Leather care: How to provide the different types of leather with the right care

Lederpflege-Set mit Büsten und Wachsen auf Tisch

A brief moment of carelessness and it's happened. An annoying stain is on your beloved leather jacket. But this is no reason to panic. However, most people simply reach for a damp cloth out of reflex and try to remove all residues of food, coffee or red wine from the natural material. But while this cleaning method works well for fabrics such as cotton or synthetics, you should use gentler methods when caring for leather.

Because no matter whether it is suede, rough or smooth leather: There are many aspects to consider when it comes to cleaning and caring for leather. To ensure that you can enjoy your leather jacket etc. for a long time, we would like to give you some important information about the various care products. You will also find out how the various leather care products differ from one another and which type of leather they are suitable for.

Leather care products – application and use

Despite the fact that leather is extremely robust, it should not be neglected. Excessive sunlight, moisture and dirt can cause unsightly discoloration and leave visible marks, especially on light-colored leather. There is a suitable care product for every type of leather that provides your favorite leather products with everything they need for an attractive appearance and pleasant feel. With the right product, you can clean your leather thoroughly without attacking or damaging the fibers of the material.

The essential oils and UV filters contained in the product also protect the natural material from external influences and extend the lifespan of your leather products. But how do the individual care products work and how are they used? This is exactly what needs to be clarified.

Caring for leather: an overview of the various leather care products

Have you often wondered which leather care product is right for your leather jacket, your outdoor boots or your comfortable leather sofa and how well they nourish your leather? Then you have come to the right place. Because we would like to take a closer look at this very topic.

  • Care creams: Leather care products with a creamy consistency have a moisturizing effect and are applied with a soft cloth. The UV filters they contain protect the leather from fading. Depending on the product, leather care creams may also contain antioxidants that counteract the natural aging of the material and ideally complement thorough leather care.
  • Leather lotion: Lotions usually consist of water and fats or oils, which are applied to the material in the form of a thin emulsion and worked into it with a soft cloth. Like a cream , lotions also have a moisturizing effect and protect the leather from decay . Due to their liquid structure , however, a care lotion penetrates deeper into the leather fibers than care creams . That's why a lotion is perfect for moisturizing your clothes, accessories and furnishings.
  • Leather oil: This care product consists of various oils and mostly wax, preservatives and fragrances. Due to its liquid nature, the oil penetrates deep into the fibers and has a moisturizing effect. Old, dried-out material in particular becomes supple again and has a fresh shine . However, leather oil should only be used for covered leather. Open-pored rough or aniline leather , on the other hand, does not tolerate care with leather oil.
  • Leather grease: Leather grease is made from Vaseline or animal fats and is used primarily in the field of leather care for shoes. It has an extremely moisturizing effect and should therefore be used sparingly. As it also has water-repellent properties, it is ideal for the care of outdoor or work shoes made of covered smooth leather. On open-pored rough or aniline leather, however, leather grease leaves stains and residues that are difficult to remove. Therefore, it is better to use a lotion or balm to care for these types of leather.
  • Leather Wax: Beeswax or wool grease are universal components of natural leather wax . Both raw materials have a waxy texture and are known for their water-repellent properties and ability to form a protective layer on the surface of the leather.

Leather balm Emma Green with application sponge

  • Leather balm: Balms are made from resins or waxes and are primarily used to impregnate leather products made from covered smooth leather. Leather balm has a strong water and dirt repellent effect and is therefore particularly suitable for smooth leather and aniline leather . A leather balm is perfect for caring for vehicle interiors or furniture and clothing.
  • Shoe polish: As the name suggests, shoe polish is primarily used to clean shoes made of smooth leather and is used in particular to waterproof leather shoes. When the polish is applied, a stable yet elastic film forms on the leather cover, which protects the shoe from external influences such as moisture, dryness or friction . When applying shoe polish , however, less is more. Do not apply the polish too generously, as it can otherwise impair the breathability of the leather and damage the fibers.
  • Shoe polish: Shoe polish is considered the forerunner of shoe cream and has either a greasy, soapy or watery consistency. The term jump is probably due to the waxing of leather shoes. Greasy shoe polish consists mainly of wax in addition to fat, resin and soot and is therefore particularly nourishing.
  • Saddle soap: Saddle soap is an alkaline soap that can be used in both liquid and solid form. For a long time, it was mainly used to clean saddles or straps , but nowadays it is rarely used for leather care. Household remedies such as Vaseline, fatty moisturizer or natural waxes are also suitable for gentle leather care. These products penetrate deep into the pores and ensure that the material remains supple. Leather wax in particular has the advantage that it leaves no residue on the leather and, thanks to its ingredients, is absorbed deep into the natural material.

But what should you actually pay attention to when using the individual leather care products in order to achieve a perfect result?

How do you use the different leather care products?

The application of leather care products such as leather care lotions, oils, waxes and creams depends on the type of leather and the desired result. Here are some general application tips for these products and which types of leather benefit from them:

  • Leather care lotion: Leather care lotions are usually more liquid and lighter than other products. They are easy to apply and rub in. Lotions are good for smooth or aniline leather . They moisturize, keep the leather supple and protect it from drying out.
  • Leather oil: Oils are thicker and are often massaged into the material. In addition, this type of leather care takes more time to absorb into natural leather. Leather oils are suitable for heavily used and dried out leather , such as for the care of work gloves or saddlery. They penetrate deeply, revitalize the leather and prevent cracking.
  • Leather wax: Wax has a solid consistency and must be applied and rubbed into the leather. For a perfect result, it is then polished with a soft cloth. Leather wax is good for leather that needs water repellency and additional protection . It is particularly useful for treating work boots, motorcycle clothing and outdoor equipment.
  • Leather cream: Leather care creams are usually easy to apply and work in. They can brighten the material and give the natural leather a shiny finish . Leather creams are a good choice for smooth leather that needs a refresh. They are often available in different shades and can also be used to conceal scratches and freshen up the leather.

Emma Grün Tip: It is important to note that the choice of the right care product depends on the type of leather and the desired result. That is why we recommend that you always test new products on an inconspicuous area first. This way you can be sure that they achieve the desired result without damaging the leather.

Oiling material or greasing leather – step-by-step instructions for a perfect result

With regular care, you can keep your leather products in top shape and extend their lifespan many times over. You can find out how to make the natural material shine in the following steps:

  • Cleaning: Remove coarse dirt from the surface of the leather. Use a soft brush or cloth.
  • Care: Apply the appropriate leather care product sparingly to the leather and make sure that you distribute it evenly in circular movements. Then allow the product to take effect for a few minutes so that it can fully absorb into the material.

Someone has his shoes polished

Image source: Pixabay

  • Polishing: Use a clean, soft cotton cloth and start to gently polish the leather. This will give it a beautiful shine and make your favorite piece look like new again.
  • Impregnation: To protect the material from moisture, we recommend that you impregnate your leather at the end. To do this, apply the spray evenly and then let your leather product air dry.

If you are wondering whether you can use a conventional product from the supermarket to care for your leather or whether you should buy a sustainable product, then we have the right answer for you!

Why is sustainable leather care the better choice?

In direct comparison to conventional leather care products, sustainable leather care such as that from Emma Grün is the better choice for several reasons. You will now find out which are particularly important and should play a decisive role in the purchase decision:

  • Environmental protection: Sustainable leather care products are usually produced in a more environmentally friendly way. This means that fewer harmful chemicals, energy and water are used in their production. They therefore help to minimize the environmental impact.
  • Longevity: Sustainable materials are often higher quality and more effective. They help keep the leather in good condition for longer, which means you will have to replace your leather products less often. This helps reduce waste.
  • Health: Eco-friendly supplies contain fewer harmful chemicals and are therefore safer for people, animals and the environment. This is especially important as some conventional leather care products can contain dangerous ingredients.
  • Sense of responsibility: Using sustainable products shows a sense of responsibility towards the environment and the resources of our planet.
  • Future generations: Sustainable decisions in the present help preserve natural resources and the environment for future generations. This is an important aspect of sustainability that is becoming increasingly important in today's world.

So, overall, sustainable leather care is a responsible choice that offers both environmental and ethical benefits. It helps minimize environmental impact, prolong the lifespan of your leather, and protect the health of people and nature.


Leather care is important not only to preserve the beauty of the natural material, but also to increase its longevity. There are various leather care products available, including lotions, oils, waxes and creams, each suitable for specific types of leather and applications. With the right care, you can therefore ensure that leather products look good for years to come and stick with their owners through thick and thin.

FAQ: Questions & Answers

Why is it important to care for leather regularly?

Regular leather care is important to maintain the durability and beauty of the natural material. Leather can dry out and crack over time if it is not cared for. Sustainable products help to keep the leather supple and protect it from wear.

Which leather products require care?

Basically, all leather products require care, including shoes, bags, belts, jackets and furniture. However, the type of care depends on the type of leather and the use of the product.

How often should I care for my leather products?

The frequency of leather care depends on use. In general, leather products should be treated with a care product every few months. With more intensive use, such as with shoes, this may be the case more often.

Can I use regular soap and water to clean leather?

It is better not to use regular soap to clean leather. It is better to use special leather cleaners, as regular soap can dry out the leather.

Which care product is best for suede and nubuck?

Caring for suede and nubuck requires special treatment in the form of special cleaners and a waterproofing spray. In addition, products made of this material should be regularly treated with a suede brush.

Why is sustainable leather care important?

Sustainable leather care products are more environmentally friendly and help reduce the environmental impact of the leather industry. They support the responsible use of resources and promote a better ecological balance.


1. Leather care – https://www.leder-info.de/index.php/Lederpflege

2. Tips for leather care – https://moebel-gollrad.de/cportal/reference/cmsitem_00019189

3. Leather grease or leather balm – https://picard-fashion.com/blogs/lederkunde/lederfett-oder-lederbalsam#:~:text=Lederfett%20bringt%20mehr%20Glanz%20und,imprägnant%2C%20bieten%20boch%20differenzen%20Einrichtungen.

4. Leather grease for smooth leather – https://www.sandalenwerkstatt.de/lederfett-leder-balsam/

5. Sustainable leather care – https://shop.swp.de/blogs/themenwelten/nachhaltige-lederpflege-das-musst-du-beachten