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Friday, October 28, 2011

Leather & Suede Cleaning Tips

Leather and suede garments are very expensive, and they require special care to keep them clean and looking like new. Proper leather cleaning begins at home, with these tips on preventing damage to your leather garments:

  • With leather jackets and coats, wearing a scarf will protect the neck area from absorbing body oils and perspiration. This area is usually the first to become discolored from these contaminants.

  • Avoid spraying hair care products or perfumes and colognes while wearing a leather piece, as these will spot or stain the leather and can remove or change colors in dyed leathers. If necessary, cover your shoulders with a towel to prevent contact by these products, and allow sufficient time for them to dry before removing the protective towel.

  • Never attach adhesive name tags or tape, or use pins on a leather garment. The adhesive will probably stain the leather and a pin hole will not "repair itself" like it will on a cotton shirt or other garments.

  • If leather gets wet, allow it to air dry thoroughly at room temperature and away from any heat sources to avoid excessive drying or shrinkage.

  • Remove just-cleaned leathers from the poly bag as soon as you arrive home. The bag is intended to protect the garment during transport, but is not for storage. Storing leather in plastic prevents it from "breathing", and may result in mildewing or drying and cracking.

  • Store leather garments in a cool, dry place and allow room for the garment to "breathe".

  • If staining occurs, do not attempt any means of stain removal yourself, as you could cause more damage than you think. Remove any large amounts of the stain by blotting with a white towel, then get the piece to your professional dry cleaner as soon as possible. The longer a stain remains untreated, the more difficult it will be to remove.

  • Bring in all pieces of multi-piece outfits at the same time. The cleaning process will alter the appearance somewhat, but cleaning them together lessens the likelihood of there being a visible difference. 
 Railroad Cleaners specializes in leather and suede cleaning, bring us your leather or suede garments to keep them looking new.
    Another aspect of leather care begins at the time of purchase of a new leather garment. Some things to keep in mind when buying leather are:

    • Purchase from a reputable retailer who will stand behind their products.
    • While shopping for multi-piece garments, pay extra attention to the "match" of the pieces, not only in color, but in the texture of the garments. These are natural skins, so no two can ever be identical; but careful manufacturing processing, tanning & coloring, and matching similar skins will show in a quality product.
    • Select a slightly larger garment than you normally wear, since the first cleaning will shrink the tension applied during manufacturing, as will normal aging during wear.
    • Locate the care label on the garment. All leather and suede will refer to a "leather care process". But be aware of any special care instructions, such as removal of trim or ornamentation, that may make the price of cleaning substantially higher. 

    The Cleaning Lady
      Railroad Cleaners
      2195 Railroad Ave 
      Pittsburg, CA 94565

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