A substantial bag or briefcase, a timeless leather jacket, a pair of versatile and stable boots, are all examples of quality wardrobe staples and their uses are varied and many. They often come with a bigger price tag but these anchor pieces will have you looking polished and poised for years to come – if you take care of them properly.
Your investment in leather and other specialty items doesn’t stop after purchase. Specialized care and cleaning are required to maintain the appearance and extend the life of these valuable garments.
Aside from having these items professionally cleaned occasionally, here’s what you can do at home to ensure you maintaining your investment pieces in “like new” condition.
- If leather clothing gets wet, let it air-dry at room temperature. If a garment has a liquid stain, gently blot with a clean cloth.
- Store leather on wide wooden or plastic or padded hangers, as that will maintain the garment’s shape.
- Do not store leather in hot or damp areas. The environment must be controlled for temperature and humidity.
- Do not cover stored leather in plastic – instead, use a breathable cloth like a cotton sheet.
- Don’t allow leather to be exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods of time.
- Handle leather bags with clean hands. Wipe the surface of a leather bag with a damp white cotton cloth, but be careful not to use too much water because leather takes time to dry.
- Moisturize your bag with a leather conditioner to keep it supple. Do not use a conditioner on patent leather bags.
- Have bags cleaned as soon as you notice a stain.
- Stuff your unused bags with bubble wrap to restore and hold its shape and store in a dust bag or a natural-fabric pillowcase. You can wrap the hardware in clean, acid-free tissue paper.
- Never allow water to soak into your bag. If the bag gets wet, do not use a hair dryer on it. Instead, absorb as much water as possible with a thick microfiber hand towel and allow the bag to air dry. Then, condition it again and store it.
- Protect your leather shoes by pre-treating them with a lotion or spray that repels dirt and water. Always test it on a small part of the shoe or boot first to make sure it doesn’t ruin the leather. Keeping the shoes polished will give them a barrier between dirt and the leather.
- If your shoes get wet, take a minute to wipe them with a soft cloth or paper towel.
- To dry out your shoes, place a shoe tree in them for about an hour or two. A simple unfinished cedar shoe tree with a split toe and a fully shaped heel will allow your recently worn shoes to contract and dry out to their ideal shape. Do this each time you wear your leather shoes to draw out moisture from average wear in all seasons.
- If you stepped in snow or a puddle and your leather shoes are completely wet, stuff soaking-wet shoes with crumpled up newspaper and dry them slowly away from direct heat. Direct heat can dry the leather too fast, causing them to crack and ruin. Before they’re entirely dry, insert cedar shoe trees to make sure they dry out evenly and maintain their shape.
We carefully inspect the condition of your leather items to determine the safest and most effective way to clean them, then use our system of carefully balanced detergents and solvents to make sure their natural oils are retained during the cleaning process. After cleaning, we reshape the items to give them a natural fit, and if needed we dye them with a specially mixed blend of colors to give it a balanced, natural look.
So get those boots and jackets out of the closet, and if they don’t look their best, bring them to one of Classic Cleaners’ 19 locations or leave them for your route driver if you are part of our FREE pick up and delivery service to both home and office. We’ll have your leather items ready in time for you to wear as soon as the temperature starts to drop this fall.