Leather is, technically, a dried skin, so it needs special care and maintenance the way that any natural material does. If you have a leather item in your life, especially a leather handbag, care is important, but it doesn’t have to be hard!
First, let’s cover the basics of leather care for all types of leather:
· Don't get it wet.
· If you do get it wet, dry it slowly.
· Store your leather goods in bags to keep them out of the damp and out of the light.
· Don’t stretch leather out, as it won’t shrink back to its original shape.
Got it? Great, let’s move on to specific leather types and how to care for them.
Leather that’s been painted has a smooth surface that’s stain resistant and easy to keep clean. The paint makes it durable and stain-repellant, so cleaning and maintenance is minimal.
If it does get dirty, all you have to do is wipe it down with a damp (not soaking or dripping) cloth. Ink and other dyes can still impact the color of painted leather, but if this is the case, then you’ll need to take it to a professional cleaner, as it will be difficult to remove.
Dyed leather is beautiful and looks very natural, so you don’t get that “manufactured” look that other leather treatments have. However, dyed leather is more prone to staining than painted leather because it has no defenses against dirt.
If you clean a stain from dyed leather, you may impact the color of the dye around the area that you cleaned up. This may mean that even if you clean the stain, you may still have to take it to a cleaners to be re-dyed.
Never use chemicals on dyed leather other than products specifically recommended by the manufacturer.
Shiny and glamorous, patent leather is a favorite for dress shoes and bags, but it is a bit of a diva when it comes to maintenance.
Patent leather should be wiped clean with a damp cloth if dirty; however, be very careful that you don’t scratch the surface. Scratches on patent leather do not come out, and patent leather can’t be polished like other leathers, so if it’s scratched, it’s nearly impossible to mend.
Don’t use grease or Vaseline on patent leather. While this will initially make your item appear shinier, the grease will degrade the leather almost immediately after application.
Suede and Nubuck
Suede and Nubuck are a napped treatment of leather that results in a soft, buttery smooth finish. The only difference between the nubuck and suede is that suede comes from the underside of a piece of leather and nubuck is the topside of the leather.
The rule of thumb here is not to get too fussy. Gentle rubbing with a stiff brush made specifically for suede and nubuck can loosen many surface stains, but don’t rub too hard or you’ll degrade the material.
If you’re going to rehydrate these leathers with a moisturizing compound, be sure you get one that’s specific for suede, otherwise the color of the leather will change and you’ll lose softness.
PIN IT FOR LATER