- 1 Why should leather be cleaned?
- 2 Term "leather cleaner"
- 3 Harmful cleaning attempts
- 4 Saddle Soap
- 5 How to clean pigmented leather
- 6 How to clean aniline leather
- 7 How to clean nubuck and suede
- 8 How to clean pull up leather - greased leather - waxed leather - oiled leather
- 9 How to clean imitation leather and Alcantara
- 10 How to clean car leather
- 11 How to clean furniture leather
- 12 How to clean leather clothing
- 13 How to clean leather bags, leather cases and leather belts
- 14 How to clean leather bags, leather cases and leather belts
- 15 Where to buy leather cleaner and leather care
- 16 Additional information
Why should leather be cleaned?
Leather shoes are constantly exposed to adverse weather and dirt. Leather clothing gets dirty on the outside and absorbs sweat from inside and therefore must be cleaned. Car and furniture leather get dirty due to dust and certain areas are in regular contact with skin or hair. This contact with skin and hair causes sweat and natural body oils to be transferred to the leather surface. Dirty hands also transmit dirt. Skin fats and many food fats are absorbed by porous leather or migrate through the pigmentation or micro-breaks into the leather and damage it. This process accelerates the aging of leather. Like all other household surfaces, leather surfaces should be regularly cleaned and protected. Pigmented leather can be easily cleaned with water based cleaners. Porous leathers such as aniline leather or suede and nubuck are more sensitive and should only be dusted and treated more carefully. Contact with grease filled hands or sweat filled clothes should be avoided as much as possible for such leathers. Headrests and armrest tend to darken due to sweat over time. This can be easily avoided by placing a blanket or using cushions. It helps to research and understand the pros and cons of specific leather types before buying. Regular cleaning and care procedure prolongs the life span of your leather.
Term "leather cleaner"
There is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to leather cleaners. It is impossible to have one type of cleaner that removes all dirt from all types of leather. It has been proven that a suitable "cleaning method", complemented by appropriate products and accessories designed specifically for the type of leather and level of soiling, gives the best results. For instance, surface-coloured leathers can be cleaned more effectively by using a suitable, water-based, foam leather cleaner and a brush. Suppliers of tanneries offer special anti-soiling additives (anti-soiling) for pigmented leather to protect the leather against stains and dirt.
Incorrect cleaning methods, especially on aniline leather (porous), or suede and nubuck can leave stains that may not be removed easily. Leather garments and clothing can be washed either by hand or in the washing machine using suitable leather detergents.
There is a diverse range of leather cleaners on the market and choosing the right one is not easy.
Companies like www.colourlock.com specialise in providing advice and assistance with choosing the products that are most suitable for the type of soiling or staining on leathers. They can answer any questions you may have on this topic. From ink or Biro marks to dye transfer stains to wax, oil or resin spots - they have a solution for most leather problems.
Can universal cleaners harm the leather? Some owners of leather items use hand soaps, plastic cleaners or even brake cleaners. Gentler and pH-neutral products are the best for leather. Strong alkaline cleaners or highly degreasing or solvent- based products attack the surface and damage the leather. Anyone who has quality leather and intends to have it for the long term should invest in a leather cleaner from one of the specialized or better known brands.
Harmful cleaning attempts
Solvent-based products or strong rubbing damages the surface colouration.
When cleaning a larger object, test the product and its effects on a hidden area. If possible, recreate the damage in a hidden area and try cleaning there first. All leathers are different and testing the product and being prudent can ensure that no further significant damage is caused. Jumping right in often causes stains that are not removable.
Harmful cleaning attempts increase the problems. Depending on the wrong method, the spots get light or dark edges.
Saddle Soap has been the go-to product for cleaning leather for decades. However, saddle soap is an alkaline soap, which was used for cleaning saddles, belts and similar items. Nowadays saddle soap is rarely used and is not ideal for the cleaning of leathers. The way leather is produced has changed drastically. Leather is in an acidic state when produced in the tannery, which is why most modern leather cleaners are not too alkaline.
Saddle soap is commercially available in liquid and solid form.
How to clean pigmented leather
The advice of the professional: How to remove dye transfer, ink and biro marks on leather.
How to clean aniline leather
Removing soot stains on nubuck.
How to clean imitation leather and Alcantara
How to clean car leather
The leather cleaning of older car leather.
How to clean and maintain perforated leather.
How to clean furniture leather
The leather cleaning, colour refreshment and leather care with furniture leather.
How to clean leather clothing
How to clean leather bags, leather cases and leather belts
Cleaning and care of suede and nubuck shoes.
How to clean leather bags, leather cases and leather belts
Where to buy leather cleaner and leather care
-> In German: www.lederzentrum.de
-> Rest of the world: partners worldwide
- Leather care
- Basic rules when dealing with leather
- Leather care instructions - Home remedies
- Washing and dry cleaning leather
- How to care for imitation leather