As consumers, we are frequently told that the leather we purchase is low maintenance and can easily be wiped off with mild soap and water. No further maintenance explanation is given.
There are 4 significant problems/misconceptions that exist with this "minimal maintenance" explanation.
MAINTENANCE IS USUALLY INTERPRETED AS
This explanation of low maintenance leads to deterioration of the leather and lessens the life of your investment.
"PROTECTED" LEATHERS HAVE A DURABLE FINISH, BUT NOT INDESTRUCTIBLE.
This durable finish initially allows consumers to clean leather with almost anything and get an immediate factory result. However, the use of these products, not designed for leather, may break down this durable finish causing the pigment to crack or peel. Improper maintenance directly leads to expensive restoration or replacement.
ANILINE AND NUBUCK LEATHERS ARE NOT LOW MAINTENANCE.
These leathers are extremely porous and should be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis to protect your investment.
LEATHER IS PURCHASED PRIMARILY FOR THE MOST ACTIVE ROOMS IN THE HOUSE.
This choice makes regular maintenance a high priority in order to protect your investment and for prolonging the life of your leather.
Now, let's continue with LEATHER TYPES.
The question: What type of leather is this?
There is a lot of confusion over some very basic information that is needed to CLEAN and RESTORE LEATHER. The Carpet Caretakers's leather cleaning specialist works with
Bridgepoint/Leather Master products. Many producers of Leather furniture work with Bridgepoint/Leather Master to classify the Leather into three basic categories using specific cleaning codes and deck labels: ANILINE (A), NUBUCK (N), PROTECTED (P). It is important that the cleaner is able to identify the Leathers in order to properly use the products and achieve the desired results.
TERMS OF LEATHER:
Also known as Natural, Pure, Naked and Unprotected
These are Leathers that are colored with transparent dyestuff. This means you are able to see the actual surface grain markings. These Leathers have very little or no protective treatments applied to them.
Also known as Finished, Semi Aniline, Everyday, Pigmented and Painted
These Leathers have combined the best aspects of a natural product (Leather) and have utilized tannery technology to create a product that is more uniform in appearance and color.
Also known as Chaps, Distressed, Bomber and Suede
These are actually Aniline Leathers that the surface has been brushed, and have created a texture similar to velvet on Leather upholstery or fabric. Suede is the "flesh" side of a piece of Leather and NuBuck is an effect that is done to the grain side. Because NuBucks and Aniline Leathers are alike, it's sometimes hard to tell them apart.
Well, we now understand the differences in Leathers, so our next questions is:
How does our leather get dirty?
There are four different types of soil to be aware of before you clean leather:
The same dust that builds up on your coffee table or desk over a week's time is the same dust that is being deposited on your leather. Along with the dust particles, add airborne cooking oils and atmospheric pollution that are present, to some degree, in every home.
This includes the tracking in of outside dirt, sand and vegetable fibers from plants. These are carried into the house in various ways, which can be transferred directly to the leather or indirectly from the kids and animals.
DYES AND INKS
The inks from newsprint in newspapers will readily be deposited on leather. Clothes such as denims will lose some of their dye onto leather in a process called crocking. Then there is the occasional leaky pen or the 2-year old who uses the sofa as a drawing pad.
OILS AND GREASE
Body oils from both humans and our pets cause soils to attach and hold onto leather. Hair and hand oils are easily transferred to the arms and head cushions of leather furniture.
OK, We just learned alot of interesting facts about leather. We learned that we need to take care of our leather furnishings if we want them to last.
So what do we do now?
THE CARPET CARETAKERS
your leather cleaning and conditioning specialists,
to discuss your leather cleaning and maintenance needs.
The Carpet Caretakers are certified in Bridgepoint/Leather Master products.
Leather Master products are safe and effective for leather with over 300 tanneries and manufacturers endorsing these products.
Leather tanneries and manufacturers world-wide
recommend proper cleaning and protection
treatments every six months
to extend the life of the leather and prevent
premature cracking, peeling and color loss.