Because leather is a natural material, it needs care and attention. Similarly, faux leather and vinyl may essentially be plastic, but care is still required if their condition is to maintained.
What will damage leather?
Natural leather is fairly robust, especially if it is conditioned or protected by a water-based protectant for example. There are certain substances that may still cause damage. These include:
• Nail varnish
• Sun cream
• Hair spray
• Red wine
• Anything that is spirit/cellulose based
If leather does fall victim to one of the substances above, the cleaning and restoration is best carried out by a professional leather cleaning service provider. Trying to do it yourself could make things worse.
When to clean and condition?
If the leather surface is protected or naturally shiny, it is when dull patches appear that cleaning or other care is probably necessary. If, on the other hand, the surface is naturally a matt surface, dirt will cause it to become shiny, thus indicating that care and/or cleaning is due.
In order to ensure consistency across the leather surface, professional care is better than trying to administer the solution yourself.
What about faux leather and vinyl?
Faux leather and vinyl both share some of the characteristics of real leather. As a result, care and attention, though of a different type to that of natural leather, is still required. Sunlight and heat can cause faux leather and vinyl to become dry. This can lead to cracking and ultimately, tearing of the material.
When to clean and condition faux leather and vinyl?
For day to day cleaning, a damp cloth or proprietary vinyl cleaner should do the job. Once cleaned, however, a protective gel should be applied in order to maintain the finish. For best results, especially if cracking has occurred, professional care should be sought.