Yay!! It’s here! That one thing that all of us were waiting for with bated breath… the Rains are finally here! The weather’s turned gorgeous overnight and nature’s suddenly showing us shades of green that we didn’t even know existed! And while the views are great, emotions strong and the winds cool… the only things that probably hate the rains right now, are the leathers in our wardrobe! All those shoes, bags, belts and accessories… everything we spent a bomb on acquiring last winter, sitting on the verge of acquiring fungus and moulds…! L (I especially speak for Mumbai… where the moisture in the air during monsoon just looks for excuses to screw up your precious belongings. If you’re new to Mumbai, you’ll soon find out what I’m talking about!! ;))
Since I was a kid, I’ve always seen my mom prep up her wardrobe with the on-set of monsoon. I remember that day when she’d pull out every single bag or shoe that she owned… clean it, dry it, wrap it up and stock it neatly. She’d ask me to do the same with my belongings… and over the years, it became a habit. I believe that it is what has protected my wardrobe for years… and so I thought I’d share it with you guys.
It’s just a few simple things that anyone can do, without having to go out of the way or spending too much money.
#1: Cleaning & Drying
Clean all your leather and suede accessories with a clean, dry cloth. This helps remove any dust, dirt or moisture sticking to your shoes from the last time you wore them.
Alternatively you can also use a leather cleaning gel to make sure they’re absolutely clean before you put them away for the monsoon, but even if you do that, make sure you leave no moisture on your stuff.
Here’s a leather/nylon/canvas cleaning gel from Vans that’s quite an amazing product.
#2: Coat them with a protective shield
This is new! I’ve never seen my mum do this before, but I’ve tried it this time. I found this amazing product… ‘water and stain shield’ from Vans. Basically, it’s a spray especially for leather and suede which once applied on your shoes, makes them water and dirt resistant. Obviously, it doesn’t mean that I can spray it on and walk out in the Mumbai rains… it’s more for the nicer, cleaner and more innocent splashes in the west. Amchi Mumbai has rains that are so mean… I don’t think anything but plastic bags can form a real water-resistant shield here… lol! That aside, I feel that this product can definitely protect leathers sitting in my cupboard in Mumbai, from attracting moisture during monsoon.
And it can be used on not just shoes but bags, leather jackets and any other leather accessories as well. (Smells awful initially, so please cover your nose while spraying it on)
Another alternative to this, especially for shoes, is to polish them before you put them inside. Polish works almost the same way… creates a protective coating and prevents moisture from doing its dirty work.
That’s the Vans water and stain shield and my shoe carry bag from Crumpler
#3: Wrap it up
If you have shoe bags, or dust bags that come with high end handbags, those are perfect for storage. In fact, I store my bags and shoes in those all year round.
If however, you don’t have those, you can wrap up your leathers in butter-paper which you can get at any stationary shop. And if you’re too lazy to run to the stationary store, then even good ol’ news paper can do the trick. The only caution with newspaper is to make sure that none of the print on it gets transferred onto your precious articles.
Typically, if you’ve wrapped them properly and stored them in a clean, dry place which has no means of getting in touch with water, you should be sorted. If however, you wanna go that extra mile and be doubly sure, get yourself some of those dehumidifiers / moisture absorbents from the supermarket. I’ve been using those since almost 5yrs now… I get those big dehumidifiers with the green lid, ‘abzorb-it’ and tuck one into each of my closets – shoes, bags and even clothes. And believe me, I’ve seen the difference…! They work on moisture and also on that musty, damp odour.
Abzorb-it, moisture absorber – available at most supermarkets and even online sites like amazon.in.
Yes, they’re a little expensive in India, but think about it… would you want to spend a few hundreds on protecting your expensive stuff, or would you rather discard your leathers worth thousands, later!! After all, prevention is better than crying later. 🙂
And if you’re more about looking for wellness and healthy living solutions, try just placing a fistful of camphor tablets tied in a porous cloth. It needs to be refilled every few days as the camphor evaporates quickly, but the smell is divine and relaxes you! 🙂
Hope you guys found this post helpful. Do let me know if you have any more tips and tricks to protect your leathers during monsoons!
Happy Rainy Season you guys!