How to Clean a Leather Jacket

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Clean a stain from a leather jacket as soon as it appears.
Clean a stain from a leather jacket as soon as it appears.

Leather is generally a more expensive form of fabric and is set apart from other clothing materials due to its style and longevity. A high-quality leather jacket is definitely a wardrobe investment because it tends to be more durable than cheaper leather. With the right care and proper maintenance, leather jackets can last for many years. To keep the leather jacket clean, there are a few special steps that will ensure it stays durable and stylish.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild soap
  • Bowl
  • 3 cloth rags
  • Olive oil

Step 1

Test a non-conspicuous patch on the leather with mild soap before fully cleaning the jacket. Dampen a cloth with lukewarm water, squeezing off any excess. Apply a dime-size amount of cleaning soap to the cloth and gently dab the area. Rinse the cloth with water, squeeze it to remove excess water, and wipe the patch down to remove any traces of soap. Allow the patch to dry for five minutes. Discontinue use of soap if discoloration or leather thinning appears.

Step 2

Fill a bowl with cool water, adding in a few drops of mild soap. Swish the water and soap together by hand to make the water sudsy.

Step 3

Dip the cloth into the bowl. Try to get the whole rag wet if you’re cleaning a larger surface area on the jacket. Squeeze out excess water and soap from the rag.

Step 4

Rub the cloth vigorously against itself to work up suds. Start cleaning from the top portion of the jacket -- around the collar -- by blotting the cloth against material. Refrain from vigorously wiping in a back-and-forth motion against the material, as it can weaken the leather.

Step 5

Grab a dry cloth rag and dampen it under cool running water. Squeeze the rag until excess water is gone. Only rinse the soap away with a minimal amount of water as leather is not water-repellant; rinsing it with too much water can crack the material.

Step 6

Continue to apply soap along the rest of the jacket’s exterior and interior in a blot-and-rinse fashion. Once you are done, use a dry cloth to remove excess water from all areas of the jacket. Allow the leather to air dry for five to 10 minutes.

Step 7

Condition the leather jacket to replenish its natural oils lost during the cleansing process. Apply a small amount of olive oil only on a dry cloth and rub it gently into the leather in a circular fashion. If parts of the leather appear darker or shinier than before, lessen the amount of olive oil used.

Tip

  • Enhance the appearance of the jacket after cleaning by using a waterproof sealant spray. The sealant will protect the exterior of leather jacket by shielding it against harsh, drying weather conditions.

    Wipe stains from leather as soon as they appear. Have the jacket professionally cleaned at least once a year.

References

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