Leather Care Products | How To Clean & Condition Leather
Leather Care Products and How to Clean Leather
Cleaning Leather and Leather Care is an easy task that should never be overlooked. Leather demands, at the very least, the same consideration that is given to all fine wood furniture and should be cared for and maintained on a regular basis. Leather care performed correctly will preserve the natural beauty and suppleness of the leather, while extending it's life dramatically. Neglecting your leather can prove very costly, particularly if it is antique leather. Having to replace any leather because of neglect is costly and tragic but if it is antique leather, it can be devastating, as all of the historic value is lost.
About Leather / Leather Care Tips
Leather is a porous material but very durable and because of this quality there is a tendency to neglect it. Unfortunately, because of the leathers porosity, it is vulnerable to contaminants such as dust, dirt, grease, grime, smoke, perspiration and other environmental toxins. These toxins can settle on the surface of the leather and potentially damage or discolor it. Eventually, if neglect or poor maintenance continues, the toxins will migrate into the leather pores and affect the integrity of the leather fibers. It is at this moment that the leather fibers will begin to deteriorate, losing strength and flexibility, which becomes noticeable when the leather hardens and begins to crack. Heat and sunlight are particularly harmful to leather, as they will dry the natural oils, fade the color of the leather and accelerate the degradation of the leather. UV light is responsible for the leather fading but it also increases the temperature of the leather, producing heat that will dehydrate the leather fibers. Heating vents, space heaters and fireplaces are heat sources that should also be considered. Leather furniture and leather articles should be moved out of the direct sunlight and away from other harsh heat sources. If doing so is not possible, practical or desirable, then developing a leather care and maintenance plan becomes more critical.
Leather Care Products
Deciding on leather care products can be confusing and a bit overwhelming, particularly with so many leather care products and methods from which to choose. It is important to remember that leather is a dynamic natural material that is affected by its environment. Simply put, it is skin that has been tanned to resist decay. The key word here is "resist" decay and although leather is very durable, it will not last indefinitely. Generations? Yes, if like most other things, you care for the leather...properly. Think of leather care in a similar way that you would care for your own skin. Leather should be cleaned and maintained, kept out of harsh and detrimental environments, deep cleaned and conditioned once and awhile, and sometimes just left alone. But unlike your skin, leather is unable to regenerate the natural oils and nutrients needed to maintain elasticity and suppleness. So "feed" and love your leather as you would care for your own skin, using quality leather care products that are safe, avoiding harsh chemicals and leather care products containing silicon that is known to desiccate the leather. Do not use leather care products that simply sit on the leather surface and become sticky and collect dust. Dust particles on leather are known to be abrasive and under perfect conditions, become reactive if moisture is introduced. In other words, love your leather, love your furniture and love life!
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