Most of us use the Internet for various forms of advice - whether it's to find great places to eat, things to do over the weekend, or how to properly clean and maintain your leather goods (wink).
There's an old saying - never trust everything you read on the Internet, and that cannot be any more true when it comes to finding out more about how to take care of leather. Many websites claim of various remedies or solutions you should try, without much science behind them. It's important that you separate the truths from the lies to prevent any unnecessary damage to your goods, and we at Honest Crafters are here to help.
We're giving you 5 things you should NEVER use on leather - regardless of what the Internet says!
Before we start...
Before we get into the specifics, it's important to note that any product that contains alcohol (at high concentrations) and/or acetone is bad for leather, period. Alcohol and acetone, as solvents, can strip the leather of its finish, causing it to lose colour and affect its appearance. This knowledge would serve you well in determining what product should or should not be used to care for leather.
What happens when you wipe your leather wallet with rubbing alcohol. (Credits: Reddit user BojiveDiddlybop)
1. Nail polish remover
Nail Polish Remover is commonly claimed as a great product for leather care due to its strong ability to dissolve chemical substances, and thus being able to remove pesky stains. However, one of the main ingredients that make up nail polish remover is acetone - a big no-no for leather care! Unless you want a big spot to appear on your leather, nail polish remover should never be used. Use other products or non-acetone nail polish removers instead, as it will be much less damaging to your leather goods.
2. Wet wipes
These seemingly harmless and gentle wipes can cause quite a bit of damage to your leather goods as well! Wet wipes and baby wipes contain numerous chemicals and substances that may affect the colour/finish of the leather, dry out the leather or allow a build-up of grease. We suggest using wipes specially designed for leather care/conditioning to prevent any possible damage!
Yup, Hairspray is suggested on some websites as a great way to remove ink stains from leather. We have a perfect reason to believe this is completely wrong - first of all, hairspray contains a substantial amount of alcohol, which would only serve to damage the colour of leather. Second of all, the sticky residue it creates serves as a magnet for dirt and dust, worsening the condition of the leather.
Another infamous homemade remedy, Mayonnaise has commonly been cited as a useful way to get rid of dirt and stains on leather. Some say it work because the oil present in the mayonnaise seeps into the leather and displaces the stains in the leather - which may be true, but it also creates another stain in its place. Lesson learned - don't use mayo.
5. Regular Soap / Detergent
Yes, even Soap, when not used properly, can worsen the condition of your leather instead of improving it! Using regular soap or detergent for leather care can leave residue on the leather, making it hard for the material to breathe. This serves as a perfect recipe for the leather to crack and dry out.
If you're using soap, be extremely gentle when using it with leather. Use mild ones such as facial soap or mild detergent, dilute with eight parts water to one part soap, and spray it onto a cloth/sponge to apply - not the leather itself!
We at Honest Crafters hope that you have gained some insight into how various 'remedies' or 'solutions' can negatively affect the condition of your leather. We believe that to take proper care of your leather, it is important to invest in speciality leather care products that do not damage the leather - such as our Honest Crafters' Leather Aftercare Kit!
If you need your favourite bag serviced, why not get it serviced with Honest Crafters? WhatsApp us now at +65 9487 0688 for enquiries or to request a quotation!