Leather is one of the world’s most versatile materials and has been used for thousands of years among many cultures. Despite all of the innovations that have occurred over the last few hundred years, we’ve yet to come across another material that boasts quite the same toughness and usability as leather.
But as tough as leather is, it can still be worn down and eventually start to crack, especially when it’s handled by people that don’t have a lot of experience looking after leather. Here we will explore some common leather-related mistakes and how to avoid making them.
1. Too Much Moisture
Leather is basically the result of extracting as much moisture as possible out of a piece of hide, and while it’s known for its astounding hydrophobic qualities, when exposed to too much water, it can compromise the leather.
A common mistake that many tend to make is using far too much water when cleaning their shoes, with some even using a hose pipe. There are much more efficient methods of cleaning and caring for leather that only require minimal water usage.
2. Cleaning With Soap
Soap can be used to clean just about anything, but there are some limitations to keep in mind when it comes to certain kinds of materials, such as leather. Soap is known for causing leather to dry out and become damaged, and should be avoided for cleaning leather as much as possible. It’s a much better idea to instead look for cleaning products that are specifically made to clean leather without damaging the material. Leather has a relatively low pH level, and it’s very easy for detergents and other harsh cleaning products to have a much higher pH.
3. Cleaning Too Often
It might seem like a good idea to clean and feed leather items as much as possible, but this is not really recommended. Leather does need some time between cleaning, allowing it to dry and become properly hydrophobic. Without the ability to harden and dry, it’s much easier for moisture to get into the material and into the pores, which is where the most damage is done, especially from water.
There doesn’t have to be a fixed schedule – but around once a month is usually enough for most leather items that get moderate usage, proving plenty of time to spend on Greyhound bets instead.
4. Sub-quality Leather Care Products
Good quality leather tends to be quite expensive, but it’s also material that can last for many years, and sometimes even decades. But a big part of this longevity is down not just to the quality of the leather, but how well it’s maintained. It’s easy to dismiss some of the more expensive leather care products due to the price, but there’s often a reason that they cost more. One of the very best leather feeds around is beeswax, but it’s always important to try and get extremely high-quality beeswax. Even just a little bit will last for an incredibly long time.