5 essential tips on cleaning your leather jacket at home
There are a few reasons that you should be making an effort to keep your jacket as clean as possible. For a start, you want to make sure that you look your best at all times! By keeping your appearance clean, you’re presenting yourself as a tidy individual, bound to make a killer first impression.
Leather jackets can also become very costly, and if you’ve paid a fair amount of money for something, it would be within your best interests to keep it looking as fresh as possible.
What a lot of leather jacket owners don’t realize, though, is that by regularly cleaning their jacket (and keeping it clean!) will not only make sure it always looks good, but that it lasts longer too!
Whilst the high-quality leather that we use in all of our jackets is guaranteed to have a long life anyway, there are a few things that you could be doing to give it an even sharper edge. Cleaning and moisturizing will prevent your jacket from drying out, which can then cause unsightly cracks or degradation of the material; this can make the leather uncomfortable and very visually unattractive.
Don’t worry, though, just follow these 5 essential tips and you’ll make sure that your leather jacket can get the long life it deserves!
1. Don’t skimp on the solution
When you’re looking to buy a new leather jacket, quality should be at the top of your mind. Generally, higher quality products will cost a lot more than lower-grade leathers with sub-par designs. This is why a good, long-lasting jacket can cost significantly more than other, cheaper alternatives.
If you’re paying for the best of the best when it comes to a jacket, it shouldn’t stop there; in order to keep your jacket in a good condition, you should also be using the very best cleaning solutions and moisturizers.
The good news is that these aren’t anywhere near as expensive as the jacket, so you won’t need to worry about your wallet. Whilst good solutions can cost double the amount of cheaper options, they really do pay for themselves in the long run.
A decently sized bottle of product will last you a month or two of regular cleaning - just remember that even if you haven’t been wearing your jacket, you absolutely MUST keep it moisturized.
Expensive doesn’t always mean high quality, so always make sure to read the reviews!
2. In a pinch? Don’t panic!
There will be occasions where you really need to clean your jacket, but you’re unable to find any products. Don’t worry; in a pinch, soap and water will work just fine.
If you’re unable to access your favorite cleaning solution, but you’re in desperate need of a deep clean, all you need to do is mix a mild (chemical-free) soap into some water - you can then make use of a soft cloth to wipe away the dirt and give your jacket the attention it needs.
Perhaps you can’t find any soap - vinegar will work, too! One part white vinegar mixed with one part water will do the trick.
3. Don’t use heat
It might be very tempting to put the jacket in the washing machine, before gently spinning it out in the tumble dryer. Please don’t EVER do this. Please.
Heat can be incredibly damaging to your leather; it can cause expansions in the material that will cause it to dry out at an accelerated rate. Any exposure to intense heat is bound to cause lasting, irreparable damage to any leather product you own.
This doesn’t just stop at cleaning; you should ALWAYS let your leather jacket drip dry in a natural setting - never use the tumble dryer or put the jacket over a heater.
Whenever you wash your leather jacket, it’s imperative that you only use cold water; It will guarantee a longer life by preventing any unnecessary damage. Similarly, you should always aim to dry the jacket using a towel - artificial heat can and will cause permanent, noticeable damage.
Once you’ve washed the leather, use a second damp cloth (just water) to wipe away the cleaning solution. Finally, you can dry it off with a towel!
4. Pat the jacket dry
Drying off an object usually involves vigorous and intense rubbing. You might put your weight against the towel, allowing you to cover a greater surface area with less effort, freeing yourself up some time.
When it comes to drying the jacket, you should always try to pat the jacket dry rather than rubbing it. Towels aren’t always as soft as they might seem, and rubbing the leather might lead to scuffing, scratches or color fades.
Patting down the jacket is likely to take a little bit longer than an intense rub-down, but believe us when we say it’s worth it!
Once you’ve dried the outside of the jacket as well as you can, you should let it drip dry indoors. This will allow the excess water and moisture to evaporate without causing additional damage to the leather’s surface.
5. Moisturise. Regularly.
Leather might feel like a somewhat dry material, but it’s actually relatively moist. This moisture keeps the leather supple, comfortable and stress-free.
If leather dries out (which it will), it causes the material to expand. The expansion will lead to the development of cracks along the surface (this is very common in vintage and antique leather!), which can’t be removed or repaired.
Eventually, cracked leather will break or tear. It will be uncomfortable to wear, leading to your favorite jacket taking a permanent residency at back of your wardrobe. Don’t worry, though, as there is an abundance of high-quality moisturizers that will reapply the necessary moisture to the leather.
Every moisturizer will have different applications, so it’s important to read and follow the instructions. Don’t use too much moisturizer, as the leather will look greasy, but make sure that you use enough to keep the jacket in tip-top shape!
If you care for your jacket, then the jacket will care for you - and your children!