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Leather can seem a very durable material, but when scratches appear, they can show easily and be very hard to ignore. There are companies out there that do leather repair work but this can be costly so here a few home remedies you can try at home first to see if you can get that leather looking brand new again. If you’re using a product you’ve never used before, it’s always best to test it out on a small inconspicuous area on your bag first to make sure it doesn’t change the colour or texture.
If it’s only a light scratch, this can usually be solved by using leather oil or conditioner. First add a small amount of leather oil to the area and rub in a circular motion which may help to lessen the scratch. Leave to dry completely and apply some leather conditioner in order to maintain a good level of oil and wax in the leather. Using Vaseline is also a good option for light scratches. You can use this by rubbing a small amount on to the scratch with a dry cloth for the best results. Always remove excess oil and conditioner after treatment with a dry cloth.
If you are dealing with a deeper scratch, the first thing you should do is clean the leather with leather cleaner which is available to buy from many retailers online. Some of the best selling brands are: Chamberlain’s Leather Milk Conditioner and Cleaner and Leather Nova Conditioner and Cleaner so you could try one of these first if you have never used a leather cleaner before. Use a soft cloth to clean the area using the leather cleaning product. Next softly dab the scratched area with distilled white vinegar and once it is dry, use some colourless shoe polish on the affected area until it seems to be blended properly. If the scratch is still visible after this, try rubbing some olive oil on the area and blending with more colourless shoe polish to see if this does the trick.
David Mesquita who is VP at Leather Spa, a very highly regarded leather repair spot, advises anyone with scratches to sort the problem quickly as the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to get the marks out and therefore you risk permanent damage to the leather. They offer a Perfect Gel which is primarily for removing scuffs and stains but can also work for scratches. Just rub a bit on the affected area in a circular motion with a dry cloth. If you’re looking for a really quick fix then use petroleum jelly on the scratch which will be absorbed by the leather and hopefully give the desired result.
It has also been mentioned that skin moisturizer can help to reduce the visibility of scratches on the surface so if all else fails and you have some moisturizer in the house you could give that a go, trying it out on a small inconspicuous patch of the leather first. Just ensure that anything you use doesn’t have a colour or strong fragrance to it as this could damage or change the leather.
Suede and Nubuck
If you own a suede or nubuck leather bag, you should avoid getting the leather wet while cleaning as this is a much more delicate material and will get damaged more easily. It is a good idea to clean it using a pencil eraser first which will be able to remove dirt from the bag without water. Then use a soft wire brush or toothbrush to buff the leather until it is lifted. While this won’t remove the scratch, it will help to make it less noticeable in the first instance. Following this, use a conditioner specifically for suede leather which will help to eliminate the scratch.