experts at 84th&3rd, using methylated spirits is key to removing any oils and dirt before applying a quality white polish to bring the leather back to life. This process should be repeated seasonally as necessary to maintain that “proper lady” look.

But what if your leather isn’t white? No problem! ShopAtBlu recommends using neatsfoot oil to deeply moisturize and revive dull, scratched leather. Simply apply a few coats, letting it soak in between, to restore the leather’s natural shine and supple texture.

And don’t forget about your leather furniture! As Dear Creatives discovered, even well-loved leather sofas and ottomans can be brought back to life with the right cleaning and conditioning products. A good leather cleaner can tackle built-up dirt and grime, while a conditioner adds much-needed moisture to revive that luxurious look and feel.

Leather Care Made Easy

No matter what type of leather item you’re working with, the key is to be gentle and patient. As the Donkey Listener blog notes, using the wrong cleaning methods can actually do more harm than good. Always start with a small test area, and don’t be afraid to try a few different techniques to find what works best for your particular leather.

And the best part? With a little elbow grease and the right DIY know-how, you can keep your beloved leather goods looking their best for years to come. Just imagine the compliments you’ll get when you strut into the office with that perfectly conditioned briefcase or breeze through the door with your freshly revived leather tote.

So why not head to your local Adam’s Cleaning Services in Nottingham and stock up on all the supplies you need to give your leather a new lease on life? Your accessories (and your wallet) will thank you.

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