Whether it's a modern red leather handbag, a luxurious leather wallet, or a traditional black leather briefcase, both new and well-worn leather goods are subject to the elements and effects of use. Extra heat or cold, abundant moisture, dry air, abrasions, oxidation, chemical damage or oil will affect the life of your leather. To maintain your leather properly, keep in mind that leather was once a living hide and should be treated as such. Want to protect your investment and keep your leather in excellent condition? Here are some tips for easy care and prolonging the life of your leather items.
TIP ONE: REGISTER YOUR LEATHER WITH THE MANUFACTURER
Don't underestimate the value of registering your leather goods with the manufacturer. Quality leather goods can be quite an investment, so make sure you're doing your part to prolong the life of your leather accessory with support from the manufacturer. Not all warranties are created equally, some manufacturers range in length of warranty and coverage. Try to purchase from a manufacturer that has a lifetime warranty that entitles you to repairs due to defective parts or workmanship.
If you should have a need for a non-warranty repair or refurbishing you want to deal with the registered manufacturer that is reliable, affordable and timely.
TIP TWO: CONDITION THE LEATHER REGULARLY
Use a quality conditioning product designed specifically for leather. We recommend a natural balm leather lotion, that doesn’t contain oils, chemicals, or waxes so that you can avoid shortening the life of the leather product. A natural balm cream is safe and can be applied with your hands or a clean, soft cloth – but be sure that the material does not bleed any color before using it.
After massaging the leather lotion over the entire leather surface, allow it to dry on its own. If the leather has a scratch and stain resistant coating, you can wipe any excess lotion with a clean cloth. In arid climates, you should treat the leather every couple of months. In humid regions, once every six months will suffice. Please note that naked leathers, especially light colored Belting, should not be treated with any lotions to avoid darkening the leather.
Lotion is not recommended on textured leathers because it is hard to clean up extra residue (not because it would harm the leather on Chelsea, Croco, Monserrate, Prestige, and Sienna Woven
You shouldn't use Leather Lotion on:
Buffalo Leather that is distressed or with a hunter finish
Patent Leathers with a glossy finish or cotton-backed flecked suede leathers
Apply Leather Lotion only on smoother leather trim; handles, flaps, and areas not on the main body
TIP THREE: REMOVE WATER OR EXCESS MOISTURE FROM LEATHER QUICKLY
Whenever rain, snow, or excess moisture get on your leather item, use a dry cloth to blot, not rub, wet spots as soon as possible. Remember moisture from winter weather may contain ice melt or salt-based products that are harmful to leather and should be blotted with a damp cloth and allowed to air-dry. Do not place your leather bag near a heat source to dry, especially if it is a coated leather. Also, never put a briefcase, tote, or handbag on wet ground or a snowy surface.
TIP FOUR:WIPE THE INSIDE OF YOUR LEATHER BAG OR BRIEFCASE AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH
Cleaning the inside of your leather bag is important. Use a slightly damp cloth to wipe down the lining of the leather bag to remove any dust and residue that may have been left there from items carried inside the bag. Then prop the bag open and allow the interior to naturally air-dry.
TIP FIVE: FULLY AIR-DRY RAIN-SOAKED LEATHER
Lay the bag on the floor or a table so that it is flat – this will avoid drooping, slouching, or wrinkling. Do not place it near a radiator, heater, or in the clothes dryer, as their heat will damage the leather. If you’re drying a briefcase, tote, or handbag, it is best to stuff it with a dry cloth to help it maintain its shape and draw out moisture from inside of the bag. You can use newsprint but be sure that the ink will not run or you risk staining the inside of the bag.
TIP SIX: STORE LEATHER BRIEFCASES AND BAGS WHEN NOT IN USE
When you're not using your leather bag or briefcase, tuck the straps inside the bag and then place it in a closet away from sunlight, humidity, dust, and dirt. It’s best to keep it inside a box or a fabric dust bag for more protection. Remember, always avoid placing leather items next to a heat source, such as a radiator or furnace/heating vent, and areas that are prone to high humidity or mold as they will damage the leather.
With these six basic tips for maintaining and prolonging the life of your leather, briefcase, tote, handbag, or personal leather goods are sure to have a longer life. Protect your leather today with these tips and the right leather lotion.