7 tips to look after a leather jacket
If you’ve made the best purchasing decision of your life, to buy a leather jacket, then you’ll want to ensure it’s kept in tip top condition. But how do you do that?
A leather jacket isn’t like your trusty old mac. This soft, supple beauty requires TLC from the outset, so without further ado, here are our 7 tips for the best ways to look after a leather jacket.
1. Only wear your leather jacket inside
If you’re terrified that your gorgeous new garb is going to get trashed by the unpredictable UK weather, there really is only one option for it: don’t leave the house wearing it.
Simply throw away your dressing gown, because let’s be honest, no one looks sexy in a threadbare towelling robe, and replace it with your real leather jacket.
Quality sheep nappa leather has never looked so good as it does sitting atop your faded Mickey Mouse nightie.
Or if you insist on wearing it outdoors...
2. Make your leather jacket water resistant
Leather might seem water resistant, our skin is after all, but you’d be surprised how quickly water can ruin a leather jacket.
So instpead of letting the Great British downpour ruin your day, purchase some leather protector or leather waterproofing products and spray your leather jacket all over, before you even think about leaving the house wearing it.
Of course always do a patch test in a hidden place first, underneath the collar seems like a favoured spot. Leave the protector spray to dry.
We wouldn’t recommend buying any waxed-based products to protect your leather jacket, yes they are renowned for their waterproofing qualities, but you really don’t want to run the risk of smelling like your Nan’s musty waxed jacket for the rest of your life. Not cool.
Plus you won’t know the effect it will have on the colour of your leather jacket, its shine or longevity if you do rub the jacket down with a waxy coating.
One point to note: don’t think that your leather jacket, once adorned with waterproofing spray will be waterproof for life. Far from it.
The waterproofing products you need will only be effective temporarily. You’ll have to read the small print on the product to see how often you’ll need to reapply it, but a rule of thumb is treat your leather jacket once a year.
3. Never put your leather jacket in the washing machine
Treat your leather jacket like your lacy undies and keep it far away from the washing machine. No good will come of it if you pop it on a hot wash.
Spraying your leather jacket to be water repellent is one thing, soaking it or submerging it in water and expecting the leather protector spray to act like a barrier is unrealistic.
If your leather jacket gets dirty, always read the label before doing any sort of cleaning. Almost all leather jackets sold will come with cleaning instructions, follow them to the letter. If however your jacket is missing its label, a good guide would be thus:
- Dust your leather jacket down lightly with a gentle cloth to avoid scuffing it.
- Wipe dirt from the leather with a damp sponge, keep an eye out for the leather turning dark as it absorbs the water, if it does cease with the damp sponge immediately.
- Rub an eraser over grime or dirt. If the eraser remains cling to the jacket, give them a blast with a can of compressed air or vacuum the leather jacket gently.
- If there are salt marks on your leather jacket, remove them with a damp cloth to avoid them drying and forming dry spots or worse, cracking. Hang the leather jacket up to air dry, then apply a leather conditioner to the areas affected by the salt.
4. Dry your wet leather jacket
If you like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain, and you’re wearing your leather jacket when you do, you must dry your leather jacket as quickly as you can, to prevent it going mouldy.
Hang your leather jacket at room temperature where air can circulate around it.
Remove anything from the pockets of your leather jacket to prevent the leather stretching, and never place your leather jacket on to a heat source to help it dry, such as a radiator, or you’ll find yourself with leather jacket fit only for a doll.
Once the leather jacket has dried, apply leather conditioner and rub it in all over the jacket with a soft cloth.
5. Remove mould from your leather jacket
Mould on leather jackets shows up as a white or grey fuzz. This is the result of being left wet, or being hung up somewhere with warm, damp air.
If this happens to your leather jacket, mix equal parts of water and rubbing alcohol together and with a soft cloth, gently wipe the mixture all over the affected areas.
Once clean, hang your leather jacket up somewhere to dry at room temperature. On a wooden clothes hanger on the back of your bedroom door is a good option.
6. Use a specialist leather jacket dry cleaner
If you’re terrified your cleaning efforts will ruin your leather jacket, there are specialist dry cleaners who deal specifically with leather goods who can do it for you.
But before you hand your leather jacket over, always ask the dry cleaner how they intend to treat the type of leather your jacket is made from and what they will do to remove the stain.
7. Store your leather jacket correctly
If you aren’t wearing your leather jacket everypday, then it will need to be stored correctly, ready for when you do want to wear it again.
Hang your leather jacket on a padded clothes hanger, none of those thin wire contraptions, you’ll only cause the jacket to get wrinkles and stretch if you pop it on a flimsy wire hanger. Your leather jacket needs to be able to hang properly, its weight fully supported and spread evenly over a sturdy coat hanger.
Finally, keep your leather jacket out of direct sunlight (unless you’re wearing it) and away from any heat source. The sunlight will only fade the leather colour and the heat will cause the leather to dry out and potentially crack.