How to clean / disinfect leather is the topic for today.
First thing you want to know when you disinfect leather: by using powerful disinfectant cleaners, you are going to pull good stuff out so please do not use your hand sanitizer spray or gel to clean your full grain leather bag or wallet or garment. Leather is held together by thousands of tiny fibers, which are themselves knitted together by microscopic protein bonds. These protein bonds prevent the fibers from chafing against each other as your leather bends and flexes by keeping everything lubricated. They oil the machine up.
Unfortunately, when there’s not enough oil those protein bonds can’t do their lubricating thing, the fibers go berserk and start grinding each other to dust. Deep cleaners, often made of alcohol, are indiscriminate rabble-rousers, and will pull your leather’s oils out while they purge the bad stuff.
So what can be done with full grain leather
Here’s an easy, DIY cleaning recipe, you really have no excuse for neglecting your leather. So get to work. Note: this recipe is not recommended for suede.
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Spray bottle
- White cotton cloth
- Mix white vinegar and olive oil in a spray bottle and shake well.
- Lightly mist a small section of your leather bag and wipe clean with a dry cotton cloth.
- Shake bottle again and repeat until you’ve cleaned the entire bag.
HOW IT WORKS
The vinegar will clean the leather and aids as a natural disinfectant while the olive oil serves as a natural moisturizer. (The vinegar smell will dissipate after it’s dry.) This homemade recipe is ideal for regular care and maintenance of your leather bag. We recommend using it every month or so. OR you can save yourself the trouble, and just buy our leather cleaner. (Which conveniently does NOT cost an arm and a leg.)
If, however, you have another cleaner you want to disinfect leather with, here’s some general tips.
Leather’s got a pH value – the measure of acidity or alkalinity – generally around a 4.5, so it’s fairly acidic. The problem with many of your commercial and hospital grade cleaners (Lysol, bleach, etc.) is that they’ve got an alkaline pH level. So what happens is that every time your leather comes into contact with those cleaning agents, a chemical reaction is sparking up while those acidic and alkaline properties try to neutralize each other. I’ll spell it out for you: your leather’s getting messed up.
SO DON’T DO THAT
Keep an eye out for pH values when you disinfect leather. Apart from that, make sure that you always test whatever treatment on your leather before you apply it to the whole thing. Lastly, it helps if it’s made for leather specifically. Leather’s a pretty unique material when it comes to materials. A good principle to follow is that if you would hesitate to put it on your own skin, it’s probably not a good idea to put it on your leather. It was, after all, skin at one time.
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