How to care for leather shoes and bags

How to care for leather shoes and bags — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

The best part about the cooler months? Getting to pull out my boots! I live in my leather boots in the fall and winter (and spring, let's be honest), and I live in my flats at other times of the year. And my bags? They're used all of the time, of course.

Since leather is a lot like our skin and can easily dry out, it's important to keep it cleaned and well-conditioned to prevent cracking. If you're like me, you're hard on your shoes and bags and tend to forget to care for them. It always made me a bit nervous to condition my leather items because I didn't want them to darken, but I've found a product that keeps leather in tip-top condition while not darkening (and it's reasonably priced—perfect for someone like me who loses a 16 ounce bottle of leather conditioner and decides to repurchase it...don't ask me how I managed that!). I plan to clean (if needed) and condition my leather at the end of spring and beginning of fall and whenever in-between as needed.

Leather care products — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Bickmore Bick 1 Leather Cleaner

To be honest, I haven't needed to use this product yet. I received it in error when I ordered the leather conditioner (the replacement for the bottle I lost), but I decided to not return it because I think it could be useful in the future in case anything gets really dirty. I love this brand's leather conditioner so much that I figure the cleaner can't be bad! Of course, if I did have to use this, it would be used prior to the conditioner.

Bickmore Bick 4 Leather Conditioner

This stuff is amazing! It came highly recommended on Amazon and for good reason. (As mentioned above, I lost my 16 ounce bottle and decided to reorder it instead of trying something new. I assume I'll come across the original bottle again at some point, though!) I squeeze out a little bit on a cloth and gently massage it into the leather. It soaks in well, so don't be afraid to apply more if it seems like your leather needs it.

Microfiber cleaning cloths

I use these to care for my leather since they are gentle and soft (and machine washable!). They aren't groundbreaking, but they get the job done!

How to clean leather shoes and bags — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

In addition to cleaning and conditioning your leather as needed, don't forget to store it in a cool, dark place (relatively speaking—just avoid direct sunlight) when it's not in use to prevent it from drying out!

{Sam Edelman 'Petty' ankle boots / vintage Coach 'City' bag}