How to Clean Leather Jacket

There’s no season for leather jackets. You can wear them anytime, any day. In fact, a quality leather jacket never goes out of style. You can pair it up with your casual outfits or wear them fancy. So how to wash a leather jacket?

As much as you love your leather jacket and want to keep it clean and shiny, you can’t always protect it, especially if you wear it too often. This heavy-duty outerwear needs proper cleaning between seasons. And while everyone will tell you to take assistance from a professional, there are many ways you can keep your beloved leather gear tidy and nice by yourself.

You do not necessarily have to spend a fortune to wash or clean your leather jacket if it’s stained or dirty. However, you do need to take special care when washing your leather jacket to keep it from getting ruined. Unlike your other clothes, you cannot just dump your leather jacket in a washing machine and do the deed. This could crack, shrink, and even damage your luxury leather jacket beyond repair.

Before you seek professional help and spend a lot of money, here are some simple yet effective ways that you can use to treat and clean your leather jacket without ruining it.

The mild detergent and water trick


This is probably the simplest of all. Just grab an open-faced container and fill up with some warm water. Add a mild liquid dish detergent into the container and stir to dissolve. Two teaspoons of detergent will be perfect for a few ounces of water. Just make sure the solution is mild and gentle, so it does not damage your jacket.

Dip a soft sponge or towel into the soapy solution and wring the excess water. It should only be damp. You don’t want the leather to soak in the extra liquid and saturate. Also, it is important to use a soft sponge or fabric, so it doesn’t scratch out the leather.

Start by wiping the leather jacket with your damp fabric. Use long gentle motions instead of scrubbing it. Focus on cleaning the dirty parts first. Also, clean discolored patches and water spots to get rid of them. To clean completely, you may have to dampen the towel a few times.

Next, dip another clean, soft fabric in clean water and wring it off to make it damp. Use this to wipe off the soap. Next, use a dry towel to pat the jacket dry.

Do not hang the jacket in the sunlight to dry. Direct heat can damage leather, especially if it was previously moisturized. Also, avoid placing it in the washing spinner. Simply hang it in your closet and let it dry naturally.

Use a toothpaste


If you have prominent stains on your leather jacket, you can use the most common household items – toothpaste – to get rid of it. All you need to do is use a non-gel toothpaste and rub it on the stain using your fingertip.

Make gentle circular motions to cover the entire stain. Let it sit on the stain for ten seconds and then use a soft cloth to rub the toothpaste off gently. You will be surprised to see how the stain lifts. Avoid scrubbing the toothpaste, or it could damage the leather’s color. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe off toothpaste complete. Let it dry.

Cornstarch or baking soda


Both cornstarch and baking soda have quite a reputation for removing greasy stains. If that’s what you suspect stained your leather jacket, sprinkle one of these two items on the spot. Use a damp, soft cloth to rub it on the stain.

Let sit overnight or at least a few hours. The starch or soda will completely absorb the oil. Use a damp cloth again to rub it off completely. Next, use a dry towel to pat dry the leather jacket. The oily stain has gone forever!

Nail polish remover


Dip a cotton swab in nail polish remover and use it to blot the stained area. Nail polish remover is perfect for getting rid of scuffs and ink stains from leather fabric.

Avoid rubbing the cotton swab, or it could discolor the leather or spread the ink stain. Merely blot it on the stain. Keep doing it until you could no longer see the stain. Use a damp cloth to wipe and clean. Gently rub with a dry towel to dry it down.

Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol has some amazing uses. It’s one of the best things you can keep at home. Use rubbing alcohol to get rid of mold growing on your leather jacket. However, do not apply directly until you have diluted it to keep your jacket from ruining.

Mix half-a-cup of rubbing alcohol with an equal amount of water and dip a soft cloth in the solution. Use the damp cloth to wipe the affected area in gentle motions. You will see the stain becoming lighter with every stroke. Once it’s clean, use a simple damp cloth and wipe off the alcohol altogether.

Invest in a Leather Cleaner

Another interesting option to invest in is a specialty leather cleaner from a store. These are uniquely designed to help you remove the stains and dirt of your leather garments. The cleaners also usually contain oils to keep your leather jacket healthy and shiny.

Squirt a small amount on a clean cloth and gently rub on the affected surface. You can clean the entire jacket using this solution as it also conditions the jacket and improves its life. Always start with a small amount and apply more if needed.

Additional tips

So before you stress over how to wash a leather jacket, know how to take care of it, so you don’t have to get it washed or cleaned again and again. Here are some tips:

  • Read the manufacturer’s label inside the jacket for instructions. You can learn more about the type of leather and other important The label may even include the recommended cleaning method.
  • Use leather conditioners. You can do this once or twice a year to keep your jacket’s surface clean and shiny. Conditioning does not only leave it flexible and soft but also defends it from moisture which leads to splitting and cracking.
  • Store your jacket by draping it on a hanger in your wardrobe.It is best to use a garment bag to store your leather jacket if you do not wear it too often. This will keep it in its top condition for years.

Final word

A leather jacket is forever. This sturdy fabric is your best friend if you like to punk up your outfits. Regardless of the color or style, you can surely count on your leather jacket to save the day. Cleaning it at least once every year following a conditioning routine will improve its quality and life. So follow these simple tips and keep your leather jacket in its best condition.