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How To Clean Leather Notebook Covers

How To Clean Leather Notebook Covers

Chic Sparrow notebook covers are designed to last a long time, and taking care of the leather is part of the process. Depending on the leather type and how you use it, there are several ways to approach this. Check out the Chic Sparrow Leather Care guide for more information!

How Often Should I Clean My Leather Notebook Covers?

It depends on how you use the leather journal cover, your climate and how you store it. With that said, you may need to clean your TN cover about 1-2 times per year (around every 6-12 months). However, only use leather product on your TN cover if it truly needs it! Over-conditioning can lead to soggy, sticky leather.

If you happen to spill something liquid on your TN cover, check out the Chic Sparrow Leather Care Guide for more details. 

General Leather Care Tips

  • Use a light but firm touch to clean the leather (Do not rub it hard, as this may damage the leather)
  • Warm up the product by applying it with your hands, or warm up the leather with a hair dryer before conditioning to help with absorbing
  • Sometimes color/dye may show up on the cloth during the cleaning process, this is totally normal
  • Allow the leather to dry after cleaning, conditioning and before use
  • Any product/treatment you apply to leather may alter the appearance

Chic Sparrow Leather Care

  • Oily leathers do not need to be conditioned often, scratches usually rub out with fingers
  • Some leathers scratch more easily than others (Austen, Callahan, etc.)
  • Waypoint Collection: This leather has a high oil content, use a very small amount of conditioner only if needed
  • Maverick Collection & Scout Covers: This leather does not need to be cleaned or conditioned with product. It a surface coating that may be altered when using leather products. Try using a stiff horsehair brush or toothbrush to get dust and dirt out of the cracks.

Chic Sparrow Leather Balm and Cloth Dust Bag

Leather Care Products

Please note that all leather care products react with leather differently. Test all products first on an inside corner pocket or back cover of your TN to test the reaction. 

You can use your hands or a cloth to apply the product. When using cleaning or conditioning products, use a small pea-size amount of product, distributing early around the book. Avoid getting leather conditioner in the stitching, if possible! 

Chic Sparrow Leather Balm is a great leather conditioning product! Made from natural ingredients, this leather conditioner is great to use on most of the Chic Sparrow leathers we offer (Excluding Maverick & Scout Covers)

Chic Sparrow Cloth Dust Bag for Buffing Leathers: We love using our cloth dust bags for buffing leathers and applying product. You can use an old TN cover, or buy an individual cloth dust bag to use for cleaning. Cut up the cloth into squares for different uses if you like, but note that the edges may fray if they are cut.

What is a Leather Wax Bloom?

Many leathers are saturated with oils and wax during the tanning process. Sometimes, leather notebooks that aren’t used often will develop a cloudy white layer on the cover, which means it’s likely a wax bloom. This can be removed by buffing the leather with a cloth or using a horsehair brush (found in the shoe/leather care section of most drugstores). Watch this Instagram Reel to see how we remove wax blooms from our notebook covers! 

Remove Dirt & Clean the Leather Notebook Cover

With time and use, the oils/dirt from our hands can get onto the leather surface. Occasionally, it’s recommended to clean your leather TN cover with an alcohol-free baby wipe, leather cleaner or buffing with a cloth/brush.

Did you know that CS Dust Covers are great for buffing and cleaning leathers? You can purchase an individual Chic Sparrow Dust Cover or cut up an old cotton cloth into squares to use when cleaning. 

  • Dirt should be cleaned off regularly with a stiff bristle brush or buffed with a cotton cloth
  • Use an alcohol-free baby wipe to clean the leather surface 

Conditioning Travelers Notebooks

Unless the leather is feeling dry, you don’t want to over-do the conditioner!

  • Take note of the ingredients in your leather cleaner and conditioner. Using a waxy conditioner on a waxy leather may create a sticky surface layer. Instead, try a cream based conditioner.
  • The leather may darken after conditioning, but will blend in over time
  • If you notice the conditioner not absorbing into the leather, you can try warming up the leather with a hair dryer (12” away from the surface) to help the conditioner absorb
  • Buff the leather again with a brush or cloth to remove excess product and add luster to the notebook cover
  • Allow the notebook cover to dry completely before using it. 


Your results may vary. Chic Sparrow is not responsible for any damage or changes made during the cleaning and conditioning process. Do these techniques at your own risk. 

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