Whether shoes, jacket or sofa – at some point leather needs to be cleaned. Leather can be cleaned gently and effectively with these four tips.
Leather is one of the most expensive and popular materials from which clothing, shoes and furniture are made. Strong, durable and of natural origin, it has a long tradition.
As early as 5,300 years ago, people made their shoes from tanned animal skins, as evidenced by the glacier mummy “Ötzi”, whose shoes are made from three different layers of leather. Unfortunately, we don’t know how Ötzi got them clean, but how it works today, so much the better.
Cleaning leather: the preparation
Before you start cleaning, you should thoroughly remove dust and dirt from the leather. A soft one is suitable for this or a . Logical: The leather has to be dry. If you have just walked through a shower and now want to clean your jacket or shoes, let them dry first. However, this should not be done near a heater, direct sunlight or even with a hair dryer, because the heat could damage the leather.
Gentle cleaning with saddle soap
Once the first dirt has been removed, it’s time to get down to business. It is particularly suitable for smooth leather . This is a special soap that not only cleans the leather, but also cares for it. Compared to normal soap, saddle soap has a moisturizing effect. This is important for leather because otherwise it runs the risk of drying out and cracking, which of course we want to avoid.
Fortunately, the handling is no different from normal soap: simply use one soft Apply a cloth or sponge to the leather and work in carefully. Avoid excessive pressure or friction to avoid damaging the leather.
Then wipe the leather jacket or sofa again with a damp cloth and let it dry. If necessary, repeat the process until all stains or impurities are removed.
Cleaning leather: care and protection
But that’s not all: After cleaning, you should treat the leather with a leather care lotion or a Rub in to protect it from drying out and the associated risk of cracking. Important: The leather must be dry for this. You should also test the oil on an inconspicuous area of the leather and see how it reacts.
If everything is safe, apply the care lotion or oil thinly to the leather and rub it in carefully. Again you have to wait until the leather has absorbed oil or lotion before you can use your shoes, jacket or furniture again. If the shoes you are cleaning are leather, it is a good idea to treat them with a waterproofing spray for extra protection.
How to clean suede
First of all, it is important to differentiate between suede and nubuck as well as smooth leather. Suede and nubuck require special care as they are more sensitive than smooth leather, which is why the use of special brushes and cleaning agents is recommended.
So-called are suitable for suede . This is a natural rubber brush with a rough surface. In addition to removing impurities, the surface works to restore the texture of the suede.
As an alternative to the crepe brush, there are also special ones . In the case of heavy soiling, you should also avoid using saddle soap or other strong cleaning agents. A gentle cleaning agent such as Schrader’s sensitive leather cleaner is more suitable here.
According to the manufacturer, you must just apply to the leather with a damp cloth and clean the soiled areas. You should suede afterwards though not treat with balm or oil as this will damage the structure of the leather.
I am an author and journalist who has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. I currently work as a news editor at a major news website, and my focus is on covering the latest trends in entertainment. I also write occasional pieces for other outlets, and have authored two books about the entertainment industry.