I buy a lot of leather. I buy it to sell and I buy it because I love wearing it. It is extremely durable and just looks better with age. Surprisingly, it is very easy to find great leather pieces at thrift stores and resale shops. However, there is a trade off when shopping used leather items. They often come with stains, scuffs and spots. This is the method I use on my leather pieces.
1. I wipe down my items with a barely damp cloth. Believe me, I have tried to just go at a pair of boots with water…scrubbing like crazy. The leather never really recovered. A little water works well to remove excess dust and dirt that sits on the service.
2. I stuff my shoes with newspaper. This serves two very important purposes. It will maintain a shape to make cleaning easier and it helps wet leather dry faster. Strangely enough, I learned this trick from playing soccer. My shoes would start to smell (Texas heat + teenage girl= extra work for mom) so my mom would wash them and always stuff them with newspaper so they would dry by my next practice.
3. Scrub marked and dirty areas with Weiman Leather Wipes (can be bought from the grocery store). They are barely damp and have a texture like a face wipe. Items will look dark, multi-toned and generally ruined, but fear not, they will dry. So don’t be afraid to really get in there.
4. Wear/Use item like normal or store away (leaving newspaper in is a great option)
This is just the easiest.most effective way I have found (in the result to time ratio). Any other ways to clean leather that have worked well for you?