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How to Clean and Maintain Your Leather Goods

by Nick Fan on
  • Do regularly clean leather with a soft brush or cloth

  • Do regularly air out leather

  • Do blot away water or moisture as soon as possible

  • Do dry wet leather naturally, away from artificial heat

  • Do keep leather supple with a specialised leather conditioner every 3-6 months

  • Do clean spots and stains with a mixture of soap flakes and warm water

  • Do use a steam cleaner to disinfect and remove buildup from regular use

  • Do test any conditioners, cleaners, polishes or wax in a hidden spot beforehand

  • Don't machine wash leather

  • Don't get leather wet wherever possible

  • Don't dry wet leather next to a radiator or with a hairdryer

  • Don't tumble dry leather

  • Don't iron leather

  • Don't immerse leather in water to clean

Leather is loved for its visual nuances; varying textures, delicate shifts in tone, slowly developing patinas and subtle signs of a life well-loved. When working with such a versatile and multi-faceted material, the maintenance choices you make can shape the appearance of your leather goods for years to come; allowing you to truly tailor them to your individual style.

Polishing leather, for instance, maintains its original shine. This process is ideal for high gloss, formal or eveningwear accessories which you would like to keep in pristine condition. You may prefer, however, to allow more casual, functional pieces such as duffel bags or hobo bags to weather and develop their own unique characteristics. In this case, regular dusting and a simple wipe with a damp cloth from time to time will certainly suffice.

Smooth, fine and patent leathers will benefit from a soft leather cream to nourish, hydrate and preserve their supple qualities. Gentle creams and conditioners may also be used to remove light scratches. Where bright colours are concerned, polish can be used to spot buff scratches and scuffs, while specialist colour restoring balms are ideal for a full rejuvenation.

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