Have you ever owned a leather piece, only to notice that its color has changed over time? You’re not alone. This is a common issue with leather pieces, especially those that are frequently exposed to sunlight and other elements. So what causes the change of color in leather, and is there anything you can do to prevent it? Read how to prevent leather from changing color to find out.
Spew on Leather: What You Need to Know
What is called “Spew on Leather” is becoming more common. It happens when leather gets wet and the liquids cause the material to start to break down and look bad. There are ways to stop this from happening, but we need to learn more about it first.
The term “spew” refers to the movement of fats/oils from within the leather that crystallize on the surface when they come into contact with air. The crystals appear on the surface as a white powder or as a ‘bloom,’ but are frequently misidentified as mold or mildew.
The spew is extremely white in appearance, which is a sign that you have Spew rather than mold. Mold is typically green/grey, especially on leather.
Sounds GROSS! But, you can fix it.
WHY DOES LEATHER TURN WHITE?
People call the effect of the leather changing color “whitening.” It is not the leather itself that is whitening, but the fat on the surface of the leather. The more oil or fat there is on the surface of your leather, the quicker it will happen. Furthermore, if you live in a very humid area, your chances of this happening are increased greatly.
- The oil on the surface of the leather whitens
- If you live in a humid area, it causes leather to whiten more
HOW TO AVOID LEATHER TURNING WHITE?
The best way to protect your leather messenger bag is to store them in a dry place and take them outside occasionally to get some fresh air. Well, your leather bag needs Vitamin D just like you!
HOW TO FIX WHITE LEATHER?
Spew cannot be fixed by just cleaning it. You need a Spew Stabiliser to stop the spewing and fix the fat liquors.
WHAT IS A SPEW STABILISER?
You can make your magic potion! All you need is some rubbing alcohol and a leather cleaner or dish soap.
What You’ll Need:
- Rubbing alcohol and a soft horsehair brush
- Dishwashing liquid or leather cleaning
- Vacuum cleaner and a soft wire brush
- Conditioner for leather
Step 1: Use gentle horse brushes to sweep off any loose white mold or mildew remnants from the leather.
Step 2 (optional): If you have a vacuum cleaner, use it to remove any dirt that is on the surface of the leather. Do not shake or rub the leather.
Step 3: Take a damp microfiber cloth and add 2 or 3 drops of dish soap or leather cleaner to it.
Step 4: Massage the surface of the leather in circular strokes.
Step 5: After you clean the leather surface, use a different clean towel that is wet with plain water to wipe away the foam.
Step 6: Mix water, rubbing alcohol, and detergent in equal parts.
Step 7: Wet a cloth with the solution and clean the leather surface.
Step 8: Do not try to dry the leather quickly.
Step 9: Apply the leather conditioner to the surface and buff it until all of the debris is gone.
Step 10: Let the leather dry.
WHY DOES LEATHER TURN GREEN?
Leather can become stained and turn green if it touches metal hardware (like copper-alloy or brass). Leather can also fade if it’s in the sun for a long time. When leather turns green, it might be from the sun or a previous stain.
- Avoid damaging your leather by keeping it away from metal hardware
- Protect your leather bag from sun
HOW TO AVOID LEATHER TURNING GREEN?
Just store your leather shoulder bag in a dry place with no moisture in contact.
- Protect it from the elements
- No moisture, no problem!
HOW TO FIX LEATHER TURNING GREEN?
You need a microfiber cloth, rubbing alcohol and water.
Step 1: Clean any loose mold with a cloth.
Step 2: 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 1/4 cup water
Step 3: Apply carefully to the leather’s remaining mold.
Step 4: To complete drying, place the leather somewhere out of direct sunshine.
- Baking Soda
- White Vinegar
- Leather Conditioner
- Clean Soft Toothbrush
Step 1: In a dish, take baking soda and white vinegar. Make it into a thin paste. The combination of baking soda and white vinegar can help remove green stains safely.
Step 2: The vinegar and baking soda mix to form a mild acid that helps remove brass tarnish.
Step 3: Use a soft, clean toothbrush to load up the mixture.
Step 4: Use gentle pressure to brush the baking soda and white vinegar solution over the damaged area(s) of the leather.
Step 5: Allow the mixture to sit on the leather for a few minutes.
Step 6: Wipe the mixture and green stains off the leather with a clean damp microfiber towel. If any stains persist on your leather, repeat the same procedure.
Step 7: Let the leather dry completely.
Step 8: You can condition your leather to make it look better. This will add nutrients that were lost.
Over time, the oils in your skin and natural elements will cause the leather to change color. However, there are ways to slow this process down – and even prevent it from happening at all. By using a quality leather protector on your bags, you can keep them looking new for years to come.