Taking Care of Your Leathers
June 13, 2013Tips for Taking Care of Your Leathers
Check out these simple tips and your leather will look beautiful and last for years.
Your motorcycle leathers are a safety investment, albeit a stylish one. For the most part, the more finished your leather is, the more resistant it is to spills and stains. Untreated leather absorbs liquids and oils, causing stains easily. Soap and water is good for routine maintenance, but always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions and test any cleaners in an inconspicuous area.
If you love the smell and look of your leather goods, take proper care of them with these tips:
- Use a cleaning product that will not clog the pores. Leather needs to breathe.
- Matching items (jacket and chaps, both gloves, both boots, etc.) should be cleaned at the same time. Commercial cleaners are known to produce a very slight color change after cleaning. If you get matching items cleaned at the same time, there won’t be a mismatch in color.
- Prevention is the best cure. Store in a dry area and avoid preparations that contain alcohol.
- Wet leather should be hung on a padded hanger and air dried. Apply some conditioner when the leather is almost completely dry.
- Small repairs can be done with rubber cement.
- Wipe up excess liquid spills immediately with a clean cloth or sponge. If necessary use clean lukewarm water and let the leather air-dry. For stains, apply a mild, non-detergent soap solution with a clean, wet sponge. Rinse well and let air-dry. For butter, oil, or grease, wipe the excess off the leather with a clean, dry cloth, and then leave it alone as the spot should dissipate into the leather in a short period of time. Do not apply water.
- Be careful with mink oil or other animal fats. They will darken leather.
- Stay away from turpentine and mineral spirits as they can take away color.
- Do not use waxes, or silicone formulas or other leather preparations that impair the ability of the leather to "breathe".
- To remove gum from leather heat it with a hair dryer until it is completely dry and then rub it off with a dry cloth. If there are any marks left apply some conditioner.