There are several ways to take care of leather and while some leather care and maintenance procedures are elaborate or done by professionals, the leather wipes present a much simpler approach to leather care. In this article, I researched everything about leather wipes and I’m ready to share all I found.
What are Leather Wipes?
Leather Wipes as the name implies are in the form of your regular wipes but are formulated differently with substances that are suitable for leather like cleansing agents, oils, and are usually pH appropriate for leather.
Leather wipes are specially made to be used on the leather materials on car seats, shoes, garments, bags, purses, and many other materials. What I love about leather wipes is that it’s:
- Easy and convenient to use
- Not costly and
- Offers a quick alternative to leather care
As a general rule of thumb, leather goods, depending on how hardwearing there are, will be cared for and maintained or cleaned and conditioned 3-4 times in a year. So the main question is what do you do to take care of the day to day wear on leather prior to its routine spa days?
While many may say and even go with using water and cloth to clean, I have found the leather wipes to do a great job of in-between leather care and maintenance.
What Do Leather Wipes Do?
There are several leather wipes out there and what they do is very different from one brand to another. Generally, you would want your ideal leather wipes to clean your leather, condition, and protect your leather.
One of the primary things leather wipes do is to clean your leather goods. Leather wipes certain mild cleaning substances that’s able to help remove dirt, grease, handprints, and many others safely from the surface of leather.
A very good leather wipes should be able to remove dirt and other unwanted substances from leather very fast, safely, and easily. It’s important to add that not all leather wipes are meant for cleaning.
You will find wipes that do a job of only cleaning leather goods without conditioning or rendering a protective layer. A good example of an excellent leather wipes that does a great job of cleaning is Meguiar’s Quick Interior Detailer Wipes. It does a great of thoroughly cleaning leather.
Some leather wipes can also be used to condition leather. Conditioning leather is when the natural oils of leather is restored by applying leather conditioning products. These types of conditioners contain natural nourishing oils that’s great for impregnating leather with rich natural oils that will make the leather supple and good looking.
Natural leather in particular contains natural oils that get stolen when leather is cleaned or comes into contact with the elements of the weather like the sun. So these types of leather wipes do a great of nourishing the surface of leather keeping it fresh all the time.
On the market today, there are wipes like this leather conditioner wipes that are produced to help condition all types of leathers. These types of leather wipes are highly effective when applied on already cleaned leather because they do not contain any cleaning agents and can only condition, nourish, and help restore leather to a natural state.
I haven’t seen any leather wipes that only protect leather but I have seen quite a few leather wipes that clean, condition, and also protecting the leather.
The protection prowess of leather wipes includes guarding your leather from the harmful rays of the sun, making the leather water resistant, stain resistant, and preventing cracks, fading, and peeling.
You would definitely want the leather wipes you use to be able to offer your leather goods some level of protection. A classic example of leather wipes that’s able to offer some of the best protection after it’s cleaned and condition your leather in one single wipe is this wipes from the Weiman brand. You can check it out on Amazon!
All in all, you can see that leather wipes offer a lot of goodies to the total health of leather.
How Often Should Leather Wipes Be Used?
The frequency of use of leather wipes will depend on 3 key factors: the type of leather wipes, the type of leather you have to use your wipes on, and the state of your leather. Let’s take a look at these factors one after the other so everything is in the right perspective!
1. The Type of Leather Wipes
Generally, there are about 3 types of leather wipes. There are leather wipes that are:
- Leather Cleaning Wipes only
- Leather Conditioning Wipes only
- Leather Cleaner, Conditioner, and a Protector Wipes
Leather Cleaning Wipes
The leather cleaning wipes are perfect for day to day cleaning activities on hard wearing leather goods such shoes, bags, sofas, etc. Leather cleaning wipes do not do a deep cleaning on goods because they contain very mild cleaning agents that help to keep leather clean and fresh everyday.
Leather Conditioner Wipes
A leather conditioner wipes will have as its chief ingredient a natural oil that helps to nourish the leather and restore its lost oils. These types of wipes can be used once or twice a week on leather goods that are often exposed to the elements of the weather such as the leather car seats, outdoor furniture, etc.
The deal when it comes to using these types of leather wipes is not to apply it on leather that’s already looking great and well conditioned. This is to avoid over conditioning your leather goods so they don’t become sticky.
Leather Cleaner and Conditioning Wipes
The leather cleaner, and conditioner wipes types have the ability to clean and condition your leather all at the same time. This is the standard leather wipes to go for because they’re great for all types of leather goods. You can use these as and when you feel your leather needs a bit of tender loving care. Twice a month is what I will, however, recommend!
The best thing about this type of wipes is that you wouldn’t have to worry about stripping away the natural oils of the leather or over conditioning of the leather goods because as the leather is cleaned, so the oils coming off are being replaced.
When it comes to leather cleaners and conditioner wipes, the icing on the cake is that they tend to offer a protective layer on the surface of the leather against fading, UV sun rays, water, and stains.
Type of Leather
To put leather into two broad categories of natural and synthetic leather, how frequent you apply your leather wipes will be different. With synthetic leather, the surface is coated with a plastic material so it won’t really matter how often you use leather wipes.
The same cannot be said for goods made from natural leather. While the best practice for deep cleaning and conditioning natural leather goods is to do it about 3 – 4 times a year, you can generally use your leather wipes once or twice a month.
How To use Leather Wipes?
You can use your leather wipes by simply taking one piece of wipes and simply wiping it over the surface that needs cleaning, conditioning, or protecting. The leather wipes can then be disposed off once you’re done. The number of wipes you will use at a time will depend on the size of the leather item you’re wiping. But a good 1-2 Wipes will suffice one standard leather car seat!
Are Leather Wipes Any Good?
Although leather wipes won’t give you the kind of deep cleaning and conditioning you will often get with conventional leather care products or detailing services, it’s a great option for maintaining and caring for leather in-between routine deep cleaning and conditioning.
So in simple terms, leather wipes are good cleaning materials to have around. There is also a couple of things that choosing the wrong kind of leather wipes will result in and these are:
- Lint of the wipes coming off on leather
- Greasy or Sticky residue
- Leaving an unwanted shine
- Too much alkaline constituency in the leather wipes can remove the natural oils of the leather
- Lingering Chemical smell, etc
Are Leather Wipes Safe?
High quality leather wipes are very gentle and safe on the skin and leather but are very tough on dirt and greasy substances on leather. It’s, however, important to add that, you must check in with your doctor if the leather wipes come into contact with the eyes, mouth, or nose of children and pets for any possible allergic reactions.
One key point to remember is to use leather wipes on the right kind of material. Some leather wipes are great for natural leather, while others are great for synthetic leathers. You will also find that some will be good for both natural and synthetic leather. It all comes down to specific products.
What Types Of Materials Are Wipes Good For?
You can use leather wipes on slightly porous and non porous materials such as leather, vinyl/pleather, plastics. It’s not particularly good for use on very porous materials such as suede leather and nubuck leather.
How To Moisten Leather Wipes?
The best way to prevent leather wipes from drying up is by always keeping its container closed. But generally leather wipes will become dry from the top of the container.
When you notice your leather wipes drying up, you would want to turn the container in which the leather wipes is stored upside down or shake the container so that the wipes at the button pass on some juice to the wipes drying up.
In the case where the leather wipes becomes completely dry, you can try adding some small amount of distilled water to get it a bit moistened before use. Using distilled water is important because you wouldn’t want to get your leather wipes to pass on mold onto your leather.
It’s however, possible the leather wipes will not be as effective as how its made to be because the wipes drying up means some of the ingredients would have evaporated.