Leather is an evergreen material. From shoes to wallets, from clothes to furniture, it's used in all kinds of products. And no matter how old it becomes, it always stays in fashion. But have you ever wondered what makes the material so attractive and durable?
It's because firstly, it's a natural material that breathes; and secondly, it's very flexible. However, just like other materials, it does need some pampering over time.
As per Becky Rapinchuk, a green cleaning expert, if leather starts looking dry or less supple, it needs to be conditioned. But since it's a unique material, its conditioning would differ from other materials. Here's how you can keep your leather products new by using natural conditioners.
Which oil is the best for conditioning leather?
Many leather enthusiasts argue over which DIY oil is the best. Some even recommend oils ranging from coconut to olive to canola. But refuting such suggestions, Rapinchuk says using cooking oil for conditioning leather products is a big no-no. She reveals that kitchen oils might leave residues or spots on the leather, damaging the product.
In most cases, lemon oil proves to be effective in conditioning leather products. When ten drops of lemon essential oil are taken on a soft cloth and massaged into leather, the material comes back to life. Rapinchuk also adds that beeswax oil is the best “natural” oil to condition leather. She not only recommends it but also uses it herself to condition her leather products.
How to make your DIY leather conditioner at home?
Given below is the secret recipe to Rapinchuk's DIY conditioner that works with all kinds of leather. Still, we’d suggest you spot-test it on a small area of your product before massaging it all over the material.
Things you'll need
- Two to three soft clean pieces of cloth. Keep one aside for spot treatment
- Castile soap (this is for spot treatment)
- 100% natural beeswax oil
- First, clean all visible spots. Take a damp cloth, put some Castile soap on it, and rub the marks gently.
- Next, take another piece of cloth, dip it into beeswax oil, and massage it on the leather in small portions. Also, remember to rub it in circular motions.
- Once you’ve finished massaging, take a fresh cloth and remove the excess oil, if any.
Make sure you store smaller items like shoes, bags, jackets, etc., at room temperature, far away from direct light. Your best bet would be to keep them inside the breathable storage bags provided while purchasing them. If you don't have those bags, keep them inside pillowcases. Also, try to keep the products between 65 degrees and 72 degrees Fahrenheit where humidity is about 55%, or else molds, mildew, or cracks might appear on the leather. Another important thing is that you should repeat the conditioning process seasonally or at least every two years to keep the leather new forever.
Though leather comes costly, you can get good returns on your investment by taking good care of it. You can enjoy your favorite boots, recliners, purses for a long time by maintaining them properly, and leather conditioning is one trick to do so.