Whilst leather is tough as nails, we must also remember that leather is in fact skin. It can dry, crack, stain, warp, etc. MVP leather sporting goods are designed and crafted for use so we have put together a basic leather care guide to get the most out of your MVP items.
What do you want your leather to look like?
The first task in deciding how to treat and care for your leather is simply asking what you want it to look like, and the role it plays in your life. A rugged Heritage Leather Punching bag won’t need as much attention as a Deluxe Tan Leather Punching bag for example..
It also comes down to taste. Some people want a clean, polished look for their leather item, while others are okay with scratches, blemishes, and natural wear and tear.
Different leather treatments
There are various types of creams, polishes, waxes, and conditioners available on the market, so it can be difficult to choose the best leather treatment product for your desired result.
Polish. Polish is largely actually for aesthetics. On its own, it’s mostly about the actual shine of the product (usually shoes and bags) rather than protecting it from the elements. Having said that, many polishes have a moisturizing element, so you really have to look at the product description and user reviews to know what you’re getting and what it does.
Since cleaning is part of a good polishing routine, it’s certainly not a bad thing to do. Frequency of polishing simply depends on your own preferences for how you want your leather goods to look, but most MVP items won’t need it.
Conditioner/Cream. Leather conditioner or cream moisturizes the material so that it doesn’t dry out and crack. This won’t make your shoes “shine,” but it will protect them. Note that in most cases conditioners don’t waterproof your leather (though some do include a water-repelling component). Leather conditioners are lotion-like, and are to be gently rubbed into the leather. The hide will soak up the conditioner, just like your skin would soak up a moisturizer.
How often you use conditioner, as with the other treatments, really depends on what you want. We recommend every 6-12 months, letting your MVP item completely dry out before re-applying. That keeps the leather looking rugged and tough, and allows it to accrue some scuffs, scratches, etc.
Damp Cloth. Using a damp cloth is the old reliable when it comes to leather care. Since leather is so very naturally durable anyway, giving it a wipe down (without soap — its chemicals can ruin the leather over time) once every few months to get rid of any dust or dirt. If you use nothing else, this is the way to go.
Leather needs to breathe. Just like skin, leather needs some ventilation to prevent mildew and rot. Air can naturally pass through leather, leaving moisture to evaporate naturally. That can’t happen when your leather is all sealed up, though. So don’t store in a plastic bag for a prolonged period of time. Either use the storage/travel bag the item came with, or some type of breathable fabric.
Keep leather away from direct sunlight/heat. If a leather item gets waterlogged, it can be tempting to throw it in front of a heater or to use a hair dryer to speed the process. Don’t do that, ever. Just like skin and other fabrics, when leather gets wet and then heated right away, it can shrink and dry out too quickly. Rather, let it dry naturally, even if it takes a couple of days.
Also, just generally keep leather out of direct sunlight when storing. The leather fades naturally over time, but sunlight speeds up that process. Drying and cracking can also ensue. Darker places with some humidity are preferred, although again, ensure air flow so that mildew can’t form.
Your MVP leather item doesn’t need waterproofing. Every MVP leather item is applied with a protective wax following stitching providing a moisture-proof barrier.
Test first. When applying any polish or conditioner, always test a small area first. Any item is likely to change the color of the leather, even if only slightly. Before applying a treatment to an entire shoe, test it on a small portion, let it dry for 24 hours, and see what happens. It may seem tedious, but it can keep your shoe from looking different than what you want. If a certain brand/color goes well the first time, then feel free to use repeatedly without testing again.
Go with natural/neutral colors. Many polishes and creams will come in either black, brown, or neutral. The added dyes are thought to liven up any faded color in a leather product. While black is a pretty safe choice for black products, there are just too many shades of brown to match things up perfectly. To avoid unnecessarily changing the hue of your leather, stick with neutrals (usually either white or gray in the can/bottle).
Regularly clean with a damp cloth. As mentioned above, the most foolproof way to keep any leather product from prematurely aging, even if you do nothing else, is to give it a regular wipe-down with a damp cloth. Leather can quickly accumulate dirt, dust, and all manner of other abrasive particles that lead to premature wear and tear. Preserve your leather by wiping them down monthly.
Leather Punching Bags
We recommend a monthly wipe-down with a damp cloth and conditioning every 6-12x months to keep the leather soft and supple avoiding cracking. Use a neutral color conditioning cream for the Brown & Tan Leather color and a black cream for Executive Black Leather Punching Bags.
Leather Boxing Gloves & Baseball Gloves
If you are using your leather boxing or baseball gloves for regular training, air out your gloves after each session in a dry place, avoiding direct sunlight if possible. We recommend using a neutral color leather conditioner on your gloves every 2-3 months (if being used regularly) which will keep the leather soft and supple and avoid cracking.
Leather Sports Balls
Your MVP leather sports ball shouldn’t require much up-keep or maintenance. If your leather sports ball becomes wet just leave in a warm dry place for a few days until completely dry. Using a neutral color leather conditioner and/or waterproof wax will provide pro-longed durability.
Leather Medicine Balls
These are very sturdy – after each session wipe off any sweat/moisture with a dry cloth and store in a dry place in-between use. You may wish to use a neutral leather conditioning cream every 6-12 months to keep leather soft and supple.
To sum up, ensure that you have a good routine for caring for your MVP leather sporting goods. In many instances, it will look something like these 3 easy steps:
- Wipe down leather with a damp cloth every 2-3 months depending on use and accumulated dirt and grime.
- Condition leather every 6-12 months, sometimes more depending on the environment and season.
- Waterproof once a year, if desired, and if your lifestyle/environment calls for it.
"Form is temporary, class is permanent"
- The MVP