Caring For Leather

For centuries, leather has been used for residential furniture, clothing and accessories (including protection), and in modern times for commercial applications and car interiors. However, inherent with the cozy leather sofa, a great pair of shoes or a stylish upholstered wall treatment comes the frustration of keeping them clean.

The number one proviso is to keep leather furniture, including car interiors, out of direct sunlight to prevent drying and cracking the leather.Should this rule not be totally practical for your purposes you’ll need to nourish your leather, which even applies to your clothing and accessory items. The best way to do this is to mix one-part white vinegar with two- parts linseed oil, shake well and apply the solution to the leather item using a soft cloth. Always work in a circular motion, covering the entire surface. Rub the solution in thoroughly and let it sit for about 10 minutes before buffing the surface with a clean soft cloth.This will bring a shine to the leather surface. To be safe, you may need to buff once more before sitting on furniture or sliding into your car.

Dip a cotton swab into rubbing alcohol and very gently go over stubborn stains such as ink. Dry the area with a blow dryer, keeping the heat source about a foot or so away from the surface. If the stain remains after drying, apply a thick coat of non-gel, non-oily cuticle remover and leave it on overnight.Wipe the spot off with a damp cloth next morning.

Mix a paste of one-part lemon juice with one-part cream of tartar to remove dark stains from light-colored leather upholstery. Use a soft cloth on your fingertip to rub the paste on the stain, leaving it in place for about 10 minutes. Apply another portion of the paste to remove the first layer, working it in to soften the original mixture. You can clean up by using either a damp sponge or a damp sponge topped with moisturizing soap.

Use a quality moisturizing soap, such as Dove, for general leather cleaning. Lather the soap on with a soft cloth to wash the item, which will remove dirt and grime. Do not over wet the leather and do not rinse after washing.Simply buff the surface with a soft cloth; this allows the moisturizing soap to condition the leather.

Removing spots on suede is a whole different problem. For suede furniture, shoes and clothing try an art gum eraser first. Use undiluted white vinegar on a soft cloth if the eraser doesn’t do the trick. Be sure to blot – never rub when cleaning suede. Once the spot is gone, take a soft bristle or shoe brush to gently rework the nap of the suede. Let dry

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