How to Soften a Leather Coat

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Leather coats can sometimes feel a bit too hard when they're brand new. Find out how to soften a leather coat with help from a leather and vinyl professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Leather Care
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Aubrey from the Leather and Vinyl Doctor in Utah. We're here today to talk about how to soften a leather coat. The first thing you want to identify is what's causing your leather to not be soft. Is it something that is spilled on the jacket? Is it just the source of being old? If it's something you've spilled on the jacket, it's probably best to go ahead and first try and clean it off. Now the best way to do that is to use a water based pH neutral leather care cleaner. If you haven't got that, a few drops of hand soap in a bottle of water can suffice. You want to before you go and use a cleaner, you want to make sure that your leather itself isn't going to react or be distressed by using a cleaner. The best way to do that to find out what type of leather you have is to use the water test. Place a few drops of water on to the surface of the leather and see how it responds. Does it absorb into the jacket, into the leather? Or does it tend to sit on the surface? If it sits on the surface, you know that it's going to be pretty good for handling most types of cleaners. It's going to be fairly durable. If the water absorbs very quickly into the leather and you start seeing dark patches, you know that you've got to be a bit more careful because that liquid, any liquid is going to absorb and possibly leave some residue or some water marks. So having identified that and tested the cleaner in an inconspicuous spot to make sure that no color is coming off, you can go ahead and clean that area and clean your jacket. Probably generally a good idea to clean your jacket anyway if you're trying to get it softer. So go ahead, apply the cleaner to a cloth that way it's more controlled, you're not going to have any streak marks. Work it in circular motions and work through the entire jacket piece by piece. If you find that you've got some really ground in stubborn stains, you might want to apply a little bit of cleaner on to the surface of the jacket using a soft cloth, working circular motions and then using your cloth, pick up that dirt, pick up the solution with a clean cloth and slowly work through the whole jacket. Once you've done that, this is going to be your magic ingredient for softening up your jacket. You want to use a good leather care conditioner. This one here is pretty much 100 percent aniline-based product. But many of them are out there on the marketplace that are very good. Just look out for the ones that don't have silicon in them, because they tend to leave a residue or some sort of after effect and can tend to dry out your jacket. In this case we're going to use a aniline-based cleaner in a soft or damp cloth. I'm going to apply it to the cloth and again similar to the cleaner, I'm going to work it in circular motions. Penetrate that in to the leather. Now in the event that we've got a very stiff coat jacket we want to go ahead and apply that multiple times and perhaps over the course of a period of several days just to help it to really to penetrate because you'll find just like hands, you put on a hand lotion it tends to absorb into the skin and you just want to keep applying that. So application of a good conditioner is really the key to this and also just making sure that your jacket is fairly clean and is not the victim of something that you spilled on there or something dirt related. OK that's how you take care of softening up your jacket.

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