How to Clean a Leather Jacket
A quality leather jacket never goes out of fashion, so you’re bound to get your wear out of it. Unfortunately, over time, it may start to get grubby and tired-looking.
To keep your jacket in good condition, it’s essential you maintain a good cleaning routine. However, it’s not as easy as throwing your jacket into the washing machine, as this can cause it to crack, warp and potentially, lose its shape. If your leather jacket is looking a little worse for wear and is in need of a thorough clean, there are a number of tips and tricks to keep in mind that’ll keep it looking as good as new.
Cleaning the exterior of a leather jacket
1. Mix soap and water
The age-old remedy of soap and water works wonders as a cleaning solution for a leather jacket. Firstly, run a small amount of water into a bowl and add approximately two teaspoons of washing up liquid detergent. Stir until the liquid has dissolved and begins to bubble into a foam. Be aware not to add too much detergent to the solution as you may pose the risk of stripping the dyes and colourants from the leather.
2. Get a cloth or sponge
Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the soap solution and wipe over the leather, making sure it’s damp to the touch, but not dripping wet. If the cloth does feel too wet, be sure to ring out the excess water or it may damage the leather further.
3. Wipe down the leather
Next, wipe the cloth or sponge over the leather in an extended vertical motion, rather than scrubbing too hard. While doing this, pay close attention to any areas of damage, such as dirt build-up, oil or discoloured patches that need extra care.
Once you have given the leather a thorough wipe down, it’s time to clean off the soapy water with a towel and pat until completely dry. It would be a good idea to hang the jacket up and leave to dry naturally overnight. Be aware not to speed up the drying process with any form of artificial heat, such as a de-humidifier, tumble dryer or hair dryer, as this can cause irreversible damage to the leather.
You may have noticed that over time, your leather jacket has started to look a little lifeless, but you can easily spruce it up by applying a specialised wax or polish with a soft cloth to make it look as good as new in no time at all.
Cleaning the interior of a leather jacket
Throwing your leather jacket into the washing machine wouldn’t be recommended, so knowing how to clean the interior of your jacket can be puzzling. Luckily, the below tips and tricks should come in useful to give you some helpful hints on what to do:
1. Hang it up
First things first, turn the jacket inside out and place it on a coathanger so you can thoroughly access all of the nooks and crannies while cleaning.
2. Soap and water
Using the same soap and water solution as the exterior, use the sponge to wipe down the lining, concentrating particularly on the armpit and arm areas where perspiration and dirt build-up are most likely.
If odours are particularly unpleasant and still lingering after a basic wipe down, you can opt to use a fabric freshener at the armpit. However, do be sure to read the packaging beforehand, as it may state that it shouldn’t be used directly on or near leather.
3. Leave out to dry
Again, hang the leather jacket up to dry and refrain from using any form of artificial heat to quicken the drying process.
Getting rid of tough stains
We have lightly touched on how to remove stains from leather, but in certain cases, you may still have no luck after a gentle wipe down with soap and water. The good news is, that there are some age-old remedies you can rely on to get rid of hard-to-remove stains.
If your office allows you to turn up in casual attire, you may be keen to wear your leather jacket to work on a regular basis. However, when your pen decides to explode, one of the major concerns is ink stains seeping into the leather Saddle soap is the best solution to get rid of deep inky stains, but use sparingly, as just a small application can work wonders.
Oil and grease are two other seriously tough stains to remove from real leather. If you’ve tried the basic soap solution with no luck, it’s time to look for other alternatives. Baby powder is said to be the key to attacking oil and grease marks. Apply the baby powder to the stain and allow it to absorb into the leather for approximately 1 hour, before lightly brushing away.
We hope this guide has given you some useful hacks on cleaning and sprucing up your old and tired leather jacket to give it a new lease of life!