Product Spotlight - Leather Care
Leather is at its best when properly cleaned and nourished. Proper maintenance and care will extend the life and beauty of all your leather goods; from sofas and car seats to wallets, saddles, bags and shoes.
Whilst there are a number of commercial leather cleaners available, it can be easily cleaned using simple ingredients you are likely to have in your home already.
Leather furniture should be thoroughly vacuumed before cleaning.
Two easy cleaning methods:
- A mixture of vinegar and olive oil in equal proportions can be whisked together and used as a general cleaner. Ensure that the residue is wiped away afterwards with a lint-free cloth.
- Another alternative to the vinegar and oil method is soap and water. Dishwashing liquid or liquid hand soap is excellent when mixed with a little warm water. Just a squirt into about 300mls of water is ample, particularly as dishwashing liquid tends to be very concentrated. Whisk together and apply using a lint-free (white or colour fast) cloth by dipping into the mixture and squeezing out before wiping over the dirty areas. You can work on heavily soiled areas with a drop of the liquid soap directly on the cloth. All excess soap should be wiped away afterwards.
Both mixtures can be used with a sprayer bottle.
Two tips for stain removal:
- Rubbing alcohol can be very effective for spot cleaning stains. After testing in an inconspicuous area to ensure the finish is not affected in any way, use a lint-free cloth to gently dab stains. Ink stains can be removed but take care not to work on too large an area as the alcohol can spread the stain because it ‘thins’ the ink.
- Chewing gum, wax and other sticky substances can be removed by holding an ice pack against them. They become more brittle in lower temperatures and can be picked off with your finger or a plastic spoon.
Feeding and Polishing Leather
Feeding the leather is vital to maintain its suppleness. Again, there are several products on the market, which can be used to moisturise. We are, of course, biased and recommend our own Gilly’s Leather Care. This is a rich, soft and easy to apply balm that will rejuvenate and maintain anything leather.
In fact, it’s not limited to leather. You can actually use it on vinyl (both household and vehicle upholstery) and even raw timber. This product has a very gentle citrus aroma (from a natural solvent derived from orange peels) and is completely non-toxic. You can even buff it to a soft sheen as it contains beeswax.
Regularly polishing (buffing) your leather with a microfibre (or similar) cloth will help to retain the original sheen that is so appealing on new leather. This also helps to smooth out tiny scuffs and scratches that occur naturally as a part of everyday wear and tear. Do this as a matter of course each time you clean the leather.
Where possible, particularly in the case of furniture, keep leather away from direct sunlight.
Our Leather Care is available in 100ml, 200ml, 1L and 2L tins. If you scroll down to the bottom of the description, you can download the Product Data Sheet, which provides detailed information on the product.