leather journal covers useful cleaning maintenance tips featured image

Leather Journal Covers: 3 Useful Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

For those of us who love writing down and documenting our thoughts and experiences, a journal is a companion. It helps us clarify our ideas, celebrate our accomplishments, and understand ourselves better every day.


But life happens, and it's best to prepare for it. Think of a coffee spill that could leave your diary soaking wet. Not funny, right?


A good leather journal cover will protect your notepads for life, especially if you give it proper care. Fortunately, this requires little effort.


The following cleaning and maintenance tips will help you keep your leather journal cover in the best shape for years; and still allow it to develop a beautiful patina along the way.

Did You Know?


Patina is a soft sheen that quality full-grain leather develops over time as part of its aging process. It comes from absorbing environmental elements and bodily oils, depending on how you use your leather article.


Patina is a highly desirable trait in leather because it shows age and character. Each leather item develops an unrepeatable patina that reflects your habits and tells your life story.

1 - Keep Your Leather Journal Cover Away From the Elements

Storing your journal cover away from the elements will keep the leather in great shape and protect your notepads for a long time.


If you’re like me, you probably leave your journal on your desk.


However, I’ve learned that leaving my journal on a desk or nightstand all the time exposes it to direct sunlight, dust, and other pollutants (like the chemicals we use for cleaning).


Sun rays change leather's color and evaporate its natural oils, causing it to dry and crack. The same can be said for any other heat source, like an AC or a chimney.


hand grabbing a folded Popov Leather Moleskine Journal Cover in black
Popov Leather Moleskine Journal Cover​​

In addition, chemicals in hairsprays, cleaning products, or even the smog from cars driving outside your home can settle on your journal cover and damage it over time.


To avoid this, I recommend you put your journal inside its cover in a drawer or something similar that will offer it protection. Doing so will reduce its exposure to the elements.

good leather journal cover will protect notepads

2 - Don’t Let Your Leather Journal Cover Get Too Wet

A little water is fine, but don't let your journal cover get soaked if you want to keep it soft and flexible.


Are you someone who jots down their field notes while walking through the park or around your garden?


That's peachy; but be prepared to protect your journal cover if it starts to rain.


Leather is not water-resistant; it's a naturally porous material that readily absorbs liquid. Leather might be water-resistant for a few seconds, but after a little while, fluids will begin to seep in.


So while it's not the end of the world if you spill your coffee on your leather journal cover, you should still use a cloth to dry it as soon as possible.


inside of a Popov Leather Field Notes Cover in Natural
Natural Popov Leather Field Notes Cover​​

If your cover has gotten too wet, blot as much of the liquid as you can from its surface and leave it to dry for as long as necessary (but not under direct sunlight).


Once it’s dry, be sure to condition it to prevent the leather from drying, wrinkling, or cracking. Let's walk through how to do so.

leather is not water-resistant

3 - Condition Your Leather Journal Cover Routinely

Conditioning your journal cover routinely will keep its leather young, beautiful, and supple.


Ultimately, your cover is meant to protect your diary from everyday use, so it's bound to withstand at least some direct contact with sunlight, dust, liquid, and your constant touch.


And that’s fine, as long as you give it the care it needs.


You can clean and condition your journal cover with Popov Leather’s Scrub and Balm by following these easy steps:

folded Popov Leather A5 Journal Cover in black
Popov Leather A5 Journal Cover​​
  1. Use a damp cloth to remove dirt and dust from your journal cover.
  2. Spray the pH-balanced Leather Scrub over its surface.
  3. Rub your journal cover with a soft bristle brush in a circular motion to remove any grime or contaminant buildup.
  4. Leave your cover to dry for 1–2 hours.
  5. Apply the Leather Balm using a damp cloth and rub your journal cover's surface in circles.
  6. Let your cover dry and cure for 24 hours.

Doing this every 2–3 weeks will protect your journal cover from sunlight, dust, moisture, and other contaminants.


Both Popov Leather's Scrub and Balm are made with natural ingredients that clean and protect your leather goods, keeping them pristine for years.


For best results, I strongly recommend using both products. They’ll work together to keep your journal cover and any other quality leather goods clean and protected, increasing their durability without compromising their unique patina.


The following table compares the function and features of both products.


Product Use Features
Leather Scrub/Cleaner Removes dirt, stains, and contaminants from leather without eliminating its patina
  • Inhibits mold & mildew
  • Leaves no residue
  • Gentle on all leather finishes
  • All-natural plant-based ingredients
  • 3 oz/88.72 ml

Leather Balm Provides a lustrous covering to leather goods, helping them resist liquids and contaminants
  • Superior waterproofing
  • Long-lasting protection
  • Easy to apply by hand or with a cloth
  • 1 oz/28 g tin
  • Buffs to a beautiful shine
  • Made from triple-filtered beeswax, a special formulation of seed oil, and naturally occurring lipids

The scrub and balm are made by hand with proprietary formulas designed for high-quality Horween leather—and all Popov Leather goods are made using this material.


Related: What is Horween Leather? What Makes it so Special?

Popov Leather
Popov Leather Balm and Scrub K​​it

Take Care of Your Leather Journal Cover

As you can see, caring for your leather journal cover is easy. All you need is to keep it safe from the elements, away from liquids, and condition it with Popov Leather’s Scrub and Balm.


Imagine reading your notes from 10 or 20 years in the past and reflecting on all the extraordinary experiences you've had. I bet you'll thank your journal cover for protecting those memories.


At Popov Leather, we intend for our journal covers to be timeless, striving to create heirloom pieces that'll be with you for life.


All of our products are made using top-quality Horween leather and sewn with Tiger thread, the most durable thread in the world.


That's why all Popov Leather’s articles come with a lifetime guarantee. We use the best materials and manufacturing processes to create leather pieces your sons and daughters can remember you by.


Thousands of satisfied customers can attest to this:

“When my dad saw the notebook cover I bought for myself, he loved it. So I decided to purchase him one and a new wallet for himself. He loved the quality and the ruggedness … and I can't imagine this cover ever falling apart.”

Zain A. (verified customer)

“The quality of this Moleskine cover is absolutely amazing, just like everything from Popov. I have a field notes cover, the Moleskine, a traditional wallet, and two belts …”

TM (verified customer)

Do you love leather as much as I do? Take a look at our wallet and iPhone case collections, all made using the premium Horween leather you'll love.


Learn more: Aniline Leather 101: What Is Aniline Leather and Why Should You Care?

Written by Ryan Popoff


Ryan Popoff is the creative mind behind Popov Leather wallets, iPhone cases, belts, watch bands and journals since 2013. With a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts, my leatherworking journey began at home. I wanted to create a simple leather wallet that could fit into my front pocket and — to my delight — it was a hit with family and friends. Hopefully you love our honest, quality leather goods too! Reach out with questions.



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