new uggs Ugg boots and more from winter salt
“Salt is the biggest culprit,” says Kathy Saul, president of Williamsburg Cleaners in Westlake, Bay Village, Rocky River and Avon. “You know what it does to your car? It does the same thing to your clothes, your boots, everything.”
The best way to protect high dollar items such as wool coats, Ugg boots and leather garments from salt stains, color loss and other damage is to get them professionally cleaned as soon as you notice a problem, Saul says.
But you can do other things to help extend the life of an item. We gathered a few tips from Saul, the Professional Leather Cleaner’s Association and Ugg Australia that will have your gear looking great all winter long.
If you spill something on a wool garment, don’t rub it with any type of paper product such as a napkin or paper towel. Instead, scrape with an ice cube or simply apply water to try to remove the stain.
Do not try a spot cleaner or some home remedy you’ve heard about. “It’ll just make the whole thing worse,” Saul says.
Hang wool garments on cedar hangers or have cedar hanging in your closet to help repel moths.
At the end of the cold season,
have your garment professionally cleaned and store it in a breathable material such as a cloth garment bag or gently wrapped in a sheet.
To prevent oxidation marks, do not store in plastic.
Treat your sheepskin and suede footwear with a protectant such as Ugg Australia Sheepskin Protector ($8, available at Ugg retailers and online) before wearing to avoid any initial staining.
Hand wash only. Do not use a washing machine.
Moisten sheepskin footwear with clean, cold water. Apply a small amount of Ugg cleaner or Woolite to a damp sponge. Gently scrub to clean the entire area. Sheepskin has a delicate surface that can be damaged by aggressive scrubbing or by direct application of the product poured onto the surface. Rinse in clean, cold water.
Lightly stuff with paper to hold the shape while footwear dries.
Allow to dry naturally and slowly. Do not dry in direct heat or sunlight.
Once footwear is dry, lightly brush with a very soft suede/nubuck brush in one direction only.
Some dry cleaners such as Williamsburg Cleaners offer professional Ugg cleaning services for $25 (includes inside and out) and water repellant application for $10.
Source: Ugg Australia and Williamsburg Cleaners
Always hang garments on wide or padded hangers to maintain their shape. Use shoetrees for footwear and stuff empty handbags with tissue to help retain their shape.
Allow wet or damp leather to air dry naturally away from any direct heat source. Leather can be treated with a conditioner to restore flexibility, while suede can be brushed with a terry towel to restore its look.
In winter, promptly remove salt deposits from garments and footwear by sponging with water; follow with the above treatment for wet or damp leather.
Avoid very humid and dry environments as well as direct sunlight.
Do not use waxes, silicone products or other leather preparations that will impair a garment’s ability to breathe.
Wrinkles should hang out. If you want to iron, use the rayon setting. Use heavy brown wrapping paper as a pressing cloth on the right side of the garment and be quick to prevent overheating and shine.
Avoid spraying perfumes or hair sprays while wearing your garment, and don’t apply pins, adhesive badges or tape. Wear a scarf at the neckline to help keep hair and body oil away from the collar.
Hems may be fixed with a tiny amount of rubber cement. For best results, see a leather care professional.
When the season is over,
store your leather goods in breathable material. Plastic containers or other nonbreathable covers cause leather to become dry.