While leather is tough as nails, we must also remember that leather is in fact skin. It can dry, crack, stain, warp, etc
Our Leather products are vegetable-tanned with tannin. This protects the skin and makes it easily pliable and soft to the touch. The downside to vegetable-tanned leather bags is they are able to discolor and shrivel when drenched in water. It is crucial that you do not let your Handbag/Shoes get wet.
Waterproofing. Waterproofing sprays or waxes provide a coating to your shoe to repel water, snow, baby drool, etc. These treatments generally only need to be done once a year, depending on your use of the product. Sprays should only be used in a pinch; they’re convenient, but create a lower quality effect. You’ll need to re-apply a spray several times over the course of a single winter or rainy season. With a spray, you’ll be coating laces, zippers, etc., perhaps unnecessarily wearing them and exposing them to chemicals. Less is more wth waterproofing so only apply the finest of layers.
Damp Cloth. Using a damp cloth is the old reliable when it comes to leather care. Since leather is so very naturally durable anyway, giving it a wipe down (without soap — its chemicals can ruin the leather over time) once a week to get rid of the dirt and dust (the most nefarious culprits to premature wear and tear) constitutes a minimally sufficient care routine. If you use nothing else, this is the way to go.
Wire/Suede Brush. In the case of suede (a form of leather that is simply the underside of an animal’s hide), don’t use any of the above products. All you’re going to do is use a small wire or suede-specific brush to wipe away dirt and grime. Avoid water with suede products as much as possible.
Leather needs to breathe. Just like skin, leather needs some ventilation to prevent mildew and rot. Air can naturally pass through leather, leaving moisture to evaporate naturally. That can’t happen when your leather is all sealed up, though. So don’t ever store or transport it in a plastic grocery bag (whoops — guilty of that one!). Either use the storage/travel bag the item came with, or some type of breathable fabric — pillowcases are great for shoes, bags, and/or other accessories.
Keep leather away from direct sunlight/heat. If a leather item gets waterlogged, it can be tempting to throw it in front of a heater or to use a hair dryer to speed the process. Don’t do that, ever. Just like skin and other fabrics, when leather gets wet and then heated right away, it can shrink and dry out too quickly. Rather, let it dry naturally, even if it takes a couple of days.
Also, just generally keep leather out of direct sunlight when storing. The leather fades naturally over time, but sunlight speeds up that process. Drying and cracking can also ensue. Darker places with some humidity are preferred, although again, ensure air flow so that mildew can’t form.
Test first. When applying any polish or conditioner, always test a small area first. Any item is likely to change the color of the leather, even if only slightly. Before applying a treatment to an entire shoe, test it on a small portion, let it dry for 24 hours, and see what happens. It may seem tedious, but it can keep your shoe from looking different than what you want. If a certain brand/color goes well the first time, then feel free to use repeatedly without testing again.
Some things to avoid when cleaning your leather handbag:
- Avoid cleaning products with alcohol, turpentine or other mineral spirits as they will discolor and dry out leather.
- Never allow water to soak into your bag. If the bag gets wet, do not use a hair dryer on it. Instead, absorb as much water as possible with a thick microfiber hand towel and allow the bag to air dry. Then, condition it again and store it.
- Take extra special care of your bag at hair salons and keep it away from coloring solutions, hair sprays and other hair products.
- Waxes or silicone products clog up leather pores and may render them unable to be cleaned in the future.