How To: Cleaning and Conditioning Leather

We have a few older, leather items that have become very... gross. We received a gorgeous set of green leather boxes for our wedding many, many years ago (ok, 16 1/2 years ago) . We kept them in the house and used them for various things over the years, and then when we moved to Hiram over 10 years ago the big one ended up down in the basement. It isn't wet, but it has had moisture and over time and being ignored our beautiful leather box turned into a nasty, nasty mess. Just coated in layers of gunk and mold... BLECH. It looked like a biohazard to me.

However, since I was offered the chance to review Chamberlain's Leather Milk Leather Care Liniment which is a cleaner and conditioner for leather I decided not to give up on the old box just yet. 

I did a few quick searches on how to clean moldy leather and opted for the mild soap and water method. Day one, I scrubbed the bejezus out of it with a rag and some warm water with a mild soap. That took me nearly a half hour to get the mold and built up gunk out of every nook and cranny. It was pretty wet, and bedraggled looking when I was done but looking much better (and oh, the black, black water that was running as I wrung out the rag I used to clean it with said that I'd made at least SOME progress). I laid it out on a towel in a warm room to dry.

These four pictures are from the initial washing / scrubbing with a dish rag:

This is what it looked like after drying:

And after I applied the Leather Milk:

It is far from perfect, of course - it was pretty badly molded and neglected; however it does look and feel a MILLION times better! I can't wait to use the leather milk on other items we have that are also in need of some TLC!

Product Description:

Just like milk is a primary nutrient for life, Leather Milk is a vital nutrient for your leather! Originally designed for and recommended by Saddleback Leather Company, Chamberlain's Leather Care Liniment is a milky, water-based leather conditioner containing some remarkable leather enriching ingredients along with a few mystical properties. Our all-natural recipes are designed to gently strengthen, preserve, beautify and restore your leather, without overloading it with heavy oils or toxic chemicals. Distinguished by its pleasant almond fragrance (subtle enough not to detract from your leather's natural scent), Leather Care Liniment no. 1 is perfect for use on your leather bags, luggage, purses, shoes, boots, saddle/tack and leather apparel. Leather Care Liniment is also 100% Made in USA!

Chamberlain's Leather Milk (Leather Care Liniment No. 1) is used on all Saddleback Leather Company's products before the items are shipped to their customers. Here are a few leather care tips to keep in mind before using Leather Care Liniment: Read instructions fully before using. Leather Milk should not be consumed. Use carefully on unfinished leather. Not for use on suede. Test in a discreet area before using. Clean first with Straight Cleaner no. 2 or other leather cleaner if leather is excessively dirty. May darken lighter colored leathers; color usually lightens back up with use. Apply shoe polish after conditioning dress shoes.

*Full Disclosure: I received complimentary product from Chamberlain's Leather Milk for the purpose of review. I received no compensation for this post. All comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.


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