Make your leather products look brand new with these simple tricks

Leather is a durable material, but many people aren’t sure how to keep it from looking worn out. Here is how to take care of it to make it last for decades.

Elsa Hosk is seen on July 02, 2022 in Los Angeles, California
© Photo by Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
Elsa Hosk is seen on July 02, 2022 in Los Angeles, California

Leather is a strong, wind- and waterproof natural material that can easily stay with you for a lifetime if you know how to take care of it.

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Make your leather garment look new, like if you've just bought it, with these simple tricks.

How do I keep my leather in shape?

Not many people know that real leather has to be treated almost like your own skin. Applying natural balm or cream every few weeks is essential to keep it clean and make it last for many more years. These products can be purchased on Amazon.

Use a damp cloth to clean the surface of your garment and leave it for a few minutes to dry. Then apply the balm using a soft dry cloth and circular motions over all surfaces. Let it soak in for twenty minutes. Remove any remaining residue with a clean part of the cloth and buff the leather to give it a discreet shine.

How do I wash my leather?

Leather should never be machine-washed. Instead, wash the exterior of your leather item by hand, using soft detergents to spot-clean the garment.

Avoid hard cleaners and use a colourfast, slightly damp cloth to remove the superficial stains. If you are in doubt and have a particularly precious garment to take care of, look for specialist laundries that handle leather apparel.

How do I best store my leather clothes?

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on

Leather garments should never be stored folded, as this can damage the patina and result in early ageing. Instead, place leather garments on padded coat hangers and keep them in a dry space.

If you live in a particularly humid environment, make sure where it is kept leaves air to circulate and has access to daylight without direct sunlight. Taking your leather out for some air is a good idea too.

What to do if my leather is mouldy?

Humid environments contribute to leather garments going mouldy. If your garment has been affected, isolate it from the rest of your wardrobe to prevent mould from spreading.

In this extreme case, professional cleaning is best. If you’d like to remove it at home, take damp cotton or microfibre cloth and dip it in a little white vinegar with a few drops of lemon juice. Then swipe this over the surface of the leather to remove the mould, and repeat until you are certain all the remaining spores are gone. Do this outdoors while wearing a protective mask as spores can be a health hazard, and then leave the item in direct sunlight to dry.

What to do if my leather jacket is soaking wet on a rainy day?

Water is normally not a problem for leather, and the garment can be hung to dry somewhere airy. Avoid placing it on the radiator or near artificial heat sources as this risks distorting or warping the shape. If it is suede, small rain spots can often be gently buffed away with a soft suede brush.

Sources used:

- The Guardian: 'Cover your hide: how to care for leather clothing'

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