LTT Leather

Protect Or Condition?

Paul Watchorn

Well-Known Cleantalker
One for Judy perhaps.
So, just generally, if one was to clean a sofa. Say a pigmented average (if there is such a thing), leather sofa, in good condition.

Should it be protected or conditioned? Which products would be appropriate and what would be the frequency between applications. Assuming a two adult two children environment.

Daniel Darlow

Resident Cleantalker
I'll jump in first then Paul.
In my retail years, with pigmented leather I would suggest a good clean every 3 months, followed by a protection every 6 months, especially concentrating on 'touch areas'.
The things that alter the 'general' situation is obviously how the item is used and where the item is.
Dogs and cats are a favourite, how many times when you look between the creases of cushions are there a multitude of hairs only to be told that they are never allowed on the sofa.
The upholstery is positioned in the conservatory, a complete sauna in summer for most skins. Mould can form.
The sofa is being backed by a radiator, skins dry out.
The main thing is the cleaning with the appropriate cleaning medium, preferably aqueous based not to break down the protective finish, bearing in mind that pigmented is purely paint with a finish coating, 'conditioning' really comes in with natural leathers needing fat fibres in the corium. 'Feeding' leather is a favourite term used by some who have heard it from days gone by, I always say I give my leather chair fish and chips every Friday!
Things like saddles, tack, and some outdoor gear my need something like Neetsfoot Oil or similar lubricants to keep them working supple, but in general, in answer to your question, I would suggest the 3 months clean, 6 months protect option to keep the items in good nick.
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Judy Bass

Conditioning leather is traditionally done with fats and oils and comes from the saddle industry where veg tanned leather is used. Veg tanned leather requires treating with oils and fats as these are not locked into the leather during the tanning process as they are in chrome tanned leather and any oils that are added migrate and dry out of the leather so need to be replaced on a regular basis.
Protecting veg tanned leather used in a domestic environment will help prevent stains no and make the leather easier to clean.
Chrome tanned leather is produced in a very different way and has oils and fats reintroduced during the retanning process. These are 'locked' in to the fibres and so do not migrate. Introducing oils (conditioners) can cause technical issues and body oils etc will cause damage to the finishes.
What this leather needs is moisture as it is this that causes the leather to dry out.
Using water based products - cleaners and protectors - will help keep the leather in good condition (chrome tanners talk about conditioning as the moisture content)
Protecting chrome tanned leather has a triple purpose
They protect the surface coatings
They help keep the leather clean
They keep the leather in the best condition when used in conjunction with regular cleaning.

The best way to keep your leather looking and feeling good:
Protect from new (Ultra Protect or LeatherGuard)
Maintain with a cleaner/protector in one (Leather Maintain - also available to sell to you customers - own labelled)
Deep clean once every 6 - 12 months then reprotect (Deep Clean)

Is amazing how much money is wasted on totally worthless products to 'feed' leather when allit dies is attract more dirt - the one thing we are trying to avoid

Want to learn more?
Look out fir our new range of courses next year which will provide something for everyone.

Hope this helps
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