One of the staple fashion gear is a leather jacket. Since its inception, it has never gone out of style. Whether it is winter or summer, a leather jacket never goes out of style. You can wear them at any time of the year and still look stylish.
Some fashion experts say a leather jacket is an unavoidable clothing piece in one’s wardrobe. When nothing seems to go right with the occasion, pull off the leather look. With such popularity comes responsibility. What is that? – How to clean a leather jacket? Yes.
Even today, many people fear washing leather jackets on their own, as you can’t wash them in a washing machine. The brands and care label on the garment always recommends getting it washed from professionals. However, it can cost you a fortune.
So to solve your problems related to leather cleaning at home in the easiest way possible, I decided to write this blog. Before we move towards the real deal, let’s understand a few important things.
Things to Take Care of Before Cleaning the Leather Jacket at Home:
- Always know what you are up against. To explain it further, it is necessary to know what type of leather jacket you have, as different leather may require a different cleaning method. Usually, there are four types of leather jackets sold in the market: Suede, Nubuck, Aniline, and Nappa.
- Get your hands on the best leather jacket cleaner and conditioner available.
- Always check the inner lining of the jacket for the manufacturer’s care label. It will guide you in many things.
- Experts always advise using the cleaner and conditioner on the separate or hidden area of the jacket. (I would recommend testing on the inside out cuff.)
- If there is a change in color, whether light, dark, or fade don’t use that cleaner on the jacket, it might damage your leather jacket beyond repair.
- If you see droplets or beads forming on the jacket with the use of water or cleaner, consider it safe to use.
- You can also try to rub the saddle soap on the leather jacket, but it isn’t recommended due to its harsh properties. It can damage the thin and soft leathers.
I guess this is enough information on the before cleaning guide. Let’s read the simplest and effective ways to clean the leather jacket.
How to Clean a Leather Jacket?
There are different ways to clean a leather jacket based on what you want to do! Confused? If you want to clean a stain, there’s a different method and if you want to remove the smell, there’s another hack. So let’s review them.
Method #1: Using Soap and Water
This is the most common method used by many and is mostly the preferred one. How to do it? The first step is to mix a mild soap solution. Take an open container, add a few ounces of warm water, and mix the liquid soap detergent.
Stir the solution till the detergent is completely dissolved. The mixture should be mild and gentle so that it doesn’t ruin your leather jacket.
Now take the soft sponge and dip it into the soapy liquid and wring it till it is left damp. Then with long gentle motions clean the jacket. Don’t rub, it may make scratches on it.
After that take the soft cloth, dip it in the clean water, and wring it so that it becomes damp. Then rub off the soapy water with the same technique. The last step is to pat dry cloth on the jacket to soak the wetness.
Do not ever hang the leather jacket in the direct sunlight, heat will damage it.
Method #2: Using Leather Cleaner
When buying a leather jacket cleaner and conditioner, make sure it has characteristics that can scrub away the stains and smell from the jacket. Now, how to use leather cleaner?
Spray, dab, or squeeze (as per the product) the little amount of cleaner on the dirty area, then scrub it in the outward spiral motion. Dab it till the cleaner is absorbed entirely in the jacket.
Then use another towel to remove the excess cleaner left on the jacket. You don’t have to worry about rinsing off the cleaner as it is designed for the leather to soak in it.
Tip: Do not ever wash the leather jacket in the washing machine, it can cause distress and moldy effects.
How to Clean a Leather Jacket That Smells or Has Stains?
I have read queries like – how to get thrift store smell or body odor out of leather?
The above methods were based on the entire cleaning, however, the below mentioned are specifically for the stain and smell. So you will get answers to all your questions related to odor removing as well.
Method #3: Vinegar
Vinegar has acid in it, which helps in removing the bad odor and smells. Yet, be careful on how to use it!
Take the white vinegar and water of equal parts, mix them together, and then do the testing on the small spot. If you don’t see any cracks or discoloration, go forward with the procedure.
You can take the solution on the clean cloth and wipe the jacket or use a spray bottle to sprinkle the solution. Then use a clean cloth to wipe it off.
If you feel the odor is too bad and won’t go with this procedure, try soaking it in the vinegar solution for a few minutes. Remember to dry it properly or there will be a moldy effect left.
Method #4: Baking Soda
Another easiest method to clean the leather jacket is using baking soda. How can you wash leather jackets with this thing? Let’s see.
This process might take time but is the easiest one. You will need baking soda and a case that can store your jacket (pillowcase or zip-lock bag).
Now put the leather item in the pillowcase or a bag and sprinkle the thin layer of baking soda on the jacket’s surface. Tie the ends of the pillowcase or secure the bag and let it sit for 24 hours.
Then remove the case and gently brush off the baking soda from the surface of the leather jacket.
After that, check on the odor. If it is still there, repeat the process a few more times, you will definitely get the results.
Method #5: Nail Polish Remover
If your leather jacket is ink-stained or has a scuff on it, nail polish remover will come to rescue it. Using nail paint remover is not any rocket science thing, you just have to be a little bit careful.
Blot the remover on the stain, until you see the clean leather surface. Once done you can use a damp cloth to wipe the excess remover and clean it. Then use a dry towel to clean the wetness on it.
Method #6: Rubbing Alcohol
Alcohol works better in removing the stain (be it on leather or the broken heart). However, you can’t use it directly on the leather surface, take alcohol and water in equal proportion, and make the solution.
Now with the help of a solution-dipped soft cotton cloth gently rub the stained area. You will see the magic happening. The next step is to clean the alcohol from the surface with a simple damp fabric.
Method #7: Using Toothpaste
Last but not least on the list is Toothpaste. Yes, the one that cleans your teeth can clean the jacket as well. You can not use any toothpaste, it should be non-gel only.
Take the little toothpaste on your finger and make circular motions on the stain, very gently. Then let it sit for around 10 seconds after that wipe it clean with a damp cloth. Make sure, there’s not a little toothpaste left on the jacket. Next, let it dry completely.
Now the next section is about the faqs. Keep reading!
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) on Leather Jacket Maintenance
1. How to clean a leather jacket lining?
You can use the soap and water solution to clean the leather jacket lining. Simply sprinkle the solution, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then clean it with a damp cloth and leave it to dry. You can also try the baking soda method.
2. How to clean an old leather jacket?
You can definitely revitalize the old and worn leather jacket, by following the same steps you used for cleaning the new jacket. The best method is soap and warm water solution. Wipe it and clean the jacket. Dry clean the jacket naturally and polish it for the new look.
3. Can you dry clean a leather jacket?
It is not advisable, as the process of dry cleaning can take away the shine and look of the leather. So you should not go to the dry cleaners for leather jacket cleaning until it offers professional leather cleaning services.
4. How to polish a leather jacket?
You should always use a leather conditioner to protect it and keep the shine of leather intact. You will get many products online for the same. You can use silicone polymer spray to keep the appearance attractive.
5. How to clean a white leather jacket?
When cleaning a white leather jacket, it is advisable to use the baking soda method. Take one part of baking soda and three parts of water. Dip the washable cloth in the solution and rub it on the jacket gently. Then wipe the damp cloth on it.
6. Can you wash leather jackets?
Yes, you can but not in the washing machine. Either you can wash it on your own or let the professionals do the work.
7. How to dry a clean leather jacket?
Don’t hang a leather jacket or any leather item in direct sunlight, it can cause damage to the outlook of the apparel. Instead, let it dry naturally inside the house.
I hope this article gave you the perfect answer on how to clean a leather jacket. Leather is undoubtedly costly but can last for years, it is worth the investment. Along with that, you should also know how to take care of it. So rather than, buying the fake one at a cheap price, invest in the original leather item.
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