Protecting and maintaining leather of any kind can be a difficult task on its own, but the harsh winter weather only increases the difficulty to maintain. Leather luggage needs extra special attention as it is exposed to various climates during travel. The winter weather can damage your bag visually by affecting the color and aging process, but also rain or snow can cause harmful cracks or shrinkage to your bag.
There are many different tactics used to protect leather prior to, during, and after use. Using these techniques will help preserve the lifespan of your leather luggage and keep them in visibly good condition. The following are some of the top ways to help further protect your leather luggage during the winter months.
1. Use natural cleaning products
As leather ages, it develops a natural patina which creates a beautiful, textured appearance. Using chemical based cleaning supplies can damage or delay the natural aging process of the leather. It is recommended to use a natural and homemade cleaning product, such as warm water and vinegar to preserve the aging appearance of the leather luggage. For the winter months, there is one exception to this rule as the climate and external chemicals can be more damaging than a cleaning product.
2. Use a protective salt spray
Using a salt protection spray is an exception to the natural based cleaning rule. During the winter months, salt can stain and wear your leather bag if it is not protected. This is especially true if you have rolling luggage as it is exposed to the salt on the ground. Avoid placing luggage on the ground during winter months to avoid direct exposure to the salt and slush that is present. The salt spray that is used to protect your boots and shoes in the winter months is the same spray that should be applied to your luggage.
3. Wipe the insides
Cleaning the insides of the bag is almost as important as protecting the outside. If you use your leather luggage often, consider cleaning the interior every two to three weeks. Use a damp cloth and wipe the inside material to remove any dust or dirt that has been tracked in with other items. Open the luggage after wiping and allow it to air dry. This will also help improve the lifespan of your bag.
4. Clean with hands
Leather is a sensitive material that needs gentle care. Always use your hands and a soft cloth to clean the bag. Using a harsh cleaning material can scratch and damage the leather. If there is dirt or a stain that cannot be removed with a soft cloth, consider gently soaking the spot with the natural based cleaner such as vinegar and water.
5. Avoid rain or snowfall
Though this is a difficult task to do during the winter months, avoiding direct exposure to rain or snowfall is a great way to protect your leather luggage. The water can cause visible damage to the leather and can potentially cause cracking or breaking. Consider placing a plastic cover over your luggage while traveling outside to reduce the exposure to rain or snowfall.
6. Take it as a carry-on while traveling
Leather luggage can also be damaged by scratches or marks caused by objects hitting the bag. While traveling with your leather luggage, consider using it as a carry-on. This will reduce the risk of damage as it will not be exposed to other objects or external climates. Protecting your bag from marks, water, or impact is a crucial way to preserving the life of your leather bag.