How to Make Leather Goods Last

How to Make Leather Goods Last | Kaufmann Mercantile

Classic Bifold by Orox Leather Co. ($90)

One thing that's for certain is that leather is durable and dependable, making it an ideal material for wallets, backpacks, shoes, and belts. With a classic aesthetic that’s designed to last, these timeless pieces can hold up to years of use and wear. You just have to properly care for the material to ensure that it has a long life and remains lookin' good. If you follow a few simple maintenance steps, your trusty boots and wallet will remain functional and develop that worn-in, personalized look that quality leather is known for.

Important Note: Before you use a new product on your favorite leather accessory, always remember to spot-check it on an unobtrusive spot — just in case any discoloration occurs.

Clean

Regularly clean off the everyday dust and dirt that accumulates on your leather goods. When left unattended, these can cause irritation and minor wear and tear, affecting the leather’s appearance. So, once a week, you’ll want to take a dry, soft towel (a microfiber cloth is usually a good choice), and wipe down the leather. Assuming there’s not much dirt, this should be sufficient. However, if there’s still some grime left over, add some water to the cloth, making sure it’s only slightly damp, and clean the leather again.

If you notice a stain appear, clean it as soon as possible. Blot the mark with a damp cloth and a bit of mild dish soap. This should dissipate most of the stain without harming the leather.

Cobbler's Choice Microfiber Cloth

Cobbler's Choice Microfiber Cloth ($10)

Condition

A few times a year, it's good to condition your leather goods. The frequency will depend on how often you use the product and the climate you live in. When in doubt, look at the item and see if it’s showing signs of fading or drying out. If it is, then it’s time to condition so that it can stay hydrated and healthy. Add a natural conditioner to the cloth and lightly rub it into the leather. Give it a few minutes to absorb, and then wipe off any extra product with another clean cloth. Unlike spot-cleaning, it's important to condition the entire piece in one go. Conditioning can affect the color of the product, and you'll want to keep a consistent look.

Chamberlain's Leather Milk

Polish

That’s really all you need to maintain your leather. However, if desired, you can polish it, too. This decision is solely for aesthetics, but it does add a nice shine — especially beneficial for fancier pieces like dress shoes. First, wipe off any dirt buildup from the surface. Then, take a soft cloth, put the polishing cream on it, and massage the cream into the leather using small circular motions. After giving the polish a few minutes to absorb, take a horsehair brush and, using short, quick strokes, remove any leftover polish.

Otter Wax Leather Oil

Otter Wax Leather Oil for Polishing ($9.95)

In addition to taking these steps to make your leather last, make sure to avoid the following things:

1. Never apply heat to your leather to dry it, even if your shoes or bag get soaked in the rain. Just blot away as much of the excess liquid you can, and let the rest air-dry.

2. Never store your leather in any kind of plastic bag. If you need to transport your leather goods somewhere, use a container that lets them breathe.

3. Finally, keep your leather out of direct sunlight, which can dry out the leather and make it fade more quickly than it would on its own.

Now that you know how to make leather goods last, shop our collection with confidence that you'll be using and enjoying them for years to come. 

 Tefors 48Hr Switch Backpack | Kaufmann Mercantile

Rum All Leather 48Hr Switch Bag by Tefors ($385)

Cafe Leather Driving Gloves | Kaufmann Mercantile

Triton Driving Gloves by Cafe Leather ($130)

Lo Esencial Leather Fanny Pack | Kaufmann Mercantile

Neutral Handcrafted Leather Fanny Pack by Lo Esencial ($129)

Orox Leather Co. Viator Tote | Kaufmann Mercantile 
Viator Tote by Orox Leather Co. ($650)

Risdon & Risdon Leather Apron | Kaufmann Mercantile

Full Grain Leather Apron by Risdon & Risdon ($438)

Shop more leather goods here.

 

Written by Dani Howell

We donate 1% of Kaufmann Mercantile shop sales to charities or entities that promote social justice and reform or provide relief. Read the Kaufmann Mercantile Mission for our commitment to donations, diversity, equity, and anti-racism action.