Leather belts are natural products, and like anything else made of leather, they need to be cared for in order to look and feel their best. Take care of your belt and it could last for a lifetime; neglect it and it might not even last for a few years.
Luckily, taking care of a leather belt is a simple, straightforward process. In fact, it’s much easier than taking care of a pair of leather shoes or a leather jacket.
Below, we’ve explained what you can do to keep your leather belt looking its best, feeling its best and kept in the strongest, most durable shape for as long as possible.
Like any material, leather can get dirty over time. If you wear your belt in the rain or let it get exposed to mud or dirt, it will eventually develop a noticeable stain and odor.
The best way to remove this is to clean the belt using a leather brush with a mix of war water and a small amount of soap. Gently clean the belt, then rinse the belt with plain water. You can hang the belt outside to dry, or speed up the process by using a hair dryer on the lowest heat setting, held at least eight inches from the belt itself.
Another easy way to make your belt last longer is to alternate it with another belt. As a general rule, you should never wear the same belt or pair of shoes for two full days in a row. This prevents the leather from getting worn out as it shapes around your body.
The easiest way to do this is to buy at least two belts, then cycle through them over the course of the week. Once you’re finished with one belt, hang it in your closet to let it regain its natural shape and allow some fresh air to come into contact with both sides of the leather.
As anyone who’s owned a leather sofa can tell you, water and leather do not go together. If your belt gets wet, use a towel to dry it or hang it outside to let the fresh air remove the moisture from the belt. If moisture gets into the belt, it can stain the leather and degrade the material.
Use Leather Conditioner
If your leather belt is starting to look a little dull and just doesn’t seem to have the same shine it did when you first bought it, you can use leather conditioner to add some extra moisture and warmth to the leather.
There’s no need to go overboard with leather conditioner. Usually, a small amount applied to the belt using a rag every three to six months is enough to keep the natural leather looking and feeling its best.
Fit It Correctly
Finally, the most important step in caring for your leather belt is to choose a belt that fits properly. Belts that fit too loosely develop creases due to the way they fold around your waist, meaning their looks will degrade over time. Likewise, a belt that’s too small for you will stretch to fit your waist, damaging the leather.
The easiest way to solve this problem is to choose a belt that fits you well. A good fit will prevent the leather used to make your belt from being put under extra stress, guaranteeing you years of comfortable use.