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Cleaning a leather jacket at home can be the most daunting task especially if you’re a novice. You have invested weeks of precious time handpicking the perfect leather jacket. Not to mention the countless dollars spent on your purchase. 

Leather jackets are indeed an investment that would last you for generations. But there’s a catch. 

Leather is quite high maintenance. It requires love and care to keep its original form intact. Unless you are not a rowdy renegade who wants his leather jacket speak of years of wisdom. Chances are that you would want to equip yourself with the right technique of cleaning leather jacket at home. 

Here is everything you need to know about how to clean leather jacket at home. 

Step 1: Be well-versed in the precautions before learning how to wash leather jacket 

Know your leather type 

We hate to break it to you but not all types of leather can be treated at home. Before you get started, it’s essential to know the type and quality of your leather jacket. This can be checked by reading the manufacturer’s instructions that come on jacket labels. Generally, you should be praying that your jacket is made of finished leather. Like our men’s bomber jacket and If its suede or nubuck, unfortunately you would have to seek professional assistance. 

Suede or nubuck leather types come from the underside and top of an animal. They are slightly buffed for a nappy or grainy look and require a lot of care because they stain quite easily. 

But finished or aniline treated leather is your best friend. Most jackets like our Vintage Men's Black Leather Trucker Jacket come with an aniline finish used to remove marks and blemishes. If your jacket is aniline treated you are ready to embark on this journey of how to clean leather jacket at home. 

Determine if you have to clean the interior or exterior 

Generally there are special care instructions for cleaning leather jacket’ exterior and interior. A jacket’s interior would need to be cleaned if it’s dirty with sweat or reeks of body odour. You would need to determine the fabric lining of your leather jacket. A cotton or viscose lining like that in our Mens Quilted Cafe Racer Biker Leather Jacket is perfect for wash at home. However, if your jacket is not lined then you should be seeking professional help. 

Step 2: Step up your cleaning game gradually and steadily 

At the end of the day your leather jacket is animal skin. It requires gentleness and care. That’s why we suggest that you start with the mildest method first before transitioning to a much harsher powder based method. 

Be gentle with soap and water 

Finished leather resists stains. However, you still may not be free from food stains or drink spills. To clean a mild stain try blotting it out with water by using a towel dipped in soap water. Try to feather the stain, starting from its epicenter and then gradually move outward. This ensures that a water mark is not left behind. 

Before putting your stain out for drying, ensure that the jacket is sparingly coated in a leather conditioner. The conditioner keeps the skin moist and prevents it from drying out. 

Extra care: To prevent your leather from excess scratches or marks use a microfiber towel that is damp and not totally drenched. This keeps the jacket in optimum condition. 

Step 3: Use powder for more resistant stains 

If your stain is indestructible try stepping up your game with washing powder or leather wipes. Follow method 1 but replace the soap with the powder. Generally, 1 part soap in 20 parts water is ideal to blot out the stain. For best results, the water should be lukewarm to create a gentle solution. 

Avoid too much detergent as it could result in discoloration of your leather jacket. 

But if neither the soap nor the powder shows results, go in to the pros. 

Step 4: Invest in a leather cleaner 

A leather cleaner is a specially designed spray or gel that houses special dirt and stain removal technology. It cleans leather perfectly without damaging it. Try dampening a towel and spray it with the leather cleaning gel. Less is always more. 

Stroke your stain with the towel in gentle circular motions until the stain appears to disappear. Using an extra cloth remove the excess solution. Dry out the jacket in the sun and you are ready to head out. 

Step 5: Clean your lining 

We have already warned you that cleaning leather jacket at home may require you to clean its inner lining too. If the lining is made of washable fabric you are good to go. Turn the jacket inside out and use a sponge sparingly to clean your lining. The sponge should be dipped in one part cleaning powder diluted with 20 parts water.  

Dry it out in the sun and your jacket is as good as new. Go for quick dry to prevent the jacket drying out. Also avoid any direct heat via iron or blow dryer as it is disadvantageous for the animal skin. 

The bottom-line 

Cleaning leather jacket at home is a feat in itself. But with the right guidance and aftercare. The way you wear and store your jackets also make a difference. A general rule of thumb when it comes to cleaning studded leather jacket is to use minimal water and soap. Also if your men’s bomber jacket is stained with oil or ink we suggest going to a professional leather expert. 

By Kara Hub


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