It’s crucial to know how to maintain your leather bags and other accessory items. Otherwise, you won’t be able to enjoy them for a long time. No matter what leather bags are natural products, which preserve their natural characteristics. So, you should know their characteristics so to treat them right. This article will help you with all this.
Taking Care of Leather Bags
It’s typical of leather to fade naturally over time. So, you can’t do without periodical cleaning and maintenance. Otherwise, you won’t be able to protect your leather products from stains. Also, this way, you can help your leather bag live longer.
There’s one general thing you should bear in mind: avoid excessive cleaning using chemicals. This can make your leather bag fade faster. Instead, you should know how to protect leather bags properly so that to prevent staining, grease penetration, and other problems.
Cleaning and Maintaining Your Leather Bag
It’s recommended to use leather protection cream as soon as you take your leather bag home. This way you’ll add protection to the leather to help it stay away from wear and tear.
Remember that you shouldn’t take care of only old leather bags: you should do it for new ones as well. Regular cleaning is important for protecting your bag. If you need a quick wipe-down, a damp cloth is enough. When it comes to more thorough cleaning, you should use professional or specialist cleaning products every 2-3 months to keep your leather bag in excellent condition.
Only, make sure to opt for specialist leather cleaners. Don’t use baby wipes, vinegar, or any other “home remedy” to clean your leather bag. The thing is that most of them contain chemicals and substances that can cause drying or make your bag lose its color.
Important: make a habit of using a soft cloth to clean the surface of your leather bag after each use. Besides, don’t fail to air your leather bag for at least a day before storing. In case it gets wet, never put it away without being sure it’s completely dry.
What about rubberized leather? Large leather goods maker brands have been using it to make bags, and other products. In fact, technologically advanced rubber systems are used to treat leather with a rubber coating, incorporating a rich Matt finish and high-performance appearance.
For this, you can take a damp cloth and use cold water without soap. You can wipe your bag every 1-2 weeks to avoid dirt and dust. Then, leave your bag dry in a well-ventilated area. Keep it in storage only after it’s completely dry. Keep your bag away from direct heat and direct sunlight.
Below you can find the main type of leather and how you can apply simple cleaning to them:
Smooth Calfskin - Soap
Pebble Grain Calfskin - Soap
Nappa - Balm
Suede - Shampoo
Nubuck - Shampoo
Crocodile and Alligator - Balm
Lizard and Snake- Balm
Ostrich - Balm, Soap
Cordovan - Soap
Oiled Calfskin, Chromexcel – Soap
Patent Leather – Leather cleaner
Leather Cleaning Products
You can also use leather cleaning products to clean your leather bags. Only, you mustn’t apply excessive cleaning with chemicals. You just need to follow the usage instructions to enjoy better results.
Chemicals can affect different types of leather differently. So, you’d better do a test to be sure you’ve chosen the best and the right option. After cleaning your bag, let it dry for 24 hours.
Remember to use a dry cloth before treating your bag with leather cleaners or creams. To avoid ending up with stains, don’t pour leather creams directly on the bag. Apply some cream on a microfiber cloth. Then, use the cloth to gently rub your leather bag.
Moisturizing Your Leather Bag
A fully dry environment isn’t good for leather. So, you’d better moisturize your leather bag every 3- 5 months if you live in a dry climate. You can use mink oil or beeswax for moisturizing your bag. Leather conditioners or creams can moisturize your leather bag and help it avoid drying out, shrinking or cracking.
You can always do a spot-test on a small area and use a dry cloth to wipe your bag, and only then apply any leather creams. Afterwards, you should leave your bag dry in a ventilated area, keeping the bag away from direct heat.
Since leather is sensitive towards water, you should keep your leather bag away from heavy rainfall or snow. When leather gets wet, the natural oils available in it seep to the surface. When the temperature goes up, the oils may get evaporated, thus making the leather dry and brittle.
As a rule, the majority of leather products you can find in the market today are treated with a waterproofing agent to this or that extent. Anyway, there’s no completely waterproof leather, so you’d better avoid taking out your leather bag in heavy snow.
How to Condition Your Leather Bag
It’s also important to know how you should condition your leather bag. Just be aware that:
- Conditioning is like moisturizing your leather bag. It’s going to dry out over time. Apply some conditioner on a soft cloth and then start rubbing gently all over the bag. This way, your bag won’t flake or wrinkle.
- Mink or neatsfoot oil is another option to try. It’ll simulate and supplement the natural oils contained in leather. After you’ve left for 10 minutes, you can wipe off the excess. Keep your bag in an airy room when drying.
- Condition your leather bag on a monthly basis or so. Otherwise, your bag will stop looking shiny.
Have you invested a lot of money in a leather bag and want to make sure it's a forever item? No worries! You can take some measures to keep your leather bag in good condition. There’s nothing challenging about this. Just start cleaning your leather bag without ruining it!