Remove Leather Scratches & Protect Leather Items
For some people, having markings and scratches on their leather furniture, bags, shoes, etc., is not a bad thing. They see such signs of wear and tear as an added dimension and character to their valuable leather products. Natural wear and tear on leather is a critical part of forming a beautiful patina unique to a leather item and the person who uses it.
On the other hand, some people prefer their leather items in pristine and flawless condition. They see any light scratch as a damaged area that needs to be treated or fixed. And for a good reason, too, because a scratch is a weak spot on the leather that causes more damage over time, even if it's only a light scratch.
You can decide whether to retain or cover the appearance of the scratches on your leather bags or leather couch. But one thing you should not think twice about is caring for the leather scratch to prevent further damage. Below are the things you need to know when dealing with the scratches on your leather items.
Steps In Dealing With Scratches On Leather
Below are the steps to remove scratches from leather and keep them from causing further damage to your leather furniture and other items.
Step 1. Assess The Damaged Area
The first step to leather scratch repair is determining how deep the scratch or severe the damage is. Light scratches need no more than a simple cleaning and conditioning treatment, while deeper scratches may need professional help.
The type of leather also affects how you treat your leather scratch. Scratch and water-resistant grain leather and finished leather are the types that are easy to wipe down and condition. Other types like suede or nubuck leather may need special cleaning and conditioning products or tools.
Step 2. Clean The Leather Surface
A clean leather surface is essential for treating scratches. Removing the caked dirt and debris makes it easier for the leather to absorb any conditioner or oil you apply. Cleaning the leather surface also removes any discoloration and, if using a coloring product, makes it easier for you to match the original color of your leather.
Use a damp cloth dipped in leather cleaner or mild soap and gently rub it over the scratched area. You can use other cleaning agents like rubbing alcohol for more stubborn stains; only make sure to rinse off residue by wiping with a damp cloth. For some water-sensitive leather types, you can remove dirt by lightly brushing and wiping with a dry cloth.
Step 3. Treat and Condition
This step depends on the severity of scratches and whether you want to cover them up or let them be a part of the leathers’ patina. For light scratches on finished leathers, a mild cleaning and conditioning are enough to deal with the scratches and make them less noticeable. For deep scratches, you can apply multiple coats of colorless shoe polish along with a leather conditioner.
Dip a soft cloth into a leather conditioner or leather oil like saddle and olive oil. Rub the leather conditioner of your choice in a circular motion all over the previously cleaned scratched area. The leather may darken at this step but will return to its original color once dried.
Step 4. Recolor The Scratch
This step is optional, and you can skip it if you want to retain the scratched look on your leather patina or if Step 3 was enough to get the scratches out. Choose a leather recoloring product suitable for the color and type of your leather item. Luckily, there are many leather markers or colorants on the market for you to choose from to match your leather goods.
Be sure that the colorant you chose matches your leather by testing it on an inconspicuous area first. If the colorant is a match, carry on applying it to the scratches. Let each coat dry before applying the next one, or you'll end up with too dark-colored scratches. Apply another coat of oil or conditioner after your last coat of colorant dries.
Step 5. Let It Sit And Dry
Allow the leather to absorb the conditioner or colorant you applied. It may take a few hours up to a day to see definite results. In the meantime, keep your treated leather away from heat or direct sunlight as these will affect the natural leather fibers and prevent the absorption of the leather oil or conditioner.
Watch for any color or texture changes as you let the leather air dry. You may need to add more coats of leather oil or olive oil for deeper scratches. Or you may need to wipe off the excess oil if the leather becomes too greasy or oily.
Protection Over Cure
Leather is a versatile textile priced for its functionality, durability, and classically stylish look. But it can only live up to its full potential through proper use and regular maintenance. Taking care of your leather builds a strong layer of protection, so you never have to deal with serious irreparable problems like scratches.
Take care of your leather by keeping it away from humidity, direct sunlight, and extreme heat. These elements damage the leather structure and compromise the leather's ability to resist scratches and other forms of physical damage.
Regular cleaning and maintenance play essential roles in keeping the high level of protection of your leather items. Dirt and debris that build up on the leather surface weaken its structure, resulting in brittle leather that is prone to cracking. Cleaning and conditioning regularly give you a soft and smooth leather that is strong and durable against scratches.
Removing leather scratches is easy if you are dealing with light scratches. Removing deep scratches is a little more complicated and is best left to professionals. But you can prevent deep scratches from forming if you take care and protect your leather items adequately.
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