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Shine up Leather Furniture, Purses and Shoes

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Shine up Leather Furniture, Purses and Shoes

Why Keep Leather Looking Its Best

Leather is a natural material that Develops a lovely patina as it ages. However, prolonged neglect can lead to cracked, dried out leather that has lost its luster. Properly caring for leather helps preserve its supple feel and extends its lifespan. With some simple maintenance, you can keep your leather furniture, purses, and shoes looking beautiful for years to come.

Cleaning Leather Surfaces

Here are some tips for gently cleaning leather items:

  • Vacuum leather furniture regularly using a soft brush attachment to remove dust and dirt from the surface. This prevents buildup that can damage the leather over time.

  • For purses and shoes, wipe them down with a soft, damp cloth to get rid of everyday dirt and grime. Avoid using too much water.

  • To clean leather more thoroughly, use a leather cleaner or mild soap specially formulated for leather. Test on a small hidden area first.

  • Mix a solution of equal parts water and vinegar and wipe down the leather. This helps remove grime and condition the leather.

  • Never use harsh chemicals, solvents, or abrasive cleaners on leather, as these can deteriorate the finish.

When in Doubt, Hire a Professional

For heavily soiled leather furniture, it’s best to hire a professional leather cleaner. They have commercial-grade cleaners and techniques that lift stains without damaging the leather.

Conditioning and Protecting Leather

Conditioning leather regularly nourishes it to prevent drying and cracking over time. Here are some effective options:

  • Leather conditioners are formulated to penetrate into the leather fibers and lubricate them. Massage the conditioner into the leather and let it soak in.

  • Coconut oil acts as a natural conditioner for leather. Gently rub a small amount in and let it fully absorb.

  • Use a beeswax-based leather cream to add moisture back into the leather while protecting the surface. buff it in gently.

  • After conditioning, always apply a leather protector spray as a topcoat shield against spills and stains. Avoid silicone-based sprays.

  • Reapply conditioner whenever leather looks dry, about every 4-6 months. Over-conditioning can damage leather.

Beware of Heat Exposure

Excessive heat from radiators, fireplaces, and sunlight can dehydrate and fade leather. Try to avoid direct heat exposure whenever possible.

Restoring Faded or Damaged Leather

With time and use, leather can become faded, scratched, or cracked. Here are some restoration tips:

  • Work a leather repair balm into damaged areas to help hide scratches and nourish cracked leather.

  • For deeper cracks, use a leather filler compound to mend the torn areas before applying conditioners.

  • To brighten up faded leather, apply a leather recoloring balm that blends into the original hue. Test on an inconspicuous spot first.

  • Replace seriously damaged leather on furniture. But small nicks and scratches can be concealed.

Know When To Call In A Pro

For furniture with extensive fading or deep cracks, call in a leather repair specialist. They have professional tools to inject conditioners deep into cracked leather and can successfully patch or re-dye large damaged sections. This restores strength and luster.

Storing Leather When Not In Use

Proper storage preserves the supple feel of quality leather over the long term:

  • Cover leather furniture with breathable cotton sheets when not in use for extended periods. Avoid plastic covers that trap moisture.

  • Store leather bags and shoes with acid-free tissue paper inside to help them retain their shape.

  • Keep leather items out of direct sunlight in climate-controlled spaces, if possible. Avoid attics or basements with extreme temperature and humidity.

  • Stuff purses and shoes with tissue paper to retain their structure if they will be stored long term.

  • Clean leather thoroughly before storage and apply a fresh coat of protector spray. This prevents molds and mildew.

With some basic care, your leather items can survive everyday use while retaining their beauty. Nourish the leather regularly, clean gently, and repair any damage promptly. Then your leather treasures will last you a lifetime.

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