How to Take Care of a Leather Belt

by Corey M. Mackenzie

Leather belts retain their good looks and function well if you properly care for them. Sunlight, perspiration, grime and spills all can take a toll on leather belts. The two aspects of leather belt care you should keep in mind are cleaning and storage. Leather can dry out if stored in sunlight and can mildew if stored in humid areas. Using the wrong types of cleaning products on leather can also damage it, reducing the wearable lifespan on the belt.

Items you will need

  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Cloths
  • Saddle soap
  • Leather conditioner
Step 1

Remove dirt or spills from your leather belt promptly. To remove dust or dirt, brush the belt gently with a soft-bristled tooth brush or shoe brush.

Step 2

Soak up spills on the belt with a clean, absorbent cloth. Use a damp cloth if spills are anything other than water. Dry the belt immediately with a dry cloth.

Step 3

Clean your leather belt with saddle soap at least once every 6 months (more frequently if you wear the same belt every day--about every 3 months in that case). Rub the saddle soap all over the belt. Wipe it down, to remove excess saddle soap and dirt, with a clean, dry cloth.

Step 4

Condition the belt after cleaning (you'll only need to do this if the belt still feels too stiff--sometimes saddle soap alone will condition it enough) to keep it supple. Use a leather conditioner applied to a soft cloth. Rub the cloth over both sides of the belt until the belt has absorbed much of the conditioner.

Step 5

Let the belt hang dry (straight down, with the buckle attached to a hook on the wall or in a closet) before you wear it again.

Tips

  • Treat a braided leather belt similarly to solid belts. Clean and condition it with leather care products and hang the belt when you aren’t wearing it.

Warnings

  • Sportsfantreasures.com warns against using any solvents (such as turpentine or degreaser) on leather belts as these may irreparably damage leather.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images