How to Preserve Leather


In order to give your purchased or made leather pieces a long life, it is very important to care for and treat them properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Leathers
  • Suede Brushes
  • Clean Cloth
  • Newspaper
  • Rag Paper
  • Leather Cleaners
  • Leather Conditioners
  • Saddle Soaps
  • Clean cloth
  • Use a finishing product or sealant at the end of your leatherworking project. Make sure that the finishing product you choose is safe for the type of leather and materials you've used. If necessary, use finishes that are meant to be used with leather dyes and paints.

  • Finish projects made with vegetable-tanned leather by working saddle soap or neat's-foot oil into the surface of the piece. Polish and then buff off the excess with newspaper or rag paper.

  • Keep your leather products as clean as possible. Dust, dirt and oils will cause damage (i.e. scratches) to the surface of the leather. Use cleaners made especially for leather, if necessary.

  • Maintain your leather pieces so that professional cleaning is not necessary. Even professional cleaning will alter the color somewhat.

  • Keep all leather products from getting wet. If something is spilled on the leather, blot the area dry with a clean cloth as soon as possible, and allow the area to dry thoroughly.

  • Remove dirt from soiled suede before the dirt has time to set in. Allow the piece to dry completely, if necessary, and then brush thoroughly with a suede brush.

  • Keep leather pieces soft and supple with a conditioner designed specifically for leather. Apply the conditioner with a clean cloth, work it into the leather and then buff the piece until the excess conditioner has been removed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure to apply any finishing products as recommended by the manufacturer. Some types of leather need special products.
  • Purchase leather finishing and care supplies at a leather supply store.

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