How to Recondition a Leather Coat

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Reconditioning makes leather like new.
Reconditioning makes leather like new. (Image: Made available by hartlandshoes.us.)

After repeated use, your leather coat might look faded, cracked and stained, which is normal wear and tear. However, leather jackets can last for years if they are properly care for. These types of coats are classic pieces, and they are investments in your wardrobe. Reconditioning your leather coat at least once a year can preserve its quality and increase its life.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloth
  • Sponge
  • Leather soap
  • Leather conditioner

Hang up your leather coat and inspect the quality of the jacket. Look for mold, mildew, stains and cracking.

Brush off as much mold as you can with a dry clothes brush (these are soft and are often used to remove lint), but don't force it off because you can tear the leather. If you have mold or mildew, it might be best to purchase a leather soap to thoroughly clean your coat before reconditioning it. Leather soap is usually concentrated and must be mixed with equal parts water, but it can cleanse and restore the leather. Use a sponge to apply the soap in small amounts. After the leather is clean, use a dry cloth to dry.

Use a soft, dry cotton cloth and apply a small amount of the leather conditioner. Using the tips of your fingers under the cloth, gently rub the conditioner onto the leather in small, circular motions.

Apply extra conditioner to areas that are considerably dry with cracks. However, too much conditioner can prevent your leather from being able to breath, which can result in mildew. Start by applying a dime-size amount to damaged areas, and if you notice the leather looks hydrated, don't use any more conditioner.

Hang your leather coat in a cool, dry place for a full 24 hours. Make sure pets and children cannot reach the jacket.

Tips & Warnings

  • Recondition your leather at least once a year.
  • Keeping your jacket in a humid closet or jammed in between clothing can result in mildew and mold formations on your leather. When washing your leather with leather soap or a 50/50 mix of water and alcohol, these solutions can permanently lighten or darken your leather's finish.

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