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How To Clean Leather

How To Clean Leather

 

A common question we get from customers who have bought a bobber seat or swingarm bag is “What’s the best way to clean leather?”

In light of this, we thought it might be helpful to write a blog post explaining how to keep your leather looking its best.

The Leather

Firstly, let’s look at the type of leather we use. Broadly speaking, there are two types of leather, chrome tanned and veg-tanned. We will write a post in the near future going into more depths on the difference between the two, but for now just know that our products are made from veg-tanned leather.

Veg-tanned leather is the kind that develops a fantastic patina as seen on vintage leather satchels, motorcycle saddles and panniers. The caveat is that it needs to be regularly conditioned to avoid drying out, cracking and potentially falling apart.

Cleaning

First start by removing any sand, dirt and grit off the leather surface using a brush of medium stiffness. Using our Lone Rider bobber seat as an example, be sure to get the bristles of the brush into the stitching line as this is a prime location for dirt to sit. On bags this also applies to areas around any buckles and fasteners.

Once that is done, use a clean and damp microfibre cloth to wipe the entire surface to remove any stubborn bits of dirt and crud that may have caked onto the leather. Wipe dry with a fresh cloth.

Conditioning

The last stage is what will preserve your leather and keep it looking its best. With veg-tanned leather, you want to avoid using chemical sprays. Instead, use a leather balm made from beeswax.

There are lots out on the market, but what you are looking for is a leather conditioner that is made from beeswax and contains some combination of natural oils such as lanolin, jojoba, sweet almond and neatsfoot. Different brands will contain various oils, but something like Renapur Leather Balsalm is a good one.

Take a dry microfibre cloth and apply the leather balm sparingly to your clean leather. Work into the leather by rubbing in small circular movements.

The balm will most likely darken your leather due to the increased moisture but after a while it will go back to its normal colour. Continue this process until you have conditioned all surfaces. Leave the leather to sit overnight and give it one final buff the next morning.

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