Patent Leather Cleaning- A Myth?

Patent leather bags and shoes are always available, but are of course hotter in some seasons than others! Even when the glossy/garish stuff isn’t particularly trendy, it nearly always turns everyone’s head:)

Patent leather, for starters is genuine leather that is coated with a high gloss finish, which gives it that exceptional shine! There is also something called faux patent leather , which is of course not leather!

Since the appeal of patent products is their beautiful glassy finish, one always tries to keep them looking their best!

Below are some tricks and tips on how to clean and care for your cherished patent leather possessions-

For general cleaning (dry dust, fingerprints, etc.)

1.Wiping it off with a cloth moistened with water is a quick and easy way to clean off fingerprints and general dirt.

2.If the dirt levels area heavy, apply a small amount of Windex and wipe it away with a clean, soft cloth or paper towel.

3.Buff with a soft cloth when dry to restore the shine.

4.If a stain transfers to the surface of the bag, it can be removed with tape. Fresh stains work best with this removal method. Simply press the tape onto the surface and then remove. The stain will stick to the tape and come off of the purse.

5. Patent leather cleaners available on the market can also be used, but they only work on fresh stains, not on old nasty ones!

We strictly recommend not using use home remedies like hairspray, white vinegar, alcohol and so on! They almost always end up destroying the surface coating of patent leather! Mr Clean’s magic earsor should also not be used without exercising proper caution (a patch test is always recommended).

For deep cleaning (heavy stains that are old and tricky)

No matter what the internet or endless leather care manuals claim, it is guaranteed that a stubborn stain (like a month old ink stain, or even a week old dye-transfer from another product) cannot be removed from patent leather. Till now, no successful method of removing stains from the patent finish has been invented/discovered – it is also very difficult to replicate the patent finish if it is damaged. It is possible to dye Patent leather but even if you dyed the leather to black, the stains would still show through! Thus bad stains can be classified as irrevocable damage in the case of patent leathers!

Every leather care practitioner always turns all patent leather away! The danger of using harsh solvents is that you damage the lacquer coating that cannot be replaced! The heavy stain is absorbed by the leather beneath the gloss finish, and there is no way any cleaner/solvent can reach to the stain without destroying the patent coating first. Thus fresh stains can be easily wiped off, as they are still sitting on the surface coating and have not yet been absorbed by the leather inside!

Care Tips-

1.Patent leather picks up dyes and colors from other fabrics (such as clothing, etc.) very easily. Avoid allowing your purse come in constant contact with other clothing, etc. that may have dyes that transfer easily.

2. To remove scuff marks from patent leather, rub them with a soft cloth moistened with milk.

3. With any cleaning effort, watch the patent coating to ensure it is not being removed. If removed, it will result in a dull spot. A patch test is always the smart way to go about it!

Patent leather products make for beautiful accessories that are versatile and fashionable- care for them intellegently! 🙂

-The Leather Laundry (


Take care of your leather sofa the right way!

Before You Begin:
Before you attempt to clean your leather furniture, it is important to determine the type of leather you’re working with. You can typically find this information on the tags attached to your furniture or in the written material distributed with your furniture. You can also contact your furniture retailer or manufacturer.
The tags and other written information generally provide tips on cleaning your particular furniture. It is recommended that before attempting any of the suggestions offered in this article that you follow the cleaning procedures recommended by the manufacturer of your particular furniture.
When you purchased your furniture your retailer may have supplied you with leather care products which may be more appropriate for your furniture than the cleaning solutions suggested here.
What You Will Need
Vacuum cleaner with soft brush attachment
Mild liquid facial or body soap (such as Dove or Neutrogena)
Distilled water*
At least four soft rags
Water-based leather protector/conditioner (found in most furniture stores)
*It is best to use distilled water because tap water may contain chlorine and other contaminants which can damage the surface of the leather.
Cleaning Instructions
Vacuum the piece of furniture thoroughly, being sure to use the soft brush attachment (leather scratches easily). If the suction on your vacuum is too strong, consider using a smaller hand held vacuum with less power to prevent leaving marks on the leather.
Mix a few drops of liquid soap with about a quart of distilled water, mixing until suds form.
Test a small, inconspicuous area of the furniture first.
Dip one of the rags in the soapy water and wring out thoroughly.
Working one section at a time, wipe the surface of the furniture with the damp rag.
Dip a separate rag in clean distilled water (no soap), wring thoroughly, and wipe away the soap residue.
Dry thoroughly with the third rag.
Buff the surface with the fourth clean rag to restore luster.
Treat the surface with leather protector/conditioner as per product instructions.
Leather Furniture Stain Removal
Remember to ALWAYS test a small, inconspicuous area of the furniture first before using any of these methods.
Ink stains: Dip a cotton swab in rubbing (Isoprophl) alcohol and rub over the ink stain. Dry with a blow dryer set on its lowest setting.
Dark stains: (i.e. food, blood, etc.): Make a paste of one part cream of tartar with 1 part lemon juice. Rub this paste on the stain and leave it set for 10 minutes. Remove the paste with a damp rag and moisturizing soap, as described above for general cleaning. Buff the leather dry with a soft cloth.
Grease stains: Simply wipe stain from the leather using a dry cloth. Do not apply water to the grease stain.
Source: Pepper Fry Blog- makes for an interesting read :)!leather sofa

The Leather Laundry got published in Clean India Journal! Proud moment!

Mallika Sharma- Leather Cleaning is no way an easy task. It is more like art restoration, where a technician has to work on several elements like stains, loose thread, dirt lining etc. “Our services are analogous to that of a surgeon’s, both in terms of time expended and expertise involved,” says Mallika Sharma, Founder-

The Leather Laundry.

Startup Journey
What propelled us to take up this venture was an enviable experience of two and half decades in the leather industry. We already have all the technical know-how, expertise and synergies in place! Also a genuine dearth of professional leather care technicians in India, prompted us to jump in and fill the gap by offering to clean, repair and care for leather, we are dissuading people from discarding their leather gear. This reduces wastefulness and conserves the environment (as leather processing entails a lot of water consumption and air pollution). Thus the Leather Laundry is a socially responsible initiative that tacitly reduces the impact of growing consumerism and fast fashion!
Cleaning and Moisturizing: Recommended procedures of leather cleaning are used to remove stains and soil as well as to replenish vital oils and restore color. Stains are removed in the safest possible way to maintain the look, feel and delicate balance of oil in the animal hide. Moisture content and softness is also restored by applying a special topcoat of rehydrating creams.
Coloring and Refinishing: Our color matching experts bring back color and softness that have been lost due to continued use, through the application of refinishing dyes and oils. They also fix non fast colors and restore colors that wear off during the normal cleaning procedure. The experts specialize in changing/improving the texture and tone of leather. From minor touch-up and tone correction to recoloring and complete color restoration, we do it all!

Repairing and Replacement: The trained tailoring workforce helps meet the repair needs of your leather apparel and accessories, thus rendering them usable. We carry a huge array of hardware, lining fabrics and leathers (of all possible qualities and colors) on stock. Our skilled craftsmen use high quality thread to provide excellent stitch work that completely blends in with your product.
Besides, cleaning, coloring & repairing, customized services is also available, such as:
Size alternation of garments to get the ideal fit.
Modification of color and quality of lining and hardware as per your liking.
Strap length adjustment of leather bags
Personal monogramming of names,initials, messages etc.
Modification of texture and color of leather as per your liking!
Additional embroidery work/printing.

We also offer made-to-order leather jackets where people can order the jackets based on the designs they selected.
Our prices are thus reflective of the same. My first customer has been a leather brand from Bangalore! The Company sent out leather gear in bulk quantities to us, and has been quite satisfied with our services! I have had people coming to me with precious leather gear (of high sentimental value) from their grandparents’ times, seeking advise on preservation and restoration techniques.
Troubles on the way…
Lack of skills in the field, lack of awareness among the consumers, theft or pilferage; we faced a lot of teething troubles at every stage. Even to this day, we are learning and are facing unexpected challenges from all quarters.
Cost Vs Quality
For me competition has never been a deterrent, or a motivator! I want to effectively package and sell stellar quality service that is timely, courteous and durable! I will not say that the concept is entirely unique/novel! There are several Indian players dabbling with the concept already! I do not want to under-cut competition by indulging in a price war of sorts. The focus area will only and always be “quality”. Since my focus area is narrow and caters to a niche market, it will take us a while to get volumes and break into the market! But it will be totally worth its while! Profit, is not the motive at the moment, building up on a culture of leather-care in India, is.
Future Plans…
The key milestones for the next one-year would only be to focus on excellent quality and timely deliveries. We will try to get as much traction as we can in Delhi/ NCR and in other metro cities through our brand partners! I have tied up with three brands from Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, who have exclusive rights to market our products in their respective cities! I am in dialogue with two other brands, and the idea now would be to tie up with, as many brands as possible, so that they can direct all the leather care needs of their customers to us!
Too early to be able to make any kind of projections! I am taking my own sweet time, and want the venture to grow organically (banking heavily on word-of-mouth). We are learning every day and are playing it by ear! Of-course I have certain dreams, goals and milestones for the venture, but I would like to keep them to myself for now!


“Home Remedy For Leather Care”

For a vegetarian, I really like leather. In fact, I’d say I like leather a lot even for a meat eater. Especially for shoes. I really love leather shoes. And purses. And wallets. And boots… oh lordy. Especially boots. I have a boot problem (damn you,eBay!). I like to buy nice leather boots and then maintain them, rather than go out and buy a new pair every year after the previous crap pair falls to pieces and are so crap they cannot be repaired. Having a good cobbler is essential for when zippers go, heals wear away, and holes show up in soles (I like Conti’s). For more day-to-day care, waterproofing and leather balm help maintain the leather.

Leather is, of course, hide from a (once living) animal, and just like our skin, it can dry out. Waterproofing sprays help protect the leather from the vicious wet/dry cycle that comes with winter wear, but eventually your boots are going to start to show some wear. They’ll look a little dusty and sad, usually down around the feet and ankles where they suffer the most abuse. That’s where this leather balm comes in.

It’s a simple recipe, basically just a modification of my massage bars. Whereas the massage bars are 1:1:1 beeswax, cocoa butter, and liquid oil, these are 1:1:2, giving the balm a slightly softer texture as opposed to being a very determinedly solid bar. This is still a balm, though; if you want more of a cream, I’d recommend a 1:1:3 ratio.

Once you’ve made the balm, massage it into your dried out leather boots with a rag. It’s easiest to apply while you’re wearing the boots. Watch the leather darken and come back to life with a beautiful shine. When you’re done, the leather will be beautifully soft and supple, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this earlier. Don’t overdo things, and be sure to wipe off any excess. Follow up with a waterproofing spray.

homemade leather balm

25g beeswax
25g cocoa butter
50g sweet almond oil (or other not-too-greasy liquid oil)

Melt everything together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour into a 125mL mason jar and let cool until solid, 30–40 minutes. Use whenever you like. 12-11-10-pic02 12-11-10-pic05


Home remedy for sprucing up your white leather upholstry!

Worried about ruining your couch with your cleaning pursuits? Here are a few tips to get it in sparkling condition.

True it spells beauty and class, but maintaining your leather couch (that too white!) can be a little tricky. You might not have noticed that dust and grime settle in so easily and frequently before going in for those lovely white couches. It might be your favourite corner in the house but keeping it spick-n-span could very well turn into a nightmare. Before you start pulling out your hair in despair, give these tricks a look-see:

1. Before embarking on your mission, test the chosen cleaning product on a portion of the couch that is not noticeable. It is important to check for discolouration and damage to the leather.

2. If the leather seems fine, use a mild body wash with a clean, damp, soft cloth to rub in a circular motion with gentle pressure. Do not work up a lather and do not make the leather too wet. It should just be damp and moist.

3. Once the cloth is soiled, rinse it and re-apply the body wash.

4. Wipe the area with a clean, damp cloth.

5. Buff the area with a clean, dry cloth. You don’t want to leave the leather wet or damp. It will just reduce the life of your leather couch.

6. If there are stains that refuse to leave your beautiful couch, you can try rubbing the stain with a soft cloth dipped in non-acetone nail polish remover.

However, before you try this trick you might want to try it out in some inconspicuous spot of your couch (patch test) in case the leather does not agree with the non-acetone nail polish remover!