Classic, stylish and durable, a great leather product should last you a lifetime. However, just like most other things, your leather products will become dirty, soiled or scratched over time. The amount of dirt depends on the type of product as well as the use. For example, leather shoes tend to get dirtier, as compared to leather furniture or handbags. When exposed to dirty, dry or wet conditions, leather will require specialized cleaning and conditioning to maintain its shape, strength, and appeal. Whether you have just bought your first leather item or you are a lifetime leather lover, here are some simple maintenance tips to ensure your leather shoes, handbags, gloves, saddles, furniture or purses are always in excellent condition.
How to care for your leather
Start with leather cleaning for dirty or worn leather
As much as leather is hard-wearing and durable, it sometimes requires cleaning to remove grease, stains, soil and other forms of dirt. When leather absorbs these forms of dirt, the oils already inside can become discolored and contaminated. Therefore, it’s advisable to remove these stains as soon as possible. When it comes to cleaning leather, focus on removing stains while preventing the leather from excessive drying.
When cleaning leather, you want to spray a small amount of cleaner on the leather, or apply the leather cleaner with a lint-free cloth. Gently massage the cleaner over the leather to remove dirt and grime, concentrating on heavily soiled or stained areas. (Always test any product you apply to your leather in a discreet area first.)
Once you have completely removed the dirt, allow the leather to dry completely.
Never use harsh soap, baby wipes or strong chemicals for cleaning or removing stains. This can lead to discoloration, drying, cracking and the buildup of grease, among other issues. For ink marks, remove them as soon as possible to prevent them from penetrating the deeper layers of the leather. If you are unable to do that, always take your item to a professional. Never use water to remove grease stains, since you will be only spreading them to a larger surface.
Read about how to clean leather car seats.
Leather Honey Leather Cleaner
Our leather cleaner was formulated to comply with our company’s high standards. The product is entirely non-toxic, offering a safe, gentle way to clean all leather but suede. It can also be used for cleaning vinyl, rubber, plastic and faux leather.
Condition the leather with a quality leather conditioner
Conditioning adds moisture and nourishment to the leather. Leather tends to dry out, crack or peel over time. With new leather, conditioning helps to keep the surface soft and supple to prevent these issues and maintain the flexibility of the leather’s inner fibers. The conditioning method applied will depend on the type of leather used to make your item. Oil-tanned leathers are oil-resistant, water-resistant, as well as perspiration resistant. Therefore, they may need less conditioner as compared to the other types.
To condition your leather, apply a bit of conditioner to a lint-free cloth, then gently apply to your leather in a thin, even coat. Never squirt or apply leather conditioner directly to the leather; doing so may cause more product to absorb at the first application site, leaving an uneven appearance at first. (We recommend testing any leather conditioner in a discreet area, as suggested with cleaning.)
Allow the conditioner to dry for at least two hours, or overnight if you have the time. Then gently buff off any excess. For older or excessively dry leather, you may need to apply an additional coat.
Leather Honey Leather Conditioner
Leather Honey Leather Conditioner is excellent for all types of genuine leather except suede.
Leather care tips to prevent damage
Avoid salt and water.
Salt and water are bad for all types of natural leather. On raw cut or untreated leather, water tends to darken its texture while compromising on softness and texture. When combined with salt, the part that is exposed to water may begin to deteriorate. If not tackled promptly, it can even leave a lasting ridge on the leather’s surface.
Don’t leave leather exposed in the sun.
Extended exposure to heat and sun will compromise the feel and quality of your leather products. Avoid storing or leaving leather items in contact with direct sunlight for long periods. If your leather becomes wet, allow it to dry naturally for at least one day before you use it again. Also, you should never dry leather using a heater or fireplace. Doing so will morph, damage or even crack the leather.
Stay away from wax.
Wax and wax-based products build upon the surface of the leather, eventually clogging the leather’s pores and preventing it from breathing. The leather is then susceptible to rot or extreme dryness beneath the wax. Wax is also difficult to remove from the surface of the leather once applied. We recommend avoiding wax and wax-based products for this reason.
Frequently asked questions about leather care
How do I remove odors from the leather?
Natural leather is a porous material. Therefore, it can absorb various smells, including smoke and perfume. There are multiple ways of dealing with this issue. First, our leather cleaner often removes odors from leather, including cigarette smoke and pet smells. However, if your leather item is upholstered, keep in mind that you may also need to treat the interior foam or cushion, which also absorbs the smell.
If our cleaning the leather with our cleaner isn't enough, you can try a few more DIY hacks: If the item is small, such as a wallet or a purse, you can wrap it in a newspaper. Since a newspaper is porous, it will absorb the odor.
Baking soda can also do the job. If the item is small, you merely need to sprinkle it with baking soda and then leave it in a sealed container for at least 24 hours. Clean it with a dry cloth after removal and the odors will have disappeared. As always, we recommend spot testing anything you apply to your leather.
Learn more on how to get bad smells out of leather.
How often should I condition my leather?
The frequency of the conditioning process depends on the type of leather you have and your climate. As a rule, regular leather conditioning should be done twice per year. However, if you frequently expose your leather items to the sun, then you may want to condition them three to four times annually.
Does leather conditioning waterproof the leather?
When leather gets wet or rain-damaged, the moisture forms a bond with the oils present in the leather. Once the water dries out, it usually draws the oils out, thus leaving the leather brittle and dry. Water can also remove some of the dyes present in the leather, leaving splotches or spots on the surface. Leather Honey Leather Conditioner is water resistant and controls mildew. However, we do not recommend waterproofing your leather, as products that are waterproof seal the leather's pores and cause the leather to dry out. A waterproofer will also prevent you from conditioning in the future.
How do I care for leather shoes?
Shoes are typically the most used piece in a wardrobe. Therefore, your leather shoes will have higher maintenance demands as compared to the other items.
If you are not wearing your dress shoes, keep shoetrees inside them. Cedar shoetrees help shoes maintain their shape and reduce creasing. Ensure you clean and condition your leather dress shoes regularly.
Everyday wear or work-style boots don’t require intensive care. However, you should wipe them at least twice per week to remove odors and stains. You should condition them at least every six months.
How do I care for leather wallets and purses?
With wallets and bags, your primary concern should be avoiding over-filling them. Once these items stretch, they will not return to their original shape. Since bags are not subjected to the amount of beating as shoes, their maintenance needs are minimal. To keep them in great shape, clean the leather frequently and then condition them every six months.
Do you have leather care tips for leather jackets?
Jackets are similar to shoes. Ensure you condition them every six months especially if you wear them frequently. The amount of cleaning or conditioning comes down to how the item feels or appears. If it looks dry and small cracks are already emerging, then you should give it specialized attention. When it comes to leather jackets, they need to be soft and supple. To achieve this effect, use our conditioner regularly.
Leather is delicate and requires special treatment but can last for decades when cared for properly. With just a bit of cleaning and conditioning now and then, your leather purse, boots, handbag or tote bag will become your lifelong partner – through thick and thin.
Leather Honey™, The World's Best Leather Conditioner & Leather Cleaner
- #1 Selling Leather Care Products on Amazon
- Invented in 1968 and still sold by the same family
- Non-Toxic, Water Resistant, Controls Mildew
- Great for All Leather – Our leather conditioner works to replenish moisture and protect all types of genuine leather, new and old.
- Long Lasting – Our long-lasting conditioner means one application lasts six months or longer (other, less-effective products require application once a month). Leather Honey penetrates deep into the leather, moisturizing the individual fibers from the inside out. Other products merely sit on the surface, creating a superficial conditioned appearance that requires frequent applications.
- NO Animal Products, NO Silicone, NO Toxins, NO Solvents, or Other Harmful Chemicals
- Made in the U.S.A. & Family Owned
- Our 8oz bottle is a good size for shoes, boots, handbags, and clothing.
- Our 16oz bottle is a good size for leather furniture and car interior uses.
Complete Leather Care Kit
Convenient kits include everything you need
With our product bundles, you get our Leather Honey premium conditioner, Leather Honey cleaner, and 2 application cloths.
What Our Customers Say
I love the Leather Honey! My leather couch is about 8 years old, and I had given up on the creams that I had been given by the furniture store, so it was fairly dry. The Leather Honey has made the leather soft again, and with a couple more coats it should be almost as good as new. Great Product! and I will definitely let others know about your product."
I used Leather Honey on my expensive leather Irvin jacket, which is a copy of the fleece-lined coat worn by British Royal Air Force pilots in World War II. The jacket,though unworn, was dry from storage. Your concoction brought it back to life. I particularly like the fact that after treatment there was no sticky or oily residue. I'm going to try it on some of my antique military cartridge boxes and sword and bayonet scabbards next."