A good leather jacket is a must-have piece of clothing that can give your wardrobe a luxurious enhancement. And the leather jackets don’t come cheap, so if you want your investment to last long, you’ll have to take good care of it!
Caring for your leather jacket starts with knowing the type of leather you have purchased. There are several leather types and finishes, each of which requires being cared for differently. Don’t let this worry you; leather jackets sold in stores usually come with care tags so you won’t have a tough time deciding what’s best for your prized possession.
If your jacket doesn’t have a care tag or if you’re looking for general cleaning and storage tips, you’ve come to the right place. Here is some information you could use.
Whether your leather jacket sees a regular use or is kept confined in your closet for most of the year, you need to clean it regularly. Start by dusting it lightly all over. Use a cotton cloth, a camel hair brush, or a nubuck cloth to prevent scuffing. Once you get rid of the dust, clean the jacket with a slightly damp cloth.
Check the jacket for stains; if you find any, spot treat them right away. Dab at dirt and food or drink stains using a damp cloth. Tougher stains will require the use of a leather cleaner. Be sure to test the cleaning product on a small area before treating the stain.
To remove mold and mildew, mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water. Clean the jacket using a clean cloth dipped in this solution. Oil and grease stains can be removed by sprinkling baking soda or ground blackboard chalk onto the stain. Leave the soda or chalk on for a day and then brush away gently. Repeat if needed.
Be sure to clean the jacket lining too. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and eliminate odors. Examine the lining closely for stains and treat as mentioned. Fill a bucket with water and add a little mild laundry detergent and half a cup of vinegar to it. Use a sponge to clean the jacket lining with this solution. Repeat with plain water to rinse the liner. Remove excess water using a dry sponge or cloth.
If you have a suede jacket, hang it in a steamy bathroom for a while and then use a suede brush to get rid of dirt. For stubborn stains, use an art gum eraser (artist’s eraser). Note that this is different from a kneaded eraser; the former crumbles apart when used while the latter does not.
It is important to dry your leather jacket once you clean it or in the event you get caught in the rain when wearing it. Don’t put your jacket away without drying it out or you risk inviting mold and mildew. This doesn’t mean you hang it out in the sun to dry though; your leather jacket needs to be air-dried at room temperature so that it stays in good shape.
Never wring your leather jacket as doing so can cause irreversible damage. Simply hang the jacket in a well-ventilated area to air-dry. Invest in a couple of wooden hangers as they are not only sturdy but will help retain the shape of your leather jacket.
Just as you need to keep your skin moisturized, it’s important to condition your leather jacket. Leather conditioners keep leather soft and supple, and prevent it from drying or cracking. Irrespective of the type of leather you own, it will need conditioning. Just be sure to pick a conditioner that is appropriate for your jacket.
Stay away from leather conditioners that contain petroleum or mineral oils as these can damage your jacket over time. Also avoid conditioners that leave behind a greasy residue; instead, opt for ones that penetrate the leather.
Remember to condition your leather jacket every time you clean it and at least once a year. Use conditioner sparingly; you only need a thin coat over the jacket. Use a soft, dry cloth to help you apply the conditioner easily.
Prevention is better than cure, so you’ll be better off if you can prevent stains and damages in the first place. Leather protectors can do just that- these are colorless, odorless sprays that protect leather from oil, dirt, and water stains. Buy a leather protector that suits your leather jacket and use it once a year.
Further, to keep your leather jacket looking its best, you’ll need to ensure that you’re wearing it the right way. Prevent body oil and perspiration stains by always having a layer of clothing between your skin and the leather. Wearing a scarf will prevent the neckline from staining!
Also, remember to keep your jacket away from hair sprays and perfumes.
Again, to maintain the shape of your jacket, use a sturdy hanger to store it. Store your jacket in a dark, dry, and well-ventilated area. Use a cloth garment bag or simply cover the jacket with a cotton sheet. Refrain from wrapping your jacket in plastic as doing so can trap moisture and encourage mold growth.
If you’re storing the jacket in your closet, do make sure it is clean!
A leather jacket is an investment and if you want to get years of wear out of your jacket, you’ll need to take good care of it. Using the tips given here, you’ll be able to ensure your leather jacket looks and feels the same through the years!