Care for second-hand leather garments and goods

Second-hand leather

How to care for second-hand leather items.

 2nd Take has complied tips on how to care for second-hand leather garments and good, as well as many other second-hand materials for you.

2nd Take take tips on how to care for second-hand leather


Extend the life of your second-hand clothes! 2nd Take shows you how to care for second-hand leather and extend the life of your beloved second-hand items.

Investing in even second-hand leather goods can come with a hectic price tag! Because of this cost, you want to make sure that you have the skills to take the best possible care of your leather items. Let 2nd Take show you a few easy to follow steps to care for your second-hand leather garments and goods and to keep you looking your best.

Use the right term, when enquiring about second-hand leather items and goods.

Different types of leather need to be cared for in different ways. Some leather is a lot tougher than others and therefore easier to clean.  Leather is differentiated by type of animal, durability, and the tanning process involved in producing it. The most common varieties of leather are:

Cowhide which is very durable and most widely used in everything from school shoes to briefcases.

Lambskin – Unlike the cowhide, lambskin is too supple to be used in the production of items such as shoes. It is most commonly used for other clothing items like shirts or jackets. It also responds very well to the tanning process, making it extremely versatile.

Sheepskin is has similar properties to lambskin, but it is usually a lot more expensive due to the fact that it is thicker.

How to clean your second-hand leather goods

The important thing to remember when taking care of second-hand leather is that it functions in almost the same way as your skin: it needs to be cleaned to open up the pours, and it needs to be conditioned after cleaning to prevent dryness, which can lead to cracks in the garment. That is why it is also important to avoid using harsh soaps or cleaners. They could potentially “over-dry” the leather.

To care for second-hand leather on a budget: consider using a very mild, glycerine based soap that won’t dry out the leather. Wet the cloth slightly and wipe down the garment one small piece at a time. Wipe with a clean, damp cloth.

If you are using a leather cleaner specifically recommended for your item, remember that it is still important to test the cleaner on a small part of the item that is not visible. Only proceed to clean the rest of the item with the cleaner if there are absolutely no signs of discolouration after an hour or so. Follow the instructions and remove excess cleaner with a soft damp cloth.

Did you find our how to care for second-hand leather tips and how to clean leather garments and goods helpful?

Drying your second-hand leather

Never, ever use heat to dry leather! Heat has the same effect on leather as it does on your skin, that is, a very drying effect! The correct way to dry your second-hand leather garment is to firstly stuff it with some paper to maintain the shape, and then to leave it to air-dry gently.

Conditioning you second-hand leather items

To return second-hand leather to its original condition, a clean should always be followed by a good conditioning. There are many products on the market to serve this purpose but constant maintenance may get a little pricey.

To care for leather on a budget: try conditioning your second-hand leather right out of your pantry! Opt for a vegetable based oil such as olive oil to restore shine and moisture to your leather (avoid petroleum based oils as they will gradually damage your goods). Apply a little bit to a soft rag and gently rub it into the leather. Be careful not to use too much oil as the leather can only absorb a certain amount. Buff away excess oil with a clean cloth to reveal your good-as-new look.

Please read on if you are in need of further second-hand clothing care tips!

2nd Take is the largest consignment second-hand clothing retailer group in South Africa with boutique shops in Cape Town, Pretoria and Bloemfontein, as well as a convenient online store. 2nd Take stocks exclusive designer brands and high street labels, often not available for purchase anywhere else in South Africa.

For further information on 2nd Take, please contact us on 021 434 5878 or e-mail

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