Leather is almost used everywhere, from furniture, car seats, fashion accessories like bags, belts, shoes to jackets and pants, there are myriad products made up of leather. Possessing a leather product is a great feeling but we must also remember that leather needs care in order to make it last a lifetime. Failing to take proper care of leather can dry out the leather and leading it to crack. If the leather has cracks, then it is quite difficult to salvage the leather, so proper care is a must and essential. In order to take proper care of leather we must be aware of few vital things about leather.
Vital Facts about Leather
Leather bear similarities with our skin, as it is also a skin of an animal that now no longer has the ability to replenish the moisture and built new cells and fibers. To maintain its shine, smoothness and glow, leather needs care and maintenance. Another significant fact about leather is that not all leather is the same and hence different types of leather take cleaning products and conditioners in a distinct way.
The other vital fact about leather is the availability of leather in diverse colors and the precautions one should keep in mind while cleaning or maintaining the colored leather. Applying any cleaning or polishing item on leather can result in its color change, so we must test the impact of such agents on leather by applying it in small quantity in a hidden area and watch its impact on twelve or twenty four hours. If it doesn't change color or if there is slight change in the color then the conditioner can be used. Even if the conditioner adds moisture or slight bit of pigment that might adjust the leather color is sometimes liked by people.
Leather Conditioners and Protectants Categories
Leather Cleaners – Leather can take a beating over time and needs to be cleaned, restored and maintained in order to make the leather products last long. Leather cleaners can be used to remove dirt, grime, spills, stains and debris from the leather. The best thing about the cleaner is that it bonds with the dirt and dust particles that have to be removed.
The best leather cleaners contain surfactants, which attract dirt and grime from the leather surface. Cleaners with neutral pH and that do not contain alcohol or abrasives are recommended because these do not damage or discolor the leather. They restore the leather, making it look and feel like new. It not only removes dirt and stains from leather but also helps to protect, repair and maintain the surface in order to make items look better for longer period.
The leather cleaner must be sprayed or applied onto the leather surface and then it should be gently wiped off or buff it in circular motion using a microfiber cloth. After applying the cleaner the leather product should be left for about 30-35 minutes to let the leather completely dry.
Some quality cleaners also have conditioning properties that eliminate the need to use conditioner after cleaning the leather. A good quality leather cleaner works great on furniture, auto interiors, leather apparel, shoes, bags, saddles, microfiber and faux leather. These cleaners work on both finished and unfinished leather.
There are cleaning solutions that are made with natural and non-toxic ingredients, these cleaners won't harm leather surfaces and will not cause any changes in the color or texture of the leather.
Leather Conditioners - Leather needs conditioners to add moisture to the leather because it has a tendency to dry out and crack over time especially when exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. Thus, leather conditioner keeps the leather surface soft and supple besides adding moisture, color and a layer of protection. To ensure that the leather looks its shiny best, dab a dollop of conditioner on a soft cloth and gently rub the conditioner all over the leather.
Conditioner must be used once a month to ensure its shine and glow. Though leather conditioner work like leather preservers but these also goes a step further and brings leather back to life. The leather finishing process, tanning strip out natural oils in leather, which is essential to keep it hydrated in order to prevent heat and age related cracking. Conditioners maintain natural oil by seeping into the pores and returning the lost natural oils.
Leather conditioner is always recommended to use after using leather cleaners because cleaner are known to open pores that make it vulnerable of trapping fresh dirt but the use of leather conditioner ensures that these pores are filled with nourishing essentials that reduce dirt build-up as well as help to maintain the leather. A non-toxic conditioner is always better to use that helps to repel water on leather.
Leather Protectants - Leather protectants is used to offer lasting, luxurious look to leather, the protectants do not penetrate into the leather but their task is to say on top of the leather and form a layer on leather to protects it from getting wet.
These also stop moisture and natural oils from the leather to escape due to exposure of sunlight or other environmental factors. Though, it is not essential to apply protectants but these add to the aesthetics and provide a mild layer of protection. The powerful blocking agents of the protectants provide most effective weatherproofing and preservative action for leather products by protecting them against spills, stains, cracking, discoloration, fading and premature aging. The higher quality leather protectants available have advanced barrier technology that protects and nourishes leather while restoring the luxurious leather aroma. These also help repel all oil and water based staining from leather and will hold normal dirt and soiling on the surface making leather quite easy to clean and care for. The leather protectors serve as a barrier between leather and the dirt abrasions, thereby helping to prevent premature wear and tear of leather. These protectors can be used on all different leather items, from furniture to car interior to shoes, to clothes and handbags.