How to Keep “The Chair” in the House Longer
For general cleaning and preservation of leather, you need to use a good quality water-based leather cleaner. You should NEVER use anything containing oils, waxes or silicone. (Most ‘conditioners’ contain waxes or oils and furniture polish contains silicone) . DO NOT use mink oil. A bottle of good quality leather cleaner should do your furniture 1-2 times.
Baby wipes are the worst thing you can use as they will destroy the finish on your leather. They are very strong alkaline cleaners to neutralize urine (acid) on baby’s skin so they are not the right thing to use on leather.
Saddle soap is too harsh to use on today’s leathers and saddles need treating in a different way to furniture. A lot of leather wipes contain chemicals which will destroy the finish or leave residues on the leather which will damage it.
Fairy liquid and household soaps contain more salt these days to get things clean and this will break the finish down on your leather. This has been verified by the manufacturers (as with the baby wipes).
You should also follow cleaning with a good water based leather protector which will act like a ‘scotchgard’ and inhibit dirt and stains from being absorbed and make cleaning easier the next time.
It is important to maintain a regular cleaning regime. Cleaning dirt off the surface regularly and inhibiting the absorption of body oils into the leather with a protector is the best.
Using household products may appear to work but will, in the long run, deteriorate the leather finish quicker and it may then be impossible to restore. It may seem cheaper to use products from the supermarket but if they do not work or damage the leather then it is a short sighted saving.
If the finish or leather has started to show signs of wear or cracking then cleaners will not help you. You will need to call a technician who will be able to do repair/restoration work on it. Do not be tempted by DIY products as they can lead to additional problems.