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Cleaning Leather Tips

Leather goods are remarkably durable and hardwearing, but sometimes leather does need to be taken care of.  The subject of cleaning leather can be quite a sensitive subject amongst leather enthusiasts. 

Because of the properties of leather, using the same cleaning methods as you would when washing clothes is going to result in damaged leather goods. Basic methods for cleaning leather are generally simple, can be done at home, and can tackle stains, grease, and all the other bad stuff we get on our leather products.

  • Always start with a great leather protector 
  • Know your different types of leather 
  • Removing grease stains
  • Getting rid of denim stains
  • Cleaning leather bags or purses 
  • How to clean leather furniture 
  • Suede needs special treatment
  • Cleaning leather naturally 

Always start with a great leather protector 

Before you begin to think about cleaning your new leather product, you must first think about how you will protect it. It is imperative to protect your bag before taking it out for the first time.

For smooth leathers, we recommend using an appropriate leather cream. This will create a layer of protection over the leather and will defend it from scratches. Similarly, applying the cream after you have already used the product will minimise any existing marks the item might have picked up already. 

Know your different types of leather 

Leather products are not all created in the same way. So that also means we have to use different techniques when cleaning different types of leather. Leather, suede and nubuck all require different methods of cleaning. 

With this in mind, you should always approach with caution when cleaning leather. We advise testing the product on an inconspicuous area of the item first, making sure to apply with a slight hand – never use unnecessary force. When cleaning grained leather, you can use the same leather cleaner but must apply it differently. This can be done by using a leather-cleaning brush to apply the soap, ensuring the solution finds its way into the grooves of the leather. 

Removing grease stains

There are endless amounts of ways we can procure grease stains on our leather products. Hand cream is often one of the main culprits, which is why you so often find fingerprint-like stains on the handles of your leather bag. The problem with grease-based stains is that they absorb so quickly.

If you listened to our first piece of advice and protected your leather, you will have some time to remove the marks before they settle in. Although, if you haven’t followed this first step, the grease will absorb into the leather. Consequently, the stain will darken and leave an oily mark on the leather. If you are at home and can get to some cornstarch fast, then do so, apply it onto the stain to soak up the greasy residue. Talcum powder is also a great tool for soaking up the grease. We advise applying to the affected area and leaving overnight.

leather jacket

Getting rid of denim stains

Denim stains are some of the most common when it comes to leather products. These stains occur when the leather rubs against a pair of jeans (or indeed, a denim jacket). The dye used in denim is similar to hair dye, meaning it will penetrate fast and deep. If the leather is a pale colour, these stains will be painfully visible. 

A suitably protected (as mentioned above) piece of leather will repel the indigo dye for a longer duration than something unprotected. If, however, you have no protected that new leather handbag, then the key to cleaning denim stains depends on speed. The cleaner should be applied to the leather the second the dye has marked the leather. The longer the mark is left on the leather, the higher the chance it will be absorbed into the fibres.

Cleaning leather bags and purses

Leather bags and purses are the most susceptible to stains as they are used frequently and often come into contact with drinks, food and the floor. Thankfully, there is a simple method that can be done at home to tackle these challenging stains. 

Start with mixing one part mild soap – anything like facial soap or delicate clothes detergent – with eight parts water. We advise using bottled water, if possible, to avoid any harmful particles in tap water. After that, pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray onto a microfiber cloth. Avoid spraying directly onto the leather as this can cause over-saturation. Next, gently wipe the stain, going with the grain of the leather. Once the stain has faded, leave the bag to dry, keeping it out of sunlight. Finally, once the bag is dry, apply a pea-sized amount of leather moisturiser to protect the material. 

How to clean leather furniture 

Many people love leather furniture, but few actually know a lot about leather care. This can lead to many sofas and cushions being wrecked by stains that are easy to care for. A common mistake is using heavy-duty household cleaners, which can lead to the leather becoming worn, so make sure to choose a much gentler soap. 

Firstly, vacuum the furniture to remove any dust or particles before cleaning. After that, use a cloth to wipe a small amount of mild detergent onto the furniture. With a separate cloth, wipe again with cold, clean water, making sure you don’t over-saturate the fabric. Lastly, leave to dry out of direct sunlight to ensure the colour does not fade. Remember to spot test your chosen cleaning product on a small area before applying to the whole sofa. You don’t want to do any further damage to your leather furniture when trying to clean. 

Suede needs special treatment

You should clean suede and nubuck more regularly than conventional leather products. This is because removing stains from these materials can be complicated. These materials need different treatment entirely. They can react very differently depending on finish, colour or stain, so we would generally recommend leaving this cleaning jobs to the professionals.

To start off, find a soft-bristled brush, ideally a suede brush but you can also use a toothbrush if that’s all you have. Use the brush to go over the affected area. Gently brush the stain using short, gentle strokes. Make sure you always go in the same direction to start with as this will help loosen the fibres and dirt. Next, lightly go over the affected area with a clean sponge. 

Cleaning leather naturally 

If you do not want to use cleaning products on your leather, you can try steam cleaning it. You can do this by hanging your purse or bag in the bathroom just after you take a hot shower. The damp air will loosen the stains. Once that is done, leave the bag to dry before going back over it with a soft-bristled brush. 

There are also a variety of household products that can be very beneficial for cleaning leather. Lemon juice mixed with cream of tartar works well for removing spots and stains. Likewise, white vinegar can be used for general cleaning to ensure the material remains healthy. 

If you don’t feel comfortable treating your leather products yourself, why not seek professional help? Laundryheap offers a quick and professional service with free next day delivery.


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Complete Guide To Removing Different Sauce Stains

Is there anything worse than dry food? Sauce, in all its incredible different varieties, has meant we never have to worry about our food being too dry again. These moist and flavoursome little bottles of joy do come with there own problems though.

It doesn’t matter if it is the bright red ketchup, golden yellow mustard, or the infamous brown BBQ sauce that your taste-buds desire most. All of these wonderfully tasty condiments can leave us in a state of panic every time we carelessly spill them onto our new white t-shirt. We are here to try and ease that panic. Next time you find yourself overindulging in a hot dog that is drowning in mustard and ketchup, make sure you know how to remove the stains once the inevitable happens. 

  • Tomato Sauce
  • Mustard
  • BBQ Sauce 
  • Mayonnaise
  • Chilli Sauce 

Tomato Sauce 

 You can find this versatile vegetable (or fruit!?) in cuisine all over the world. Whether its ketchup on your fries, spaghetti sauce or bloody mary’s, sauces that mostly contain tomatoes can make it seem like the end of the world when spilt on our clothes.

The best thing you can do when spilling tomato sauces on your clothes is act as soon as possible. Try to use heavy-duty laundry detergent and make sure you use the hottest water recommended for the fabric on the garment care label. Always ensure you check the laundry symbols before washing the garment. To start with, gently rub the liquid detergent directly on the stain. Next, place the garment into the machine to be washed. Make sure to air dry after, as heat from the dryer can set in any remaining stain particles that have not come off in the wash. 

Mustard

Like ketchup, mustard can cause most people to shriek when it’s spilt on your clothing due to its luminescent colour. Mustard contains a dye called Tumeric to enhance the yellow colour, which means it must be treated differently to other stains on this list. 

If a mustard stain does not get treated quickly, the turmeric dye can remain on your clothing as a permanent reminder of your carelessness. Try to catch the stain while it is still moist and blot immediately. Make sure you do not rub the stain, as you do not want to spread the turmeric onto unstained parts of the garment. 

Finally, mix a solution of three-quarters of dish soap and one quarter rubbing alcohol. Apply the mixture to the stain and allow to soak for 10 minutes, just long enough for it not to dry. The alcohol in the solution should turn the stain a dark colour, but not to worry, it will rinse right out! Rinse the treated area with hot water, and then launder like normal.

BBQ Sauce 

Would a barbecue even be a barbecue if it wasn’t messy to eat? Most people attending a barbecue know the risks going in, but that still doesn’t make the BBQ sauce stains any less harrowing. 

Removing the stain is a two-step process. Soak the affected garment just like you would soak a dirty dish in warm water with dishwashing detergent, this will help loosen the sauce from the fabric and help clean the stain. Once you have left to soak for at least ten minutes, pour some vinegar on the affected area and scrub with a kitchen sponge. After you’ve treated the stain, run the garment through the washing machine like normal. 

Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is probably the least threatening colour of all sauces listed in this guide, but do not let its neutral colour fool you. Mayonnaise can leave oily spots on your clothing that are not always easy to remove.

When you spill a blob of mayonnaise on your clothing, use a blunt object like a butter knife or spoon to lift as much of the Mayonnaise off the fabric as you can. Never rub because this will push the stain deeper into the fabric, making it harder to remove. Seeing as the bulk of the issue is an oil-based stain, every Mayonnaise stain should be pre-treated using solvent-based stain removal products. If you don’t have any solvent-based stain remover at hand, apply a bit of heavy-duty liquid detergent instead. Then work it in by delicately rubbing with your fingers or a soft-bristled brush. Lastly, wash the garment in the washing machine on the highest heat it recommends on the label

Chilli Sauce

Need some spice in your life, but don’t like it trickling onto your clothes? A good old fashioned spicy hot sauce is great for adding flavour to your dishes, but not so great for your new white work shirt. Most hot sauce ingredients consist of peppers, spices and vinegar. Assuming your favourite brand of chilli sauce doesn’t add too much artificial food colouring, the stains should be simple to remove. 

Acting immediately is proving to be a common theme in this guide. You guessed it, don’t wait until you’ve finished your food to act on a chilli sauce stain, get on the job straight away! 

First things first, run the stain under the tap for at least a minute. Do not rub the stain here, instead let the water flow do the work. We also recommend turning the item inside out and cleaning from the backside to remove it from within the fabric. After this, place the clothing in a sink filled with cold water, add a tablespoon of liquid detergent and vinegar, then gently scrub the stained area. Lastly, put the item in a washing machine and make sure to use warm water, never hot, as this will set the stain. 

If you don’t have the time or patience to clean a worrying stain out of your clothing, why not let the professionals help you? Laundryheap is here to help by offering same-day laundry & dry cleaning collection with free next day delivery.