Binder Maintenance Tips

Binder Maintenance Tips

Our binders do a lot for our plans. They keep our planning pages in order, our planning style flexible, carry important cards and information, take on the hard bumps, and survive those rough and dirty surfaces we often place them on. Franklin binders are made to stand the test of time, but do require a bit of maintenance to prolong the beauty and quality of your most utilized and trusted system. Here are a few simple things you can do to ensure your binder continues to look and feel like new.

Once a month, check to see if your binder’s rings are coming loose. If they are, you can tighten the screws on the spine with a 2mm allen wrench/hex key. If the screws seem to get loose often, put a drop of Loctite threadlocker or glue on them. To take care of the binding itself, use the tabs at the top and bottom when opening your binder instead of pulling the rings apart. They should have a nice tight snap to them. Push the rings together to close them.

You also want to make sure that you don’t overload your binder and put extra pressure on the rings. We recommend only adding the monthly calendar pages and two or three months worth of planning pages at a time, depending on your ring size, planner format, and what forms/tabs you use. To see an example of how to set up your binder, check out a great video here.

It’s a good idea to clean and condition your leather binder at least 2-3 times a year. Over time, your binder will accumulate stains, whether from its environment or simply from handling it. The leather may also begin to dry out, depending on the climate where you live. We recommend using Chamberlain’s Leather Milk to clean, condition, and protect your leather binder. When using the Leather Milk, a little goes a long way. Apply Leather Cleaner No.2 in thin, even layers across the entire surface of your leather item. This will reduce the risk of over-conditioning and ensure that any change in color is uniform. Next, apply Leather Conditioner No.1 into your leather and rub it in gently. Allow the leather to fully soak it in and wait for it to dry. In general, you will know it’s time to re-apply if the surface of your leather begins to look chalky or feels dry to the touch. Finish with Water Protectant No. 3 to condition and protect the leather from weather or accidental spills.

Simulated leather binders wipe clean easily with alcohol-free baby wipes. Cloth sections respond well to small quantities of fabric or upholstery cleaner. Test your cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous spot before moving on to the rest of your binder. Keep cotton swabs and lint-free cloths handy to clean around stitching and other fine details.

For more information on leather care products, check out Chamberlain’s FAQ Page. For more information on binders, check out our FAQ page. If you have additional questions, contact our customer service representatives at 1.800.654.1776 and we’ll be happy to help you!

13 Replies to “Binder Maintenance Tips”

  1. Thanks, this is really useful. I’m going to print it and put it in my much loved Purple Plumeria Vintage Aurora. Such an investment piece deserves care and attention.

  2. I’ve had my binder over 25 years and still love it! Definitely a quality binder and worth every penny of the investment.

  3. I’ve been a Franklin planner user for over 30 years. In fact, I’m using my first and only classic size binder that I purchased! I still use it now in retirement. Everything in the article is what I’ve done over thirty years and it has lasted!

  4. Of course, I love all my binders! So…I’m with Jeanette. I would love to have you consider putting the “Care Instructions” inside every and/or first binder we all learn to cherish. Most products we all purchase come with “Care Instructions” . Thanks for your consideration!

  5. Good info! For those of you who really love that 30+year-old leather binder inside setup like I do, I opted last year to have a leather shop stitch a soft leather accent strip completely around the edges. Nice update and I didn’t have to give up the inside pockets that I really like! Looks new again!

  6. Nothing says this product is great like all of these remarks about how old their binders are and still love and use them in this digital age! I am impressed.

  7. I was doing this periodically anyways. Although I use different products. I do remove all the pages and clean it with a good saddle soap. Then hit it off with a quality leather conditioner working it into any seams. As my planner works hard, I do this deep cleaning on long weekends when the pages can stay out of the binder long enough for the products to do their jobs.

  8. I have been using FC for over 15 years (Classic size-Monticello). In my planner I have the monthly calendar for the past 6 months, 2 pages/day for two months (past and current), one sheet auto mileage log for each month, one expense envelope for each month and a supply of cut-away notes. The last 2 binders have been 1.25 rings, and each one has had issues with the rivets separating/pulling out from the binder before a year is up. I keep my binder flat on my desk and try to always use the tabs at the bottom of the binder to open and close the binder. Other than the rings, the binder is in great shape–I keep it clean and it isn’t too bulky to close with what I have in it. Any suggestions on what I can do to avoid having to replace my binder every year?

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