How to keep your leather good looking good.

You got a custom leather good and are now wondering how to care for it to keep it looking good. Then you have come to the right place! I previously wrote some do’s and don’t for cleaning and conditioning it has some pretty good tips, if you want to read that post you can find it here.

So how do you care for a leather good? Leather is surprisingly simple to take care of, there are 4 things to keep in mind when carrying for your leather goods:

  1. Leather is UV reactive, don’t store your goods in direct sunlight or in a space where shadows will form patterns (like plants), especially veg-tanned leather. the UV rays will darken leather so a piece left in direct sunlight will get darker and if it’s left in the shadow of something like a plant you might end up with a funky pattern.
  2. Don’t soak your leather, a light rain won’t hurt it but don’t leave your leather good in a torrential downpour, and don’t put it through the washing machine. While good quality leather won’t be completely ruined if you accidentally soak it. Water softens leather so a soaked good is very likely to stretch or deform and once stretched it won’t ever go back the same. It will also dry out your leather making it more susceptible to cracking and breaking. If you accidentally get your leather good soaked, gently empty it taking care not to stretch it, and lay it out to dry naturally away from direct sunlight or heat sources. When completely dry (this may take a few days) condition your leather.
  3. Condition your leather. This is a hard one to explain because there is no formula or perfect answer on when and how often you should condition your leather. Ideally, on a leather good that you use lightly every day, you should be conditioning it every 4-6 months. Condition your leather at least once a year even if you don’t use it and more if needed. Condition your leather if it ever looks and feels a little dry to prevent cracking; after a deep cleaning and if your leather got soaked. Be careful not to condition your leather if it is dirty or still damp. to condition your leather use a good conditioner and a soft cloth, apply the conditioner to the cloth and then to your leather using small circular strokes, cover the entire piece with a thin coat, let sit for a few minutes, then wipe off the excess and buff with a soft cloth.

You can use any leather-specific conditioner, I personally really like the balm-style conditioners as they are easy to use and I have more control over how much product I use.

If you don’t know where to start I created this leather balm using food-grade ingredients, it is shelf stable and super easy to use. and a 4oz tin like this should last you for a while as a little goes a long way!

4. Clean your leather regularly. Cleaning leather is pretty simple, start by wiping down your leather with a damp cloth. In most cases, this is all you will have to do, if you have a few stubborn spots use a leather cleaner such as saddle soap. Apply it to a damp cloth and use small circular motions to clean your leather. When cleaning your leather good make sure to clean the entire piece do not spot clean even if you are only using water. never apply your saddle soap or water directly to the leather.

That’s all there is to it, don’t leave your leather in direct sunlight, don’t let it get soaked, clean it when it gets dirty, and condition it regularly! A well-taken care of leather goods can last lifetimes. while it is very forgiving of the occasional slip-up (I have seen leather go through a full wash and dry cycle and turn up the other end in near-perfect condition.) If you follow the guidelines I listed above your leather will last you for a very long time and will keep looking good for generations! If you have any questions regarding the care of your leather goods feel free to reach out to me here.