White Leather Care
Anyone remember picking up their first Apple device? Gazing enraptured by the pure white polycarbonate gleam over shiny aluminum, so magnificently radiant that when angled right has been known to restore sight to the blind? It’s like holding up a priceless pearl, resonating light and reflecting iridescent glimmers with every turn in your palm. Like snowballs from Heaven.
That’s what we all remember our white leather looking like, when we first fell in love with it on that store shelf. We thought it would stay pure and beautiful forever. We were wrong. While white leather can look absolutely breathtaking the first few days after buying it, eventually grim reality dawns. White leather shows absolutely everything. There will not be a scuff, dust granule, or microscopic tuft of lint present on our leather that will not stand out like a sore thumb to the scrutinous eye. Any imperfection kills the effect of the valuable leather, which was probably why you chose that color anyway. But never fear! While a more difficult breed to work with, good white leather care is very manageable, and can even sparkle with its old luster when properly maintained.
For the purposes of this article, we’re going to assume your leather item is finished. If your leather is unfinished, or you if you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out our blog “Leather Care for Finished and Unfinished Leather Furniture.”
Polishing the Pearl
A good practice when dealing with white leather care is to keep it covered when you are not using it to avoid needless dust exposure. If it is a leather bag, put it in a dust cover. For shoes, put them inside a box. If you have a white leather couch, lucky you, try placing a blanket over it. Also, make sure your leather is not sitting somewhere humid or with intense temperatures. Too much heat, cold, or dry air will parch your leather, causing it to dry out and crack. Attics do not a good home make.
Another good idea is to spot clean dust whenever you see it. Usually this can be accomplished by rubbing it gently with a damp cloth. But despite even your best efforts, eventually that darn dust is going to have its way, and a damp rag won’t work on everything. In order to keep our leather healthy and supple, a routine cleaning and conditioning session is in order.
For finished white leather, cleaning is fairly simple. You are going to want to find a cleaner compatible with your leather, such as Chamberlain’s Straight Cleaner No. 2. Before you use it, always test the recipe on a discreet area of your bag and observe its effects after drying. If there is no discoloration or any other noticeable problem, you should be safe. Apply your cleaner evenly across the white leather with gentle, circular strokes. After you have spread the cleaner evenly, wipe off any excess fluid with a dry cloth and leave the leather to dry in a cool, indoor place away from sunlight.
After your leather has dried from its cleaning, you will want to condition it to restore your leather’s moisture lost while cleaning. Perform this similarly to the first step. Test your conditioner on a discreet area and make sure it’s compatible. Chamberlain’s Leather Care Liniment No. 1 is an all-natural recipe possessing both cleaning and conditioning elements, and is an excellent choice for most types of leather. Afterwards, apply the conditioner to the entire item with a cloth or applicator pad in circular strokes to avoid streaking, and buff the remaining conditioner off and leave it to dry for an hour in the same place. Remove any remaining conditioner with a soft cloth.
All That is Gold Does Not Glitter
If you have had white leather for a while, you are probably aware that this particular hide is also notorious for yellowing. This is entirely natural, and pretty much unavoidable. Over time, leather is exposed to elements and oils and other materials as it oxidizes. This foreign contact breaks down internal fibers over time, causing the leather to turn yellow. Fortunately, this process usually takes a while, and if you remember to clean and condition your leather regularly (about twice a year typically works), you can prevent this from happening for many decades.
Well, there you are you fashionable people – Chamberlain’s White Leather Care 101! Remember to keep that leather furniture pearly white, and your leather will be grinning all on its own. You really are fashionable people.
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