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;
-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.