Breathcatchers

A few tips of how to care for your leather

After going through the expense and excitement of selecting your leatherwear, sometimes it is easy to forget to regularly clean and maintain these items. Remembering that leather wear is, after all, skin, it needs to be regularly cleaned and conditioned to maintain top lasting quality, comfort, and texture. Within this article, you’ll find all the information you need to care for your leather products.

 

Cleaning leatherwear

When wearing your leather, any continued contact with moisture, (sweat, urine, alcohol, for example), can cause damage to the leather that results in uncomfortable stiffening. Using baby shampoo, fill a bucket with warm, soapy water to lightly wipe down your leather to remove and prevent marks, stains, and odors. Baby shampoo can also be rubbed directly on the leather to help remove oily stains. Take care to rinse the soap with clean, warm water from all leather surfaces, taking special care in areas of folded leather or around buckles, keepers, or fastenings.

It’s wise to disassemble garments and restraints with fastenings to be able to reach any areas where leather folds around a buckle or keeper;  these areas become very dry and are vulnerable to not only retaining odor or stains, but also becoming cracked and dried out.

To dry your leather products, lay them flat in a ventilated area for up to 48 hours to air-dry as needed; never use a heating implement or position your products on or near a heat source to speed drying! This will and can dry out the hide of the leather wear and cause stiffening or even curling of the leather.

As the leather items dry, you may use a leather conditioner, a good shoe polish will work, on all non-suede surfaces of the leather to condition and protect the hide. Wipe on leather conditioner with a clean, dry towel, making certain to wipe away any excess conditioner not soaking into the grain of the leather.

If your leather is wrinkled, you can straighten it out by wearing it and use your body temperature. For larger and wider pieces this might not work, then you can also iron your leather. Use a cotton cloth to cover the leather you need to iron, and use medium heat. Iron on the leather side, not on the suede side.

Do not iron when the leather is wet!

 

Removing leatherwear stains

To remove sweat stains on your leather items, follow these simple instructions. Leather can become stiff or even irritating and itchy if sweat has permeated the leather item. To help soften the item and prevent further irritation, you can hand-wash the item with warm, soapy water (using baby shampoo, as above, and NEVER detergent or other harsh cleaning products), or use a very small amount of fabric softener.

To remove stains caused by oil-based lubricants, try using a few tablespoons of Lux Flakes or a small amount of baby shampoo with warm water directly on the stain. Gradually rub the soap into the stain to lighten and remove them. Oil-based lubricant stains can be very difficult to remove, but either of these products used should help lighten the stain if not completely fade it from the surface of your leather item.

To remove wax, set your iron on a low setting, (cool being preferable.) Apply a sheet of blotting paper directly on top of the wax stain. Use the iron to slowly go over the stain, changing blotting paper as necessary when the paper begins absorbing the wax. Continue to do this until the wax is completely lifted from your leather item.

Urine stains will cause severe damage to leather if not washed off immediately. If you should get a urine stain on your leather product, wash it IMMEDIATELY with warm, soapy water. Do not let the stain soak into the grain of the leather or leave the item overnight.

 

Care of metal fittings

If not cared for properly, metal fittings on your garments and restraints , including buckles, keepers, rivets, fasteners, and the like , can rust with consistent use or exposure to moisture. Most metal fittings are nickel-plated mild steel; others are brass-coated. While conditioning your leather wear, wipe a small amount on your metal fittings, wiping away any excess. When u clean your item with water, make sure to dry the metal parts as good as you can, to prevent rust.

Ensure your leather items are long-lasting and beautiful with the instructions given for careful care and maintenance.

 


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