The patina on the surface of the leather to some people will be the hallmark of high-quality leather. It also tells a story between the user and the leather.
Although patina is inevitable with most leathers, I have had a countless number of people who wish this never happens and want ways to prevent or slow down the occurrence of patina on their leather.
So for this article, I researched the best ways to help prevent leather patina. I’m excited to share with you all that I have found out.
So how do you prevent leather patina? To prevent leather patina, the leather item has to be stored properly, kept away from the sun’s harmful race, cleaned, conditioned, and protected very often.
To learn a couple more ways to prevent patina leather plus all the details on how to prevent leather patina, keep reading this article!
What Is Leather Patina?
To understand how to prevent leather patina, it’s important to understand what leather patina is all about.
- Patina will usually form on natural materials like leather, wood, or stone.
- You will often NOT find patina on low-quality or synthetic materials.
- Leather Patina will basically occur as a result of everyday use.
- The leather patina you will often have on a piece of leather will be a combination of scratches, accumulated dirt, body oils, sunburn. This will often result in a darkened leather or a soft sheen on the surface of the leather.
- Leather Patina will appear a lot faster on full-grain leather unlike it will on others like the top-grain and genuine leathers.
- Vegetable-tanned leather that has no dyes will generally have a very good appearance of patina over time.
- My personal favorite type of leather that gives off the best patina is dyed or pigmented vegetable-tanned leather.
- Not only is the pigmented vegetable-tanned leather the most durable leather but also develops the best patina – although it will take a bit longer for it to appear.
- Natural vegetable-tanned leather is highly porous. This makes it very susceptible when it comes to how it assimilates everything it comes into contact with.
- Leathers that develops the best patina will often be highly susceptible to sunlight and body oils. For example vegetable-tanned leather.
- The appearance of leather patina can not be produced through synthetic means.
How To Prevent Leather Patina
Just to clear the air, your leather developing patina will have no effect on the quality, durability, and longevity of the leather item.
But instead, what patina does is to add some form of character, beauty, and value to your leather goods.
Having said this, there are those of you who would prefer your leather goods to remain in their pristine condition.
Below are the details on how you can prevent or significantly delay the development of a patina on the surface of your leather items.
1. Clean, Condition, and Protect The Leather Item Regularly
There are a lot of methods I’m going to discuss in the remaining parts of this article. But of all the methods and strategies I’m going to share with you, this is going to be the most important one.
If you would like to reduce or prevent the appearance of a patina on your leather, you must ensure a very consistent cleaning, conditioning, and protection routine for your leather goods.
Regularly cleaning your leather goods is important and has to be done well. You wouldn’t want to over clean your leather goods stripping away all of their nutrients.
One good hack for cleaning leather safely, even on a daily basis or immediately after use is to clean the leather using leather wipes.
These are specially formulated to safely remove dirt, grime, and oil from leather goods on daily use without causing any harm.
Apart from cleaning your leather very well on a daily or weekly basis using leather wipes, you would also want to clean your leather goods once or twice a year with a good leather cleaner.
These leather cleaners unlike leather wipes are formulated to deep clean and remove grease, oils, dust, and dirt that has been accumulated over a longer period.
The best leather cleaners will usually be pH balanced: that is they will not be alkaline or acidic.
They will also not contain any alcohol or abrasives that can damage your leather goods.
My go-to leather cleaner is Lexol leather cleaner especially if my intention is to ensure my leather items remain new-looking and clean.
You wouldn’t want to use regular soap for your leather goods. If you must, dish soap is a much better alternative.
Following the cleaning of the leather, item is conditioning using a good leather conditioner.
It’s always important to condition your leather goods whenever you finish cleaning them.
The role the leather cleaner plays is to cleanse the leather while conditioning is going to nourish and moisturize the leather item.
The last important thing that follows the conditioning process is to seal the surface of the leather item with a protector.
The protector traps the conditioning agents within the leather while at the same time blocks off any moisture, body oils, and weather elements like the sun rays from causing damage to the leather.
You can check out this leather protectant from Kiwi on Amazon! It’s great when it comes to protecting the surface of genuine leather goods.
But this is what I personally do in terms of cleaning my leather goods.
I will usually get high-quality leather wipes for my day-to-day cleaning needs.
Then get the Leather Honey Leather Cleaner for deep cleaning my leather goods and then get the Leather Honey conditioner to help condition and protect my leather.
2. Avoid Causing Too Much Friction On Your Leather Items
Friction is probably one of the most common causes of patina on leather.
This is basically the abrasion from hands or other parts of the body on the leather.
This is particularly common with leather goods that are often held in hand or come into direct contact with the skin.
A good example is bags, wallets, key chains, etc.
Not only do you have to hold or touch your leather items to cause friction to them.
Simply leaving the leather item in your pocket, or having it mixed up with other things can abrade and distress the leather.
Let’s say for example if you put a wallet, key chain, or purse in a bag, these leather items will get abraded and allow a patina to develop very quickly.
3. Avoid Direct Sunshine On Your Leather Items
The sun directly hitting your leather jacket, shoes, boots or wallets is going to be one of the main contributory factors to your leather developing patina.
The sun will usually have access to your leather goods in two main ways.
“A” when you’re out using your leather items.
“B” you have just cleaned, conditioned, or preserved your leather item and looking forward to the leather drying.
While one is unavoidable the other is simply wrong!
In most cases, the “A” will be pretty unavoidable as a large majority of leather goods are fashion accessories or meant for external use.
Regardless, you would want to be careful what days you go out with the leather items you would want any patina on.
This will mean that you may have to pick and choose less sunny or no sunny days to go out with those items.
On the other hand, you never want to dry leather that’s wet from cleaning, conditioning, or from getting caught up in the rain directly under the sunlight.
Doing this can significantly cause your leather goods to lose their pristine freshness.
4. Store Your Leather Goods Properly
If you have had the opportunity to own a couple of leather items, then you would understand the essence of storage when it comes to leather goods.
The way and place you store your leather goods will with time reflect on your leather.
To prevent your leather goods from developing patina, you would want to store your leather goods in a way so that the leather item is able to breathe.
You also wouldn’t want to store your leather goods in a damp area. This can cause mold and mildew to grow on the leather.
What you would want to do is to ensure the proper storage of your leather goods – since patina according to my explanation above includes the various wear the leather item takes up during its use will come together to create a unique character (that is a darkened or a sheen) on the leather.
5. Reduce The Frequency of The Leather Item’s Use
Naturally, the patina will develop over the surface of leather simply by using it regularly.
So what you will want to do is simply reverse-engineer this process of frequent usage.
One of the best ways to reduce or prevent leather patina is by reducing the number of times you use them.
And even if you must use it, you would want to be extremely careful so that it does not take on any scratches, scuffs, or any type of serious wear.
6. Remove Creases, Dents, Wrinkles, and Scuffs Immediately
One of the best tips I can give you if you do not want your leather goods to develop patina is to remove any form of creases, wrinkles, scuffs, and dents as and when they occur on the leather.
There are a lot of resources on youtube and other online media resources you can check out to help you remove wrinkles, creases, and scuffs.
There are also a lot of products on the market you can use to effectively deal with scratches, scuffs, and crease.
My go-to pick when it comes to dealing with scratches, creases, and scuffs is the Bickmore Leather Conditioner.
This is because this product is a heavy-duty leather preservative, leather softener, and restoring balm that does a great job on dry, cracked, and scratched leather.
If you’d want
All in all, you would want to try as much as possible to remove these scratches, scuffs, and creases as and when they happen on the leather the best way possible.
7. Clean Or Wash Your Hands Frequently
The hand we use to handle our leather goods carry if not dirt, sweat, or body oils.
It’s essentially on of the ways leather gets all of its grim from.
One important thing that can help minimize the impact of the hand on our leather goods is by frequently cleaning (with wipes) or washing them before using our leather items.
The constant cleaning or washing of hands before using or touching leather goods will really help reduce the amount of dirt, oils, and sweat you would’ve transferred onto your leather item.
To many, this may be an over-kill having to wash your hands every single time you would want to use the leather item.
However, the long term effect of doing this consistently will drastically slow down the rate at which your leather items will develop a patina.