How to Clean a Leather Jacket

A actual leather jacket or coat is normally a dearly-won investing but it can last for many, many years if given proper wish. In many cases, you can wash a leather jacket at home if you follow the compensate methods .

It is important to understand the type of leather you are purchasing and to be indisputable that it is real leather. many synthetic products can look very exchangeable but the type of houseclean and care is much different .


Leather comes in several grades and finishes and that makes a dispute in how they are cleaned. here are the four most normally sold types of leather :

  • Suede: Natural suede leather is created from the soft underside of a split-grain animal hide. It has a nappy finish that is easily stained. There are specific care and cleaning steps for suede jackets, accessories, and furniture.
  • Nubuck: Similar to suede in appearance, nubuck uses the top of the animal hide which is finely sanded and buffed to produce the softest, velvety leather finish. The care techniques for Nubuck are similar to suede and stain removal most often requires treatment by a professional.
  • Aniline: Aniline leather is full-grain leather that has been treated with the chemical aniline. This is the most common type of leather used for jackets.
  • Nappa: The highest grade leather, Nappa leather is very soft, supple, and uses a full-grain sheep or lamb hide.

Different types of leather jacket sleeves and colors
The Spruce / Cristina Tudor

Before Use

The identify to keeping your jacket looking its best is to be indisputable that the leather is properly treated with a leather defender. You can purchase leather defender products in both liquid or spray-on formulas. The defender helps repel water and prevents stains on the leather surface from water detection and dirty. The defender products should be reapplied at least annual or more often if your coat is frequently exposed to harsh weather .

There are several things you should avoid when wearing your leather coating :

  • Never cram your pockets full of “stuff” or carry heavy items because it will stretch the leather.
  • Do not apply hairspray, perfume, or cologne while wearing your leather coat. The alcohol will dry out and stain the leather. Use the products and allow them to dry completely before putting on the jacket.
  • Never attach badges, pins, tape, or stick-on labels to leather. It will mar the finish.
  • Have a professional do any size alterations or attach any emblems or embroidery to the leather surface. Holes caused by incorrect stitching are nearly impossible to remove.


If your leather crown has been by rights treated and protected, most dirt can be wiped away with a scavenge, dampen fabric. Of course, removing tougher stains like mold or ink from leather command specific treatment .

But what should you do if the inner line is soiled with body anoint and perspiration ? If the coat is quite expensive, newly, or you are a entire laundry novitiate, question to a professional leather clean expert. Always check the credentials of your dry clean. not every shopfront is qualified to clean leather .

however, if the inner trace is made of a washable framework ( read the framework content and wish labels ), you can hand-wash your dress at home .

Washable fabric inside leather jacket hand-washed with white cloth
The Spruce / Cristina Tudor


handwash is appropriate for aniline leather finishes lone. Never wash suede or nubuck garments. Before you give this a try, test the color-fastness of the leather using a clean, white, wet fabric on an home position of the leather. If color transfers to the fabric, the dye is not stable on the leather and you should not proceed. If you decide to wash your leather jacket at home, you will need to be prepared to devote several days to the process and properly condition the leather after it has been washed. Think about your skin. Leather is the peel of an animal. If you dry it out with harsh soaps, it will crack and feel cadaver .

Hand Washing

Begin by emptying all pockets of the jacket and turn it inside out. Fill a large bury or plastic storage container with lukewarm water. Add a small measure of a easy fluid detergent recommended for hired hand washing delicate items ( like Woolite ) and classy to disperse through the water.

completely submerge the leather jacket. Swish through the water to be sure the stallion line is wet. lightly squeeze the solution through the line. Allow it to soak for ten minutes or therefore. If there are specific stains, use a soft-bristled brush to help lift those away .

When it is meter to rinse the jacket, lift the jacket out of the saponaceous solution. DO NOT WRING. Simply squeeze out the overindulgence moisture. Fill the sink with cleanse water and rinse. You may need to change the water respective times to remove all of the soap and land .

After you have washed your coat with a aristocratic detergent, turn it right outside and hang it over a bathtub to air travel dry. Use a hardy wooden or padded hanger to prevent marks on the shoulders. Never hang in lineal sunlight or near a heating system source. It may take two to three days for the coat to dry completely .

The future footprint is to wholly condition the garment until it is once again gentle and limber. Be certain that you use a good choice leather conditioner .

If your leather jacket has gotten soaked by rain or coke, follow the same steps for air dry and treating with a leather conditioner .

Leather jacket soaked in tub of water to hand wash
The Spruce / Cristina Tudor


Storing your coat by rights will prevent many problems. Again, use a wide, sturdy hanger to support the weight of your coating. Coats should be stored in a aplomb, dry area away from target sunlight. Avoid any location that has excessive moisture-even a wardrobe near a bathroom. If you are concerned about dust, cover the coat with a fabric dress bag or cotton sail. Never store leather in a credit card udder that could trap moisture and promote mildew or cause yellow of white leather .

Avoid iron if at all possible. If you must iron, use a cool to medium temperature iron and pressing fabric over the leather. excessively much heat and you ‘ll have a permanent wave glazed iron print on the leather .

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