How to Clean a Leather Jacket Cleanzen Infographic


While leather is a durable, hard-wearing material, it requires special care to maintain its condition for years to come. Unfortunately, leather jackets get filthy over time from everyday use and stains. Odors are often problematic as well.


While taking your leather jacket to the dry cleaner periodically is one option, this inconvenient and expensive method is not the only way to wash a leather jacket. How can you clean your leather jacket at home?

How Often Should You Wash a Leather Jacket?


When a leather jacket is properly cared for, you do more than just remove stains and odors. You keep it looking great and protect it from additional damage through conditioning. Ideally, it will be washed and conditioned annually. However, you should respond to stains immediately.


What is the Best Way to Clean a Leather Jacket?


There are two homemade cleaning solutions that you can use to clean a leather jacket. These include dish soap and water or a 50-50 solution of white vinegar and water. With your desired solution, dampen a microfiber cloth.


Woman cleaning leather jacket


Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the cloth before using it on the jacket. Then, use another cloth that is only lightly damp with clean water to wipe away your cleaning solution. Once the jacket is clean, dry it thoroughly with a fresh towel, and hang it on a hanger.


Conditioning a Leather Jacket


After removing the grime and smells from your leather jacket, an additional step is necessary. Leather conditioner prevents the material from drying out, which can lead to cracking and damage.


Conditioning also reduces the impact of staining substances going forward. Several commercial leather conditioning products are available. You could also make a conditioner using two parts linseed oil and one part vinegar. Apply the liquid to the jacket. After 15 minutes, use a clean, soft cloth to buff the jacket.


Removing Stains From a Leather Jacket


The best time to treat a stain on a leather jacket is immediately after the event happens. You can minimize the severity of the stain by wiping the liquid or food from the jacket right away. Do so with a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching the leather.


There are a few ways to remove stains from a leather jacket with ingredients you may already have. Choose between non-gel toothpaste, rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover and either cornstarch or baking soda.


To remove a stain with toothpaste, dab a very small amount of the paste on your fingertip. With a soft cloth, lightly rub the stain until it is gone. Avoid scratching the stain or scrubbing too hard. After the stain is gone, use a clean cloth to remove the toothpaste.


How to Clean a Leather Jacket Cleanzen Image of a Moldy Leather Jacket


If your leather jacket is stained with mold spots, rest assured that it may be saved. Combine one part water with one part rubbing alcohol in a small bowl. Wipe the solution on the jacket using a slightly damp microfiber cloth. Use a second clean towel to wipe off the mold and liquid. Avoid scrubbing the jacket.


If you are dealing with ink stains or tough scuff marks on a leather jacket, dab a cotton swab slightly with nail polish remover. Do not scrub the stain as this will spread the stain. Instead, dab the stain until it is removed. You may need to use multiple swabs to get the job done. When the stain is gone, dampen a cloth with water, and wipe off the nail polish remover.


Grease and oil are also problematic on leather jackets. To remove these spots, sprinkle your choice of cornstarch or baking soda on the stain. Rub the stain and powder with a damp cloth rather than wipe the powder up immediately, allow it to sit on the jacket overnight. The powder will draw the oil or grease out of the leather. Then, you can wipe off the powder with a clean cloth.


Check out this video for additional tips on how to clean a leather jacket effectively, without damaging it!



Tips for Maintaining Leather Jackets


There are a few things to avoid when cleaning a leather jacket. For example, do not clean leather with products containing ammonia or bleach. If you must use water to clean the jacket, use as little water as possible to prevent water stains.


If your efforts do not work, consider taking the jacket to a professional. In addition, avoid washing the jacket in a washing machine, and do not leave it in the sun or in a moist area.




Should You Wash or Dry Clean Leather Jacket?


Dry cleaning is often an effective way to remove stains and odors from a leather jacket. However, you can save money and ensure that the work is done to your satisfaction when you clean your jacket by hand at home.


Can You Put a Leather Jacket in the Washing Machine?


A leather jacket should never go in in the washing machine. One of the main reasons for this is because excessive moisture will stain your jacket. In addition, the agitation of the machine could result in scratches.


How Do You Clean a Smelly Leather Jacket?


Leather jacket hanging on hook


Jackets can smell for several reasons, including mold, stains and grime on the jacket. Removing the grime properly will remove the smells as well. Because vinegar is acidic, diluted vinegar is an excellent way to remove many types of stains and odors.


Corn starch and baking soda also have odor-fighting properties. If your jacket is moldy, it should be spot cleaned with a combination of rubbing alcohol and water.


Leather is just one of the many materials that require periodic cleaning. Many surfaces in your home, such as natural stone, wood floors and more, require special care in order to prevent damage. You don’t need to worry about researching property cleaning supplies and techniques or stress about potential damage when you hire our Cleanzen Boston team. To inquire about our housecleaning services, contact us today.


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