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On porous or light-colored leather, water solutions will create dark stains and, with all leathers, can cause hardening of the material. If a binding is dirty, surface grime can be removed with a soft lintless cloth slightly dampened with water, potassium lactate or saddle soap. One should first try to clean an inconspicuous spot to be certain darkening will not occur; and, if saddle soap is used, all soap residue must be removed, using clean soft rags.