How to Get Rid of Bad Smell On Leather

Leather can be described as a natural, durable and flexible material created by tanning animal raw hide and skin.

Leather can absorb strong smells such as sweat, smoke and tanning chemicals. Getting these smells out is another issue as most methods you may be familiar with are usually trial by error.

Here are some hacks you can employ to remove bad odour from leather products.

  • Dry The Leather

This is the first step in cleaning leather as moisture damages leather and causes it to smell.

To dry leather, place the leather in indirect sunlight or employ the use of a blow-dryer on low heat setting. In the absence of the latter, a clean dry cloth can be used to wipe the leather dry.

To avoid damage, do not use alcohol based products or odour masking products like perfume.

  • Pad the Leather Item with Newspaper

Dry newspaper sheets can be used to absorb the smell on a completely dry leather item. There are other odour absorbents that could be used. However, newspaper is preferred for leather as it is more absorbent and softer.

The newspaper sheets are crumpled and placed in a box. The leather item is then placed in the crumpled newspaper heap. The box is then closed and sealed for some days. If the smell hasn’t been drawn out, it can be left for another day.

  • Clean the leather with Vinegar solution

Vinegar contains acid. This acid helps in the removal of bad odour from the leather item. Note, before making use of vinegar, carry out a spot test to ensure that the vinegar doesn’t ¬†discolour the leather.

To achieve a lasting solution, an equal amount of white distilled vinegar is mixed with water used to clean the smelly areas of the leather item. If the odour is very pungent, the leather item can be soaked in the vinegar mix for 5-10 mins. Remember to dry the leather adequately to prevent the growth of mould.

  • Purchase a Leather Cleaner

This can be procured from stores around you or footwear outlets within your area. Ensure you use the leather cleaner made specifically for the leather item.

Leather cleaner serves the function of; removing the bad odour, preserving the colour and sheen of the leather as well as prevent the leather from cracking.

  • Condition the Smelly Leather Item

Conditioning is as important as drying. It’s a must-do after cleaning leather items. Conditioning helps to remove any bad odour that remains as well as maintain the colour and sheer of the leather.

Conditioning can be done using high quality linseed oil, shoe polisher or a professional leather conditioner.

  • Enclose the Leather Item in Baking Soda

Baking soda is very safe on leather and it’s a great absorbent of pungent odours. To use this hack, you must have;

-baking soda

-zip-lock bag or a pillow case.

The latter must be big enough to fit your leather item. Place the leather item in the pillowcase or zip-lock bag. A thin layer of baking soda is sprinkled over the surface of the leather.

Tie the end of the pillowcase or seal the zip-lock bag and allow to sit for 24 hours or overnight. A small vacuum or clean cloth can be used to remove the baking soda.

Be gentle to avoid scratching the leather. If the odour remains, repeat the process.

 

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Suede Problems? DIY Hacks to the Rescue!

“If you take suede leather and put it on a piece of steel and put moisture on it, it actually sticks” Nik Wallenda.

Suede is a type of leather that has underground stress, tear and distress to enable it achieve its classic-felt like look. It’s for these reasons that suede is less water repellant than leather.

Because Suede requires much more level of attention than leather shoe, we have highlighted a few tricks to help you handle suede problems;

  • Wet Suede

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Remove the shoe and dry in open air slowly. Do not put the shoes in sunlight or next to a heater as this can cause the suede to warp or crack. Do not try to remove any stains while the shoe is wet too. This can strip the shoes of its soft texture.

  • Muddy or Dirty Suede

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To remove dirt or mud, use either of these brushes; a suede brush, a gentle nylon brush, a nail brush or a toothbrush.

Brush away any mud or dirt by gently working with the nap (i.e. the direction of the suede hairs). Remember not to scrub or wipe suede shoes when wet.

  • Old and Dried Up Suede

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To revive an old or dried up suede shoe, massage the fibers back into place using a suede brush. Start of by working in small circles; by massaging each area until the fiber of the shoe is soft and glowing.

  • Oil Stained Suede

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For oil stained suede shoes, apply talcum or cornstarch powder. Dust the stained area with cornstarch or talcum powder and allow the shoe to sit overnight.

Afterward, using a dry brush gently wipe away the talcum powder or cornstarch. A little bit of moisture would be needed to remove all the powder. To conclude, make use of a suede brush to return the nap to its normal direction.

  • Ink Stained Suede

You remove ink stains with cotton balls and 91% alcohol. Simply blot away the ink by rubbing alcohol to the affected area and allow to dry. A suede shoe eraser can then be used to remove any leftover stains once dry.

  • Watermarked or Stained Suede

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If your suede shoe is stained with watermarks, water-based stains (juices, drinks, etc) or salt stains, use a suede eraser.

In the absence of a suede eraser, a sturdy pencil eraser can suffice. When removing stains, scrub gently in a circular motion.

A nylon, suede or lint brush can be used to gently comb the fabric back into place.

  • Salt Stained Suede

This hack is great for shoes stained with salt. In the absence of a suede shoe eraser, an equal mixture of white vinegar and warm water would suffice.

Remember the rule; to gently wipe away the stains with the mixture. This can be done either with a sponge or a toothbrush. This hack can be used to clean suede shoes stained with chocolate or wine. It is not to be used for mud or oil stains.

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5 Things to do to a soaked Leather Shoe

This rainy season, the first thing you want to avoid is soaked leather shoes.

It is essential to note that most leather shoes might never fit properly if left soaked for 12 to 24 hours. Hence, strive to dry soaked leather shoes as soon as possible.

This blog post focuses on 5 quick tips to undertake when your leather shoe is soaked in rain water.

 

  • Take off the drenched shoes and Clean

 

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When you get home, the first thing to do is to take off the shoe and remove the insoles of the shoe (if  removable), and dry. Then gently wipe off any standing water. If the shoe picked up dirt or mud even while dredging through puddle of water, it is important to clean off the dirt or mud.

The dirt can be removed with a stiff brush and clean all dirt off of the shoes. For mud, dab and wipe them down with a rag first and then use a stiff brush to really get inside of the nooks and crannies of the shoes.

Make use of acid free tissue paper or old newspaper and stuff the shoes to absorb the moisture. Leave the shoes in a lighted but not in a warm area after stuffing the shoes. Change the paper at least three times a day. These papers help to hold the shoe in proper shape.

 

 

  • Dry the Shoes

 

Allow the shoes to dry naturally with air and dry the shoes to the point of being damp but not dry. To facilitate proper air circulation, the shoes should be turned to their sides; never sole down to reduce drying time.

Avoid the use of electrical heat such as heat from hair dryers or heaters. This causes the leather to be warped and twists the shoe out of shape.

 

  • Condition the Shoes

 

The next step after drying is to condition the shoes. This is to be done while the leather is slightly wet (i.e. just damp). Apply to the shoes a reasonable amount of thick leather coat of leather conditioner.

Massage the conditioner into the surface of the leather and leave it to dry for several hours or overnight. The conditioner will penetrate the leather and replenish the natural oils that got stripping when the shoe got wet.

 

  • Protect and Prepare the Shoes

 

After conditioning, if the shoe still seems overly dry in places, apply additional conditioners to those areas. Buff the entire surface of the leather shoe too.

To prevent the total erosion of the oils in the leather due to the uncertainty of the weather, water and stain repellant should be applied to the shoes before it gets soaked again. Avoid getting your shoes soaked regularly.

 

  • Reshape the Shoe

 

After the shoe has been dried, conditioned and protected, the shoe has to be reshaped. Ensure to make use of a natural cedar shoe tree to restore the shape. If you don’t have one, now is a time to purchase one.

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