How to clean and condition pigmented leather
Pigmented leathers are practicle and servicable. They can look great for years before signs of wear and tear appear. Keeping them clean, nourished and protected can greatly extend that period of good looks as well as the usable life of the leather.
1) Cleanse (No.1) - its job is to remove soiling from the surface of the leather
2) Nourish (No.2) - its role is to penetrate, lubricate and moisturise at the structural level (keeping the fibres pliable and the leather supple)
3) Protect (No.3) - its job is to provide an invisible shield on the surface that minimises soiling and stains and makes cleaning easier. It also protects against UV damage (drying).
Available in a care kit
Accessories: brush, microfibre cloths
Gently scrub but do not rub
What's the difference? When it comes to cleaning leather, technique counts. It is usually safe to use a scrubbing brush to gently agitate into the grain to help remove grime and soiling from the surface of the leather.
'Rubbing' refers to focused, intense movement, usually with a cloth clad finger tip on one area. It is typically done to remove a stubborn mark and it often results is coatings abrasion leaving a 'bald spot'. To restore the coatings, a Repair & Recolour Kit is needed.
Keep it light and regular
Pigmented leather loves regular attention. For sofas, make it a 3 monthly service. For cars, it can be monthly or more frequently if you spend a lot of time in your vehicle. For apparel and accessories, clean, conditon and protect at the beginning and end of the season.
When care is regular, it takes less effort than when it is overdue. It is also much better for the health of your leather and coatings.
1) Apply a test spot of each product in an inconspicuous place to assess compatibility with your leather. Non-compatibility is rare and is more likely with damaged, vintage, very low and very high grade leathers due to non-standard finishes.
1) Vacuum any dust and particles.
2) Spray the cleaner directly onto the leather one section at a time. Working quickly and gently, agitate the cleaner into the grain using a scrubbing brush. Experiment with angles and pressures to find the best approach for your job. Avoid rubbing with a cloth to prevent damage to the coatings, indentations and loss of grain.
3) Wipe clean with a microfibre cloth
4) Repeat if needed
Overdue services typically require more product, a firmer technique and more effort.
When spills happen, act immediately. If you can remove the liquid before it penetrates or dries, the chance of staining is minimised. Fold a cloth into a pad. Pour on some cleaner. Using the palm of your hand, press and hold the cloth to the spill for a couple of seconds. Repeat using a fresh part of the cloth to wick as much liquid as possible from the leather.
2) Pour Nourish (No.2) on to a lightly dampened microfibre cloth and squeeze to incorporate
2) Wipe over the surface evenly and repeat until all areas have been treated
1) Pour Protect (No.3) onto a lightly dampened cloth or spray over one section at a time
2) Working quickly, wipe over the surface evenly and repeat until all areas have been treated.
Focus on the visible and invible dirt
Cleaning removes both the soiling you can see and the soiling you can't see - such as, body oil and perspiration. Whilst dust and dirt can abrade the coatings, body oil and perspiration undermine the adhesion of the coatings, causing delamination (where the coatings crack and flake off, leaving the leather exposed). As such, the main aim of leather cleaning is to remove the contaminants that promote the breakdown of the finish.
3 monthly care schedule
Whilst a 3 monthly service is ideal for most jobs, if your leather is used all day every day, a weekly, fortnightly or monthly service may be ideal. It's easier to keep leatehr clean than to get it clean after months or years of neglect. If useage is light, a damp cloth can be used to wipe over high traffic areas, between scheduled cleans.
When marks and stains are permanent, cleaning may minimise them but won't remove them completely. That's were recolouring comes in.
The best accessories for leather care are a brush and white microfibre cloths. Some leathers, such as sofas and car seats, can handle scrubbing with a medium bristle brush whilst others, such as fine, apparel leathers might be best treated with a soft bristle brush.
White cloths show you exactly what's happening as you work.
Keeping it clean
Cleaning is long overdue
Heavy soiling is embeded into the leather grain. It looks dirty, unhygienic and is damaging the leather and coatings.
A gentle circular motion
Here, a medium nylon bristle brush is being used at a 45 degree angle to gently swirl the cleaner over the surface and into the grain. Ample cleaner is used to dissolve the grime.
What a contrast
White leather shows soiling much more than other colours. Remember that all colours get dirty even if you can't see the grime. This service is long overdue. With a regular care regime in place, soiling is dramatically reduced.
More about conditioning pigmented leathers
Regular conditioning helps to maintain softness and suppleness. Nourish (No.2) is ideal for pigmented leathers. Other conditioners can also be used. Waxy Nourish (No.9) - Shiny is a more substancial conditioner that leaves a noticeable waxy coating which can be buffed to a luxurious shine. For a modern look, Waxy Nourish (No.9) - Matte offers nourishing benefits but without the shine. Softener (No.22) is a once a year treatment for leather that has stiffened over time.
With regular conditioning, a degree of protection from spills, soiling and stains builds.
Premium leather care gets premium results
Medications can change the pH of skin and result in yellow stains on leather. If the stain hasn't 'set-in' (penetrated the colour coatings) it can be removed with cleaning. If it has set-in, much of the yellow residue can be cleaned then the leather can be recoloured to conceal the remaining discolouration.
Beautiful, clean, durable
With regular care, pigmented leather can give years of elegant service. A chair like this one might only need 3 hours care a year. That's 25 minutes to clean, 10 minutes to condition and 10 minutes to protect - repeated 4 times a year.
Protect - for an easy life
Protect (No.3) keeps leather cleaner for longer, reduces soiling, reduces stains and makes cleaning easier. It also contains a UV barrier that reduces the effects of direct sun. This makes it a valuable tool in your leather care arsenal and great for sun drenched homes, boats and car seats.
More about protecting pigmented leathers
Protect (No.3) contains a UV barrier that helps to slow the effects of UV exposure (drying). It also provides an anti-soiling barrier that helps to keep leather cleaner for longer, reduces uptake of transferred dyes, builds stain resistance and makes cleaning easier. It is compatible with all pigmented leathers and is ideal for use on light coloured leathers.