Many of the articles on this site talk about how to repair leather, restore leather, clean leather, etc. These are the things you need to know when you encounter a problem with your leather furniture, clothes, or accessories. Ideally, though, you should try to prevent problems from happening at all, and you can do this with a leather protector.
There are many commercial products geared towards protecting leather. Most of the products will protect the leather from stains. It does this by creating a moisture barrier on the leather. This means that when a liquid falls onto the leather, the liquid will bead and slide off. Sometimes you will need to wipe it off, but this is very easy to do. What is important is that the leather does not absorb the moisture and the stain does not set. (Most protectors will work against food stains, like ketchup and mustard, too.)
Other protective products provide UV protection. Leather can become discolored or it can dry out and crack when exposed to sunlight. Applying a protector which shields it from the sun's UV rays can help prevent this from happening.
It is recommended that you apply a leather protector soon after you purchase your leather furniture. This will keep you worry free! However, be sure you ask your retailer whether or not they or the company applied a protective coat already. If it has been some time since the protector was applied, it's a good idea to put another coat. By applying this protective coat, you prevent your furniture from stains and you lessen the chances of dirt build up, making the item easier to clean.
The only downside to protecting your leather is that the compounds which help protect the furniture tend to seep into the pores of the leather. This results in a slight greasiness that makes cleaning and conditioning a bit difficult in the beginning, but it fades after some time. So it's benefits more than outweigh this one drawback, so it's still worth the investment!
Like all leather products, be sure to read consumer reviews on various protectors before choosing one. You can also ask your retailer to recommend one. Some protectors are sprays, while others are creams. Usually all you need to do is to apply a small amount and spread it over the surface of the area you want to protect.
The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure” is the philosophy behind using a leather protector. By applying a protective coat on our leather furniture and other leather items, we prolong the life of the object. Try to apply a leather protector as directed by the care guide that comes with your leather furniture or at least once a year.