Diane Meek, Director, SPS, focuses on the importance of leather cleaning.
If there is any material that ages beautifully, it is leather. A luxurious product used in furniture and interior decoration, leather, like any other material must be maintained to ensure that it stays lustrous throughout the time that it is in use. One of the biggest issues with leather furniture that has been in use is the build-up of soiling and grease. Moreover, leather in public places can be potential carriers of infection and hence needs to be cleaned regularly. And finally, although leather naturally retains appearance, it can get dull with time; hence, cleaning and protecting it through a proper maintenance regime is important.
Parameters of cleaning
Before deciding on a cleaning regime, there are several parameters that need to be considered. First, identify the type of leather that is to be cleaned. At SPS, we normally visit customers to help them carry out this exercise. Once that is done, select/buy the product that is specially designed for that kind of leather. Several times, we see clients having used the wrong product for the wrong kind of leather. Even worse is when they use products that are not suitable for leather. For pigmented leather/faux leather we recommend Uniters Leather Master (a 25-year old leader in care and repair products) wipes as they are easy to use and no pouring of liquids is required as the product is already on the wipe, which also contains biocide for hygiene. We also recommend using an ink stop protection cream, which will help in protecting the material against UV rays.
The kind of cleaning for both original and faux leather is the same – however, when it comes to faux leather, we find it more difficult to maintain because being manmade, they are more prone to dye transfer from clothes and other materials.
The ideal time to clean
Leather cleaning can easily be done in-house by housekeeping staff, and if done on a regular basis and if treated correctly, leather can last for a long time. If leather has not been cleaned on a regular basis and has become soiled (dye transfer/pen marks), it can be refinished, but that is a process carried out at our facility by expert technicians.
Products to be used
Our products are specially designed to clean and protect all types of genuine & faux leather. Different cleaners and protectors are used for different leather types. Its just about identifying the right match. No other products must be used to maintain leather and that includes but is not only restricted to window cleaners, abrasive creams like Jif, soaps and disinfectants.
How can leather cleaning be eco-friendly and sustainable?
Basically, it is important to use water-based, biodegradable products. Our products are also ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental Management System) certified and non-harmful. Cleaning and protecting leather regularly will also reduce the amount of cleaning product used, while extending the longevity of the leather.