How to Clean a Leather Jacket

A leather jacket is so flexible that you can wear it on top of anything you want, and it will keep you warm and fashionable. Previously, only motorcyclists used to purchase leather jackets due to their heavy-duty nature, but the purpose or utility of owning one has significantly changed. A leather jacket is the epitome of perfect winter wear.

It’s probably one of the few garments that resemble the “it gets better with time” characteristic. The problem with a leather jacket is grease, cracks, and mold, which we will discuss how to take care of. But with proper care, your leather jacket could turn out to be a wise investment if you are indecisive and too afraid to bear the pinch in your pocket. 

girl smiling in a leather jacket

Cleaning a Leather Jacket

The reason why leather jackets are tricky to clean is that if you use the wrong materials, like ammonia or bleach-based substances, to treat the jacket, it will make the surface super dry and may cause cracks subsequently. And if you use too much liquid on it, it might seep into the leather and puff it up from the foam inside, or it may end up staining the jacket.

Dust the Rust off
For many of us, the leather jacket is something that sits in the closet for quite a long time of the year. It’s necessary to remove the dust on the leather, or else it can mix up with some liquid and stain the jacket. Also, after dusting the jacket, bring the inner layer out and use a lint roller to remove unwanted particles from the insides. Also, bring the inner lining of the pockets out and clean them as well.

Baking Soda to the Rescue
Leather jackets are immensely durable, but it’s trickier to clean one than the other apparel, which can be washed by following simple instructions. Baking soda is a very gentle component to be used on a leather surface. It can deal with greasy stains at ease without ruining the jacket. Take some baking soda and apply it gently on the jacket, then let it rest for half a day before wiping the baking soda off with a paper towel.

Use baking soda for cleaning leather jackets

Wipe and Dry
As you already know, your leather jacket is not suitable to be wet washed. And dry cleaning can sometimes be expensive, and it also depends upon the availability of a reliable dry cleaner. You can create a mixture of soap and water, moisten a towel with the soap water to apply to the jacket, and keep another towel handy to dry the region as soon as you are done cleaning it. Repeat the process on the whole leathered area.

Use Isopropyl Alcohol
Commonly known as rubbing alcohol, isopropyl alcohol became an instant hit during the covid due to that being a component in sanitizers. And as the description suggests, it’s an excellent disinfectant that could aid in the elimination of molds from the leather jacket. Take some isopropyl alcohol and mix it with water in an equal ratio, then lightly moisten a cloth to apply it on the affected areas subsequently.

isopropyl alcohol used as a disinfectant

Time for Conditioning
Just as we condition our hair after using shampoo or use fabric softener after washing clothes, we need to condition the leather jacket so that it retains its sheen and color. You can buy a leather conditioner from the store. Or you can even make it by yourself from the comfort of your home. Take some vinegar, create a concoction with linseed oil at a ratio of 1:3, respectively, and then apply it. Let it rest for half an hour before wiping it with a cloth.

Making the Leather Jacket Smell Fresh

Use Dryer Sheets

A dampening smell could be challenging to deal with when you can wash the apparel. Using scented dryer sheets, you can absorb the moisture that might be causing the dampening scent in your jacket. Place a dryer sheet inside of your jacket and leave it for a week or so before checking for any ill-scent.

Naphthalene Balls to Rescue

These small scented balls are also known by the name mothballs and can preserve the freshness of any apparel quite well. If you are packing the jacket up for the next winter, then use some of these naphthalene balls to keep your clothes free from odors, insects, and pests. However, these are highly toxic and should only be used in clothes that you will not be wearing until the next year. And also keep it out of the reach of children.