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When washing and cleaning leather garments and furniture, you do need to follow special instructions. With every garment it is wise to read the washing labels beforehand, just in case they require special care.

Leather clothing described as washable can never actually be washed. You must sponge the item do not immerse in water.

* New or newly cleaned garments should be treated with a waterproof spray such as Melatonin Protector.
* A scarf worn around the neck will prevent grease marks on leather collars.
* All leather clothing should be professionally cleaned every three to four years, including re-tinting and re-oiling.
* Skins are stretched while being manufactured and so will contract with cleaning. These should stretch out when worn soon after but the best solution is not to buy a tight-fitting garment in the first place.
* If it does get wet, wipe over with a clean cloth and hang with a coat hanger on a washing line to allow to dry naturally.
* Remove surface soiling from washable leathers with a soapy sponge (use soda crystals or soap flakes). Then wipe with a clean damp cloth and hang to dry.
* When not is use, store in a cotton cover, not plastic as this will make the garment sweat and stain and hang in a cupboard.
* Treat the garment with an application of hide food.

Leather gloves

* Wash in a warm soapy solution whilst on your hands. Rub together gently, do not scrub. Remove and allow to dry.
* When nearly dry, pop them back on to restore their shape.
* Do not rinse doeskin gloves as the soap makes them supple.

Leather Furniture

Always read the manufacturers care instructions and keep them in a safe place. Dust regularly and give an occasional application of hide food to prevent the leather from drying out. Place the furniture away from direct heat. Remove grime with a damp cloth.

Shoes and Handbags

* When new, apply a good protector spray.
* Before polishing, wipe the leather over with Mars Oil NonScratch Cleaning sponge (available from good shoe shops).
* Clean shoes regularly with recommended shoes polishes that will clean and maintain the dye colour. They will also cover scuffmarks.
* If shoes get really wet allow them t dry naturally. Stuff them with paper to help them retain their shape.

Patent Leather

* If patent leather becomes very cold it will crack. This is permanent damage.
* Dust with a soft cloth and apply patent-leather dressing when looking dull and lifeless.
* If the item is only used occasionally, use petroleum jelly all over and wipe before use.
* Always use shoe trees or stuff with a wedge of paper.