Keeping Tidy at the Beach

I'm in Miami, baby! Although my whole life feels like a vacation (after all, I clean every day, does life get more relaxing than that?), I'm not going to complain about the time I've been spending in the sun. And on the beach! The week has got me thinking about the obvious regarding cleaning...how to clean leather! One stroll along the shore and I must have seen at least twenty people with dark, leathery skin (**cringe**). This isn't a health blog, so I ain't gonna preach about the importance of sunscreen but if you're gonna turn into a lump of leather, you had better keep yourself tidy. Here's the best way to clean leather whether it's clothing, furniture, belts, or your excessively sun-soaked skin: Before getting started, I like to dust off the leather to get rid of any lint or crumbs. It may feel awkward dusting your upper thighs, but hey, leather is leather and you got yourself into this mess. Now that we're ready to clean, first grab some mild hand soap (Dove, Clean & Smooth or Method will all do the trick), a soft rag and some water. Dampen the rag with water (make sure not to make it too wet - since leather and water aren't besties) and lather in some soap (a pump will do) to create a sudsy rag. Before we go all out, test a small, hidden area to make sure that the mixture won't lighten or darken your leather. Once it's dried and you're in the safe zone, massage your leather with the soapy rag. Give it a light lather until the leather appears clean. Next, dampen another rag and rub it over the leather to remove any soap or bubbly residue. Last, take a dry rag and go over the leather again, making sure it's completely dry. Now that we've cleaned the leather, it's important to condition it since we may have removed some of the natural oils. Grab some olive oil from the kitchen and drop just a bit onto a dry cloth. Make sure not to go trigger happy with the olive oil - just a drop or two will suffice. And now, massage that leather one more time and it should be left clean and well conditioned.

I'm off to explore the eclectic selection of seashells, sea glass, seaweed, and homeless mens' shirts in the ocean. Maybe I'll even build a sand castle so I can sweep the inside. It hasn't been easy dealing with my cleaning withdrawal.

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