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How to Clean a Leather Jacket and Make it Look New Again

How to Clean a Leather Jacket
Leather cleaning can be quite challenging, as improper cleaning can damage the leather material. Let's take a look at some easy ways to clean a leather jacket.
HomeQuicks Staff
Last Updated: Jan 18, 2019
Leather apparel make great fashion statements, however, just getting them is not enough. One needs to learn how to maintain the leather jacket, lest you want to bid farewell to it soon. Leather jackets are expensive and prized possessions of many, especially teenage boys and girls.
The hitch about leather jackets is that one cannot leave them to be washed and dried in the washing machine, like one would do with regular clothes. But, if washing machines are a plain no, then, how does one clean leather apparel? Let's find out ...
Getting the Dust off ...
For light cleaning, gently rub the sleeves and collar with a damp piece of cloth. This will help get rid of the dust on the jacket. You could even apply a light spray leather cleaner on the damp cloth before rubbing the jacket.
Cleaning ...
Cleaning leather jackets with a smooth surface should be easy. Just take mild detergent or soap and wipe it gently onto the jacket with a moist piece of cloth. Use a damp, clean piece of sponge to absorb the excess water from the jacket.
Smart leather jacket
Leave the jacket on a hanger to dry in a place with ample amounts of fresh air. Such cleaning can be carried out once a year. Point to remember here is that using soap and water on some upholstery leathers can be damaging.
So, before cleaning your leather jacket find out which type of cleaning is recommended. Even in the case of mild soap, there are different soaps recommended for different types of leather. Inquire with the storekeeper regarding the cleaning products required for the same.
Conditioning ...
Just cleaning is not enough. Leather jackets can dry and crack after cleaning, which is why conditioning becomes essential. Leather conditioners are easily available and you can use it to condition the leather.
If you have mink oil, then, you could use a little of it in place of the conditioner. Just use enough to envelop the entire jacket. Do not allow the conditioner to make the jacket sticky.
Cleaning Stains ...
Big bottle of water
In 3⅓ cups olive oil, add ⅓ cup castile soap, 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract, 50 drops of essential oil and ½ gallon water. Mix this solution and apply on the leather jacket stain using a damp cloth.
Getting Rid of Odor ...
Smoke odors are easily absorbed by leather jackets and need to be freshened. One effective way of getting rid of the odor would be placing the jacket in a steamy bathroom with citrus fresheners in the tub.
Getting Rid of Mildew ...
Leather detail
Mold or mildew can simply ruin an expensive leather jacket. Before heading to the regular cleaning procedure one needs to first deal with the mold. To get rid of this nasty mold, just mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water, and pour it into a spray bottle.
Spray some of the alcohol-water mixture on a clean, moist cloth, and rub it onto the mildew affected area. Use a clean white lint-free cloth to clean the leather and keep replacing it as it gets dirty. Allow the jacket to air dry.
Cleaning Suede Jackets ...
Human Hand with eraser
Prepare a solution of water and white vinegar and clean the jacket with this solution. To remove stains on suede jackets, try using a white pencil eraser, which is quite effective.
The white vinegar imparts a different smell, thus, after cleaning and before wearing one needs to air out the jacket for the vinegar smell to go.
Dry cleaning is one's last resort, and is usually the only way out to get rid of stains. However, avoid dry cleaning as far as possible, as it tends to remove the jacket's patina. Even if you do give the jacket for dry cleaning, make sure the cleaners are specialized in cleaning leather garments.