How to Clean a Leather Jacket | All You Need to Know
Let’s be real: no one has the money to spend on dry cleaning a leather jacket, especially when you have many of them in the cupboard. What’s better is to learn about how to take care of real and synthetic effectively, what materials to use, and when to use. The good thing about leather is that it is not as challenging as it appears at first sight. So, if you have no clue and are wondering how to clean a leather jacket, no worries; here is a complete step-by-step guide for thoroughly cleaning and conditioning leather. So, dive right in for more.
How to Clean a Leather Jacket: A Step-by-Step Guide
Cleaning a leather jacket is not as challenging as it seems. All you need to do is understand what to use and how to use it effectively so that the jacket is cleaned and the fabric is not ruined. If you have no idea, don’t worry, and keep on reading this step-by-step guide to clean a leather jacket thoroughly.
Dust the Fabric
Before you dive right into cleaning, use a soft microfiber cloth or brush to wipe away any dirt, dust, or oil present on the jacket. This will make it easy for the soap to do its work. While doing so, make sure you are following a circular motion, as it will avoid damage to the expensive leather.
Prepare the Solution
The next step is to prepare a solution for cleaning. Making it is pretty straightforward, as all you need to do is mix warm water and any liquid detergent or cleaner (two tablespoons). But make sure the cleaner you are using is mild, as otherwise it would cause damage to the leather, so when handling this kind of fabric, understand that less is more.
Clean the Leather
Now, it is time to clean the jacket. Take the bucket of the solution you prepared and soak the piece of microfiber cloth or sponge in it. Before you apply it to the leather, just make sure it is damped (neither dripping wet nor dry). The key to cleaning leather is using as little moisture as possible, or else, you will end up with a damaged fabric. So, what’s better is to target areas where there are oil spots, dirt buildups, and discolored patches on the jacket. Also, do not rub and lightly make your way in circles while using the sponge on the leather.
Wipe it DownFinally, take a microfiber cloth (a clean one) and wipe down the leather to get rid of any cleaning solution residue on the jacket. Once done, double-check for any moisture or standing water on the jacket. You can also finish it down by using a dry towel, as it will help you soak any remaining moisture.
- Pro Tip: Never use direct heat (sunlight or any electric dryer) on leather, as it can damage the fabric.
Clean the InsideFinally, it is time to clean the inside of the leather jacket, as it is equally essential to make it look presentable and preserve it. Despite this, many people undermine the sweat, dust, and oil buildups present on the jacket's interior lining. So, here is what you should do after completing the exterior cleaning.
- First, hang the jacket inside out on a hanger from where it is easily accessible.
- Next, clean the inside using the microfiber cloth or sponge with the same mild cleaning solution you made for the exterior. Be delicate with the fabric to make sure it does not get damaged.
- After this, move to cuffs, underarms, and collars. Spot the buildups and clean them accordingly.
- Finally, hang the jacket in a dry condition for around one day. Once again, I would like to recommend you not to use direct heat on the fabric.
How to Get Rid of Hard Stains from Leather: Tips and Tricks
Removing hard stains from the leather can be a great challenge, especially when you are not allowed to rub and use harsh cleaners. So, what to do? Well, you need to get some insight into the cleaning process and learn valuable tips and tricks.
The emergency savior is the old-fashioned toothpaste. All you need to do is take a non-gel toothpaste formula and mix it with water, soak the sponge in it, and rub it gently on the stain. Finally, finish it off by using a clean, damp cloth or towel.
Nail Polish Remover
You can also use nail polish remover to get rid of the most stubborn stains and oil spots. Just take a cotton swab, dip it in the nail polish remover, and gently use it over the stain while making sure it does not spread over the fabric. Once the stain disappears, clean it using a damp cloth or a microfiber towel.
Rubbing alcohol is yet another excellent alternative for getting rid of oil spots and stains from leather. Mix one part of the rubbing alcohol with the same water quantity and dip a piece of cloth (or sponge) in it. Next, rub it over the fabric and wait for the magic; in a minute, you will see the stain completely removed from the jacket.
If you are someone uncomfortable with home-based ingredients and need a quick fix, turn to leather cleaners from the market. They require minimal effort or mess and work equally well as any other ingredient on this list. Another good thing about these cleaners is that they leave the leather safe and soft afterward.
Last but not least, one solution for all problems, baking soda, has not disappointed us here either. Using this is also pretty straightforward, as all you need to do is sprinkle it over the oil spots and let it be for around two hours. After this, take a damp cloth and rub it for a few minutes, and finally, wipe away the powder with a dry towel to get rid of any residue left on the fabric.
Do You Need to Condition the Leather Jacket After Cleaning?
Finally, let us address the controversial part: do you need to condition the leather jacket afterward? Though most people skip this part and feel like it is unnecessary, conditioning helps to soften your jackets. Moreover, it also helps you keep it away from cracking and drying out, needless to say, potential stains and oil buildups. The best part is that any commercial conditioner works with it, and you can even make one on your own with two parts linseed oil and one part vinegar. Once you have the formula, apply it to the leather after it is dried out (at least fifteen minutes after cleaning it). Finally, finish it off by buffing the condition of the leather using a dry towel or microfiber cloth.
Can you put a leather jacket in the washing machine?
No, a leather jacket is not suitable for machine washing, irrespective of whether it is synthetic, plant-based, or real leather. You have to clean it thoroughly by hand in water. Similarly, it is important to check the care instructions on the jacket label to reduce the chances of damage.
How do you clean and deodorize a leather jacket?
There are numerous methods to clean a leather jacket, so it all comes down to what feels comfortable to you. All in all, rubbing alcohol, mild detergents, and white vinegar works best for the oil and dust buildup from leather. Also, you have to be gentle with the fabric, given that it is highly susceptible to damage and fading.
Can I clean my leather jacket myself?
Yes, you can definitely clean a leather jacket yourself. All you need to do is make a cleaning solution, dip a sponge in it, and rub it gently over the spots or stains on the jacket. Finally, you take the condition and apply it over the jacket once it is dried.
Do I put my leather jacket in the dryer?
No, you are not allowed to put your leather jacket in the dryer or direct sunlight, as it ruins the fabric. Some people even think that using electric air dryers is okay, which is not, given that it cracks and distorts the fabric. What’s better is to hang it in a dry space after you have used a dry towel to get rid of moisture.