Leather is quite an expensive product. It is durable and strong yet it is still prone to dirt, and wear and tear. That is why it is always important to keep your leather clean and protected at all times. Keeping it in great condition will not only keep it clean but will extend its life as well. By using a leather conditioner, you will be able to keep your leather in top shape.
Using a leather conditioner is easy. If you have owned leather for a long time and have just recently heard about leather conditioners there is nothing to worry about. As they say “it is better late than never”. This article will hopefully educate you on knowing more about taking care of leather and using a leather conditioner.
What Is So Great About Leather?
What is so great about leather anyway? Why should you spend a fraction of your time to take care of it? Why should I bother learning what a leather conditioner does and how to use it?
First of all, leather is expensive. You would not want something as expensive as leather to destroy so easily. Second, the leather will age beautifully if you take better care of it. If you want to achieve that cool and vintage aesthetic on your leather jacket, leather bags, or leather furniture you might want to condition your leather for the long run. Lastly, leather is a great investment to have. It is quite strong and durable. It will last longer than most of your items made from canvas and other fabrics.
Leather is great and that is why you should start taking care of it. Using a leather conditioner will make a whole lot of difference.
Benefits Of Using Leather Conditioner
As we all know, leather is made from animal skin. Like our skin, it is delicate and can easily be damaged by many external and internal factors. Therefore, it needs proper care and protection. However, unlike our skin, leather is not alive. Thus it does not receive any nourishment necessary to keep it strong and healthy. Without any nourishment, like our own skin, leather can easily dry out and become stiff. Without proper protection, leather will also over absorb water. When this happens leather will become brittle once it dries. In summary, leather while it is tough is very delicate and can be damaged in many ways.
Using a leather conditioner will eliminate those risks that your leather might suffer. A good leather conditioner is designed to be readily absorbed by the fabric. It helps in nourishing your leather by keeping it healthy from the inside. This helps it from drying out and become stiff. Using a leather conditioner also restores the flexibility in its fibers. This keeps the leather from becoming brittle. In addition, it makes the leather stronger and more durable.
Furthermore, using a leather conditioner will protect the fabric from dirt, grime, and stains. It also enhances the development of a beautiful patina. A patina is a term to describe the aging of high-quality leather, for example, full-grain leather.
Conditioning Your Leather
If you are planning to apply a coat of leather conditioner to your leather make sure to clean it first. Only after the leather is cleaned and dry will you begin to apply the conditioner.
Cleaning leather is a simple yet delicate process. Make sure that you only use the proper cleaning agent or solution in cleaning your leather. If possible, use only saddle soap or leather cleaners to clean the leather. Likewise, it is important to remember that in cleaning leather, handwashing is the only advisable way to clean it. Never throw any leather-made items in the washing machine. The constant motion inside the machine will ruin the leather entirely. Moreover, it is wise to not immerse your leather in water. Only use a soft clean cloth in rubbing water and soap on the leather.
Here is a brief rundown on how to properly clean leather:
- First, wipe the leather with a dry clean cloth to remove any fresh stains, dirt, or grime. Make sure to use a soft cloth.
- Second, use a damp cloth and wipe the leather thoroughly. You can simultaneously apply the leather cleaner or saddle soap in this step. If you have neither of the two a mild shampoo or baby soap will do. However, only apply a small amount.
- The third is to rinse the leather. Rinse the leather by using another damp cloth and wipe the soap off the leather. It is not advisable to fully immerse the leather in water.
- Finally, wipe the leather dry. Let it dry in a cool spot away from sunlight or let it dry overnight.
Applying Leather Conditioner
After the leather has been thoroughly cleaned and dried the next step is to apply the leather conditioner. In conditioning the leather you will a few soft, dry cloth and, of course, your conditioner. You can use any leather conditioner you can find however it is recommended that you use known brands. This includes Leather Honey leather conditioner, Chamberlain’s leather milk, Lexol Leather Conditioner, and Armstrong’s All Natural Universal Salve.
Here are the steps to properly apply leather conditioners:
- First, place a small amount of the leather conditioner on a clean, lint-free cloth. Never apply the conditioner directly onto the leather.
- Next is to do a spot test. Take a small amount of the leather conditioner and apply it in an inconspicuous area on your leather. Allow it to sit for a while. If you are happy with the effect it produces then you can proceed to apply to the rest of the leather. If not, then you can try to use another conditioner that will cater to your liking.
- Using a circular motion rub the conditioner over the entire surface. Make sure to cover everything, even in those hard to reach areas. Remember to always be gentle in rubbing your leather.
- After you have successfully covered the entire leather with the conditioner, use a soft, dry cloth to buff the entire surface.
- To conclude, allow the leather to dry before using it.
Remember to do a spot test every time you condition the leather!
How Often Should You Condition Your Leather?
It really depends on where you are. If you live in an area where the leather is often exposed to heat and sunlight then you might want to condition it every month or so. For those who live in a humid climate, you can condition your leather for at least twice a year or every 6 months.