Collonil has been a leather care specialist since 1909. Just like skincare, leather and textile will benefit from a religious regimen. Follow these steps:
Step 1: Waterproof
The first and most important step in caring for your goods is waterproofing them. By treating the surface of the material with a waterproofer, you protect it from stain-causing elements. Take note: the waterproofer will not make your goods submersible or waterproof per set, but it will have a good layer of protection from rain, roadside splashes, and any errant food and beverage drippings that might otherwise ruin your beloved shoes, bag, or even sneakers. Ultimately, by waterproofing, you preserve and prolong the life of your goods.
- Brand new items are usually not treated with waterproofing, which is why we recommend to spray your shoes, bags, and upholstery at least 3 consecutive times right after purchase. This will preserve its brand new look. By doing this, you also minimize Step 3B in our Regimen.
- If you item is not new, always make sure to remove surface dirt or mud from the material before spraying with a waterproofer. (See Step 3A on how to remove surface dirt).
- Waterproof sprays soak into and works in the deep layers of the material. The waterproofer should therefore be applied BEFORE other care products are used. The only exception for this are Nano products, which are applied after.
- With waterproofing, what matters more is how often you use it, and not how much you use at any one time. More is not necessarily better. It’s all about the frequency – the more often, the better. Treat your goods with waterproofing spray regularly because through friction the waterproof protection wears off already after 8 to 10 times of wear.
- To use, make sure to apply the spray outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Hold the spray can approximately a can length from the material and spray evenly. Be careful not to get the material too wet. Now, the spray just needs a little time to soak in. Once dry, you are good to go!
Step 2: Care
Just as we take care of our skin, we need to take care of leather. After all, leather is skin -- it also is sensitive to environmental factors such as UV rays, harsh chemicals, and dirt, causing the leather to fade, wear out and lose its elasticity and suppleness. And because leather can no longer replace missing nutrients on its own, it is necessary to use special conditioning and color care products.
2A: Condition and Moisturize
In any skincare regimen, moisturizers and conditioners are important. Leather has pores. It will always be subject to sun, wind, pollution and other damaging environmental factors. Leather is supposed to have fat too. Fat is a natural moisturizer, but because of frequent use, the fat in leather is eventually depleted. We need moisturizers and conditioners to nourish and bring back the moisture and renew the elasticity of leather.
2B: Color Revitalize
When you think about it, the color of the leather is a result of a dyeing process. And just as we sometimes dye our hair and touch up the roots, leather and textile also need a color revitalizer to renew its color and bring back its life
- Before using care products, remove surface dirt from the material. (See Step 3A)
- We recommend dispensing the care product on a cloth or sponge first rather than applying it directly on the material. This will allow you to control the amount you use.
- Always test the product on a small inconspicuous area, allowing to dry completely before applying to the whole material.
- For color care, choose a color that matches the leather, but most color care products have neutrals or colorless and can be used across leather colors.
- Keep in mind that it is much more effective to apply a few light coats of conditioner than one heavy coat. Conditioning creams should be reapplied every two to three weeks. The only product that’s possible to overdo it with is wax, which is a paste used for achieving a high shine. Too much wax over time is bad for leather because it’s going to start sealing in the pores and the leather won’t be as breathable.
- It is always good to brush out goods immediately after applying product to bring out that sheen
- The use of shoe trees after wearing is recommended because to prevent crease on the material.
Step 3: Clean
No matter how much we take care of our goods, it will accumulate dust and dirt. There are two methods of cleaning: routine cleaning (or the dry method) and deep cleansing (or the wet method).
3A: Routine Cleaning –- The Dry Method
It is always best to routinely clean our goods to take away surface dirt such as dust and lint. Routine or dry cleaning is a mechanical cleaning method using a brush or cloth. Eraser blocks can also be used for minor scuff marks. This way of cleaning works quickly and the material is treated gently.
3B: Deep Cleansing –- The Wet Method
For deeply engrained dirt that cannot be cleaned using the routine or dry method, we usually turn to deep cleansing products or the wet method. Shampoo and other cleansers can be applied. With heavy stains, cleaning products that contain chemical agents are used. But because all materials are different, it is best to test for the color fastness and compatibility before doing this method. Care should be exercised because this process also strips the material of its natural oils, which is why to avoid deep dirt, we really recommend the first and most important step –
Step 1: Waterproofing. Remember: re-apply your waterproofing spray and conditioner after this process.
- Just like brushing your teeth, make it a habit to brush out your shoes and bags. The oils are still in the skin and on the brush so even without applying any care or clean product, you are already polishing and cleaning, all at the same time.
- Brushing removes surface dirt and dust. It can also loosen dirt and mud from the material. If a brush doesn’t remove all of the dirt, use a damp cloth to wipe away excess dirt.
- Always remove surface dirt and mud before waterproofing or using any care or deep cleansing product.
- Spot-cleaning using a gentle cleaning cream or an eraser block is best for small and light marks. Just rub over the mark and it should lighten considerably.
- For caked mud, let the mud dry overnight and brush your shoes down with a stiff bristle brush. The reason why you don’t want to clean mud off before it dries is because you risk spreading it around, which will make cleaning the dirt off a bit more difficult.
- For more serious stains, try deep cleansing. Make sure to test the product on a small inconspicuous area, and allow to dry completely before applying to the whole material.
- Dispense the cleaning product on a cloth or sponge and apply sparingly and evenly on the surface, letting the product work itself into the material. Afterwards, remove any excess with a damp cloth.
- Always allow the material to dry completely on its own before applying any conditioners, polishes or protectors. Do not use heat to accelerate the drying process.