Tips for leather cleaning

By: chesshirecat

Jan 11 2009

Category: Cleaning Leather

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Hey all, I was roaming around…and I found this very interesting website. I pulled this from the website, but y’all feel free to visit for yourself. It’s a website that sells biker leather.
http://www.squidoo.com/Biker-Leathers

Care For Your Biker Leathers
Helpful Tips
Leather care for your biker jackets, vests, and chaps is relatively easy if you take preventative measures. Store it so it can breathe (no plastic!), wipe off spills and dirt on smooth leather with a damp cloth, regularly brush suedes and nubucks. Fix hem problems with a touch of rubber cement. For major cleaning, avoid at-home products (especially waxes and other items that clog up leather pores); find a leather cleaning specialist.

There are four stages in caring for your mens leather jackets, womens leather jackets, vests,and chaps that include cleaning, conditioning, polishing, and protection. When perusing the store shelves for a product that fits your needs, be watchful for what kind of product you’re purchasing. It can be confusing to try and figure out which product is for which stage, but look for words that explain how the product is to be used. It is also important to remember to work on your leather in a well-ventilated area. Some leather care products are very strong and can cause irritations.

Cleaning

To clean a leather item, such as a biker vest, first choose a cleaner that will help preserve the natural lubricating oils instead of stripping them. For example, saddle soap is a commonly used product for equestrian tack. It is meant to be used as a cleaner and a protector from moisture, but it strips the leather of the oils in the process of attempting to do two jobs at once. The cleaner of your choice should not leave any greasy residue behind. Residue makes leather susceptible to bacteria and can break down the stitching of your item. Before applying anything to your leather item, be certain to test it out for effect and possible color distortion on an area that isn’t visible to the eye. Once you’ve ascertained whether the leather care product is acceptable to use, apply it to your item. With a slightly dampened cloth, remove the cleaning product. For areas with stitches, there are brushes available on the market. Another cleaning product to consider having in your leather care collection is a nubuck cleaning cloth. They have an astonishing ability to clean and restore leather to its original look.

Conditioning

Leather conditioners are meant for occasional use. They contain fats and/or oils that help lubricate leather and replenish the suppleness. Look for a product that will penetrate the strong fibers in leather, but beware of any that include petroleum or mineral oils. While petroleum by-products won’t damage your leather immediately, they do over a period of time. Again, just as with cleaning, keep on the look out for thick, greasy conditioning treatments for the best care of your leather.

Polishing

Polishing is done for special occasions when you want a more glossy finish on your leather. There are a couple things to be wary of when purchasing a polishing agent. Some products contain coloring factors that will brush off on things you come in contact with. Some products also have a tendency to clog the pores in leather or dry out the leather. Just as with cleaning, be sure to test out the product on a small area and when ready, buff to a shine.

Protection

Moisture barriers are extremely crucial in preventing rain or other liquid hazards from damaging leather. Stiffness and spouting will happen if leather isn’t protected beforehand. There is a drawback in protecting leather with a moisture barrier product. They tend to fill in the pores with a greasiness that makes cleaning, conditioning, and polishing difficult, but it’s a necessary process to ensure leather isn’t destroyed. Periodically apply a moisture barrier and allow it time to penetrate and dry before using your leather item.

By following these tips your biker leathers will bring you many years of comfort, style and lasting protection.

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