Let’s state the obvious first. Leather comes from animal hide. Since it is no longer being nourished by the animal internally, you need to be the one who conditions and protects it. The more care you put into maintaining your leather, the longer your leather will last.
There are three main reasons your leather will breakdown:
- Oxidation either from oxygen, the ozone, or even heat. Basically, exposure to the outside elements will begin to wear down your leather. The more you are able to keep your leather away from extreme heat, sunlight and the elements, the better condition your leather will remain.
- Chemical damage either from the products you put on your leather or even from the by-products seeping out of your pores when you wear the leather. This is where leather cleaners, conditioners, and protectants can really help.
- Internal and external friction, chaffing and abrasions. It’s simple wear and tear. If you use anything, you have to expect that you are wearing it down.
So, what can be done? Actually, a lot! From the very first moment you bring leather home, you should be thinking of ways to care for it. In fact, the best thing you can do when you first get your leather is apply a protectant. This will combat against any degradation that might occur. Then, about every three months, you will want to clean your leather, condition it, and re-apply the protectant.
If you use your leather frequently, like a pair of boots or shoes, you will want to go through that routine a little more frequently. Also, if you live in especially dry or damp environments, you will definitely want to follow that routine more frequently. You should always wait for the leather to be dry before beginning any type of cleaning or conditioning. You should always make sure that the type of cleaner, conditioner and protectant you are using is appropriate for the type of leather you have. Softer leather, like suede, can stain and become damaged if you use the wrong type of products. So, read those labels.
The Crypt sells a product called Lexol for cleaning and condition. But, there are many products on the market. Neatsfoot oil and mink oil are pretty well-known products for leather conditioning. You can find leather care products in the shoe section of a lot of stores. You can also find them in furniture stores, leather clothing stores, and of course online.
Hope you found this information useful. Leave me a message if you have any questions.