Mars Care – Leather & Garment Care Tips
With over 100 years of experience, Mars Care have developed a comprehensive range of leather & clothing care products to keep your waterproof kit in top condition.
Follow our top tips below to keep your leather, waxed cotton, and waterproof membranes at their best.
Leather is a naturally hard-wearing, supple and durable material, making it an ideal choice for all types of outdoor clothing, footwear, bags and equipment. Bovine leather is most commonly used due to its strength and durability, but sheep, lamb, pig & deer are also used when a softer, more flexible finish is desired.
If cared for properly, leather can last for many, many years in even the toughest conditions. However, allowing leather to dry out can reduce its waterproof qualities, introduce cracks, and drastically shorten its lifetime.
The good news is that some basic care goes a very long way:
- After use, wipe away any excess dirt or mud with a damp cloth and allow the leather to dry naturally.
- Ideally you should store leather at room temperature in a well-ventilated room. Too much heat will dry out leather, while cold can allow mildew to form.
- Resist the urge to place damp leather boots on the radiator – high temperatures can cause leather to dry out and crack.
- If a quick turnaround of wet boots is absolutely essential, an in-boot dryer can be more gentle option.
- Excessive water evaporation can remove essential moisture from within the leather. Preserve the waterproof barrier on the surface of your leather with specialist conditioners & proofers to prevent your leather from becoming saturated.
Re-conditioning leather items is usually just a simple matter of wiping away any dirt with a soft brush, removing any bootlaces, then sparingly applying conditioner to the leather. Buff to a shine, and repeat up to 2 or 3 times as necessary, just like polishing a shoe.
Once properly conditioned, you should see that water droplets bead on the surface of your leather rather than soaking in & creating a dark patch.
Be aware of conditions such as the below which can reduce your leather’s health:
- Caked on mud, particularly clay
- Very dry, dusty conditions
- Scratches & abrasions from movement/rough ground/dog claws/etc
- Sea and rock salt from winter path/road treatments
From traditional wax finishes to synthetic membranes, there are dozens of fantastic solutions in use for waterproofing for jackets, trousers, and boots. However, over time even the most high tech membrane will start to lose its water repellency.
A fairly common myth is that waterproof garments should never be washed, when in fact a build up of dirt molecules on the surface of your garment will only help water to seep into the material more quickly and will reduce breathability. However, standard household detergents will break down waterproof finishes, so a specialist technical cleaning solution is essential.
How often you need to rejuvenate your waterproofing depends on your use. If you start to notice a reduction in performance, particularly water failing to bead upon the surface, then it’s time to re-proof your garment.
You should wash away any dirt before re-proofing your garments:
- Wax garments should be wiped down with a clean, wet cloth or sponge, then left to dry naturally.
- Synthetic membranes can be washed with a specialist solution, either by hand or in a household washing machine. However, in the latter case try to wipe away any detergent remnants first – you may consider running a clean rinse on the empty machine.
Follow the instructions on the tin to get the best results. Some re-proofers will work best if the item is tumble-dried after proofing, but be sure to check your garment’s care label first.
If you would like further information about how to care for your outdoor kit then please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and talk to our team of experts on Tel +44 (0)1620 671480 or email: email@example.com