If you own a leather journal you know how important it is to keep it clean. After all, you spend a decent amount of money for that journal, right? And you want to keep it for a long time. You're probably really careful about how you take care of it and where you put it. You are constantly checking to be sure nothing gets too close, but sometimes, life happens and you end up with a stain from your favorite pen. So, what do you do?
The first thing you need to do with any finished type of leather is try a small spot test. That means you take whatever solution you plan to use (which we'll discuss below) and you use it in a small area that won't be noticeable if something happens. After all, some types of leather may react badly to certain chemicals or solutions. You don't want to ruin your entire journal jut because of a little bit of ink.
Next up, you're going to need a soap based cleaner. A soap based cleaner is going to be gentler than a solvent based one, so make sure you're looking at the product carefully. If it is solvent based it should say so somewhere on the packaging. Avoid that for now. You want something much gentler and all you want to do is wet a cloth with the cleaner and then rub it gently over the stain.
Now you'er going to want to look for an ink stick that's specifically intended to be used with leather. These can be a little expensive, but they could definitely be worth it if you're able to get the stain out without having to go to a professional for assistance.
The next step, if the previous options don't work, is to try some saddle soap. Though traditionally used with saddles, this type of soap is good for any type of leather and actually helps to protect and preserve the material. If you want to keep your leather journal in great shape this is a great thing to use before it gets stained, but it can do some good after you get a stain too.
Finally, you can try a leather cleaner and conditioner. Use a non-abrasive cloth to help rub in the products so you don't have to worry about scratching or other damage that could come from something too rough. Once again, these products can be great for protecting and preserving your leather journal, but also may be able to help with stains or damage done after the fact.
Of course, as with anything, there are plenty of options out there that you can try that have had different levels of success with other people. We'll list some of the top options here and if you don't seem to get the right results with the ones we've already mentioned you may want to give them a try (or take your leather to a professional cleaner and see what they can do).
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