How To Care For Your Leather Gear

When it comes to leather goods, and in particular, BDSM leather gear, only the real thing will do. Make sure you take good care of your kit and your leather items will stand the test of time and provide endless fun. 

Keep an eye out for the real thing

A by-product of the food industry, leather can be used to create all sorts, from garments to furniture, book bindings, and BDSM gear. Floggers, restraints, gags, and harnesses need to be hardy, so durable and strong leather is the obvious choice.

Keep your eye out for unscrupulous manufacturers and brands who use reconstituted or processed materials, adding a touch of leather and then marketing their goods as “genuine leather.” Mass-produced, low-quality faux leather doesn’t look like the real thing, or smell like the real thing, and it’s nowhere near as durable. 

Real leather has a distinctive feel and smell, it’s sturdy and hard-wearing and becomes more supple over time. For the best leather goods go for products made from premium quality luxury leather hides and where possible, opt for handmade creations.

Cleaning leather gear

Despite its reputation for being tough, leather still needs TLC to keep it looking its best and to make sure it stands the test of time. Leather is porous and needs to be cleaned, which isn’t too much of a chore if you do it regularly.

For a routine clean keep it simple. Dip a microfiber cloth in warm water and a few drops of dish soap, and use the cloth to wipe your leather gear. You can then use a damp microfiber cloth (no soap this time) to wipe your item again. Never immerse your leather goods in water as this can alter the colour and reduce its resilience, too much water can also lead to shrinkage. 

Drying leather gear

Once you’ve gently cleaned your leather gear, you’ll need to dry it off. You can use a clean cloth to do this, or you can lie your item flat and leave it to dry naturally. Don’t try to speed up the drying process by using heat as this can harm the leather and cause it to harden.

Storing your leather gear

Once dry, you can add moisture to your leather goods by applying a small amount of specialist leather oil or conditioner. You also need to look after your leather gear by storing it correctly when not in use. This means packing your goods in a natural fiber bag or a container with vents. Avoid plastic as this won’t do the porous leather any favours. Find a dry, cool space – away from humidity, heat, and direct sunlight to avoid any damage.

Leather gear and hardware

Leather goods, such as harnesses and collars are often embellished with hardware e.g. steel studs, rose gold o rings, brass buckles, etc. It’s important to care for this too.


Stainless steel requires maintenance to ensure it lasts and keeps its luster. You probably already have household items stashed in your cupboard to clean your steel, we’re talking warm water, mild dish soap, and a soft cloth (a lint-free one). If the hardware has a complex design you might need to use a very, very soft toothbrush to clean those hard to get to nooks and crannies. However, this must be done with care to avoid scuffs. If you prefer, you can invest in a stainless-steel cleaning formula to remove grime and prolong the sheen.

Plated Rose Gold

When it comes to plated rose gold hardware a dry polishing cloth is your friend. Use the cloth to remove grime and oils, ensuring the hardware holds onto its shine. You can also clean rose gold hardware with mild dish soap and warm water.

Remove any soapy residue with a damp cloth and dry the rose gold after, giving it a once over with the dry polishing cloth to keep it gleaming.

Plated rose gold can tarnish over time, and this is due to natural oils excreted by the skin, humidity, and skincare creams or perfumes. The good news is you can protect your hardware with an anti-oxidation protectant spray to keep it in tip-top condition.


Brass is similar to steel and plated rose gold, as in it looks great – especially against sleek black leather. To keep brass hardware at its best you can go for the mild dish soap and warm water technique that seems to work well for most hardware. Simply grab a soft cloth (lint-free), dampen, and wipe over your brass hardware before drying.

Avoiding oxidation

The natural process of oxidation occurs when metals are exposed to sunlight and air. Oxidation affects metals in different ways, e.g. when silver is exposed to lots of sunlight and air it may turn black over time, whereas gold may develop a dull, brown hue.  

Oxidation can tarnish your hardware and leave it looking lackluster. Good maintenance will go some way to keeping your metals clean and looking lovely. We’ve already mentioned using mild dish soap, warm water, and a microfiber or lint-free cloth, and anti-oxidation protectant spray can be used too. Do not treat your hardware with harsh chemicals such as cutlery cleaner, as this will be way too hard-hitting and will cause damage.

Where to find premium, handmade leather gear

If you’re looking for high-quality, handmade leather gear look no further than Mercy Industries. Located in Queensland, Australia, we design and manufacture premium leather bondage goods including ball gags, collars, and harnesses in a variety of colours and with a range of different hardware options.

Made from the finest real leather hides, our small team cuts, sews, and handcrafts each item with care and passion for all things BDSM!

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