FAQ

Can gum be removed from leather?

The way to remove gum from leather is just as easy as removing it from another fabric: use ice. Ice should be placed on the gum, until it hardens. Afterwards, the gum can be gently peeled away. However, it is important to remember when removing gum from leather, sharp objects will scratch the surface of the leather.

Does vinegar work on removing leather salt stains?

If you live in a cold climate, salt applied to the roads and sidewalks can potentially cause stains. To remove salt stains, a mild solution of 75 percent vinegar to 25 percent water should be used. In the beginning, complete a "spot test." After the vinegar solution has been found mild enough, use a cotton ball to gently wipe away the salt stains from the leather garment. Allow the leather to air dry naturally.

How do i maintain my leather jackets?

Leather specialty stores sell special products designed to care for your leather jackets. You can use a leather lotion to keep your jacket soft, leather wipes make a quick clean-up easier, and leather protector helps keep your leather jacket safe in winter months. One of the best tips of all to keep your leather jacket in good condition is to wear them regularly. If you have to put them in storage, make sure it's a well-ventilated area of your home.

How do i maintain my leather jackets?

Leather specialty stores sell special products designed to care for your leather jackets. You can use a leather lotion to keep your jacket soft, leather wipes make a quick clean-up easier, and leather protector helps keep your leather jacket safe in winter months. One of the best tips of all to keep your leather jacket in good condition is to wear them regularly. If you have to put them in storage, make sure it's a well-ventilated area of your home.

What is Full Grain leather?

Full Grain leather is animal skin prepared for use by removing the hair and tanning; the smooth, grain side of the hide is the strongest.

What is Suede?

Suede is tanned leather of calf, kid, cowhide, etc., with the flesh side buffed into a nap; true suede will have smooth or “full grain” leather on one side.

What is Nubuck leather?

Nubuck is tanned leather similar to suede, but with the nap on the grain side.

What is Split leather?

Split is tanned hide which has had the grain removed or “split” off. Some suede is made from a “split” in which the full grain is removed for another use. The remaining leather has no grain and looks like suede on both sides. This is not a particularly strong type of leather.

Should I tackle leather care myself or leave it to a professional?

We think upkeep is part of the fun of having nice leather stuff. If you follow the manufacturer’s directions on most cleaning and conditioning products, you won’t wreck your leather. But if you’re not a real do-it-yourselfer, your leather might end up looking less beautiful than you’d hoped for. Some tasks like washing suede or re-coloring your favorite jacket may be a bit daunting. If you’re uncertain about how to do something, opt for professional service.

My shoes/boots got really wet and now they’re covered with watermarks and big white stains – will these come off?

Probably. The white stains are most likely due to salt. The sooner you neutralize the salt, the better. Salt can actually scar the leather if left too long.

How do I get salt stains off of my shoes or boots?

You need to neutralize the salt using a mild solution of vinegar and water. To do this properly you should get the entire shoe/boot wet so that you don’t create additional water marks. This is especially true for suede and nubuck. Use a soft- bristled brush to wet the footwear. Don’t soak it, just get it wet. Then scrub the salt-stained areas. Pat the footwear dry with a towel or other absorbent cloth. Use a light-colored cloth on light-colored footwear to avoid color "bleeding" from the cloth to the footwear.
Allow footwear to dry thoroughly with plenty of air – No HEAT!

I washed my footwear, now they’re really stiff – what should I do?

For suede and nubuck footwear simply brush with a brass or nylon suede brush or an "eraser" made for suede and nubuck. This should soften and restore the nap. You’ll probably want to apply a water and stain protector. You'll find a variety of products on the market for this purpose.
For smooth leather, you'll have to restore the oils that were removed during the washing process. You can do this by applying a conditioner or waterproofer. A variety of products exist for this purpose. Most waterproofers will also condition the leather, but not all conditioners will waterproof.

Will water wreck my leather items?

Not usually although some leather items and cork footbeds can be destroyed by too much water. Getting leather wet is usually not as much of a problem as getting it dry. Drying rules to follow: lots of air, no heat. Don't put wet leather near a fire or in an oven to dry out. Heat can cause excessive dryness leading to cracking. Heat can also loosen adhesives and shrink some types of soling. Extended periods of wetness will usually be less harmful than too much heat.

I left my Birkenstock sandals in my car on a very hot summer day and the soles seem to have shrunk. Is this possible?

Yes. Birkenstock soling material is great because it's flexible, durable and light weight. It is, however, very susceptible to heat. Excessive heat will cause the sole material to expand and then shrink as it cools. Please be careful not to expose your Birkenstocks to the heat of campfires, fireplaces, radiators, closed cars parked in the sun, or any other areas that may become very hot for extended periods of time.
If your soles shrink – don’t despair. We can replace them.

I left my wet leather items in the trunk of my car, now they’re all green and fuzzy. What the …?

Leather is a natural product and mold and mildew (fungus) can begin to grow on it under the right conditions – and it doesn’t take long! The mildew can usually be removed by washing the leather with a soft cloth wrung out of dilute alcohol (1 cup denatured or rubbing alcohol to 1 cup water). If mildew remains, clean with a mild soap solution (dilute solution of dish-washing liquid and water will work) or saddle soap. Rinse well and allow to dry with plenty of fresh air.

My leather jacket and briefcase are beginning to look faded and a bit gray in worn areas. What should I do?

The loss of color at corners of cases and around edges of jackets is normal. Oftentimes a good conditioning will bring back most of the color. Sometimes, however, the color must be restored to get your piece looking great again. We sell conditioner and color restorer if you want to tackle the job yourself or we can do it for you. It is often very difficult if not impossible to restore the color on light colored leathers.

My sheepskin boots are filthy. Can I clean them?

Yes. Use a dilute solution of dish washing liquid or laundry detergent and water ( ¼ teaspoon to 2 qts water). To do this properly you must get the entire boot wet so that you don’t create water marks. Use a soft- bristled brush to wet the footwear. Don’t soak it, just get it wet. Then scrub the dirty areas using as much suds as you can work up. Use the brush to rinse with clear water. Pat the boots dry with a towel or other absorbent cloth. Use a light-colored cloth on light-colored boots to avoid color "bleeding" from the cloth to the boots. Allow footwear to dry thoroughly with plenty of air – no HEAT!

How often should I condition my leather goods?

Depends on how much use and abuse they get. If leather goods are getting dirty regularly, they should be cleaned regularly. Use saddle soap for shoes and boots or a cleaner like Lexol for finer leather like purses and jackets. Use soap and water on suede per the directions above. Grit and grime can grind into the leather and cause breakdown of the leather and stitching. Condition the leather after washing. Be careful not to over-condition, the leather shouldn’t feel loose and greasy. Too much oil can cause weakening of the leather and stitching. If your leather isn’t getting dirty, a light coating of conditioner twice a year should be plenty.

Igor B. Mazor Photography