Joe from Art’s Cleaners in Middletown Shares some Preventative Care Tips for your leather & suede.
Most leather specialty shops sell leather protectors—sprays that guard your garment from stains, water, and skin oil damage.
- Leather conditioner keeps leather soft and pliable, and helps it repel water. Condition at least four times a year, or more if your leather is regularly exposed to rain or sun.
- Avoid spraying hairspray, perfume, or cologne while wearing your leather.
- Always hang leather garments on padded hangers to help retain their shape.
- Never store leather in plastic or non-breathable covers —it could cause leather to dry out and lose its integrity. Instead, cover leather items with an old sheet for long-term storage.
- Keep leather out of direct sunlight and heat to prevent fading. Avoid very humid or dry environments.
- If your leather gets wet, blot dry with a towel. Hang up and dry at room temperature naturally away from heat sources.
- Use leather conditioner after garment has dried. Natural drying sucks moisture out of leather and may cause it to become brittle or crack over time.
- If stain is fresh, simply wipe it off with a soft, damp cloth. Do not rub.
- If stain is oily, sprinkle baking soda on it, let sit overnight to absorb. Wipe off with a damp cloth.
- Don’t use regular fabric stain removers on leather—they are likely to damage it.
- When using specialty leather cleaner, always test in an inconspicuous area first. Dab a little cleaner on and blot with a soft white cloth. If no color from the garment bleeds onto the cloth, the cleaner is safe to use.
- You can always play it safe by taking your leather garments to your neighborhood cleaner —they’ll have the expertise to help you look good.
More Preventative care Tips for your Suede
- Purchase a suede protector from a leather or suede specialty store. This will give your suede item a defense against water damage and stains.
- Suede brushes are recommended to keep suede’s unique texture. Brush gently in a circular motion to raise the nap and restore softness.
- Do not store suede items in plastic; they need to be able to breathe. Store them in old pillowcases or cover with a sheet.
- Store suede items in a dry, dark place. Moisture and light can cause mildew growth and fading.
- If your suede gets wet, blot the water with a towel.
- Allow the suede to dry in the open air. Don’t use heat to dry; this can damage the item.
- When dry, use a suede brush (available at leather and suede specialty stores) to restore the nap—the raised fibers that give suede its unique texture. Alternatively, a terry towel can help restore the look of suede.
- Don’t use at-home stain removers on suede; they may create a stain of their own.
- Use a nail file or suede brush to rub away dirt and dried mud from suede shoes. This also works for scuff marks.
- Oily stains like salad dressing, butter, and mayonnaise can be absorbed by talcum powder or cornstarch. Let the powder sit on the stain until it has been soaked up, then brush off. Take to a dry cleaner to remove any remaining stain.
- To help stop an ink stain from setting, use a damp—but not wet—cloth to gently wipe. Take the garment to a professional for complete stain removal.
- If a stain is severe, take the garment to your neighborhood dry cleaner—they will know the safe solution for suede’s and leathers to get the stain out.
Look your best TODAY!