How to Care for Your Leather Jacket: Tips and Tricks for Longevity and Style

One of the reasons that so many people love their leather jackets is the simplicity and ease of caring for them. Unlike other clothes, leather jackets don’t need to be washed and dried in machines, and most of the time can simply be worn and taken off without doing anything else.

A women’s leather shirt jacket is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a beautiful piece that will go well with any outfit.

Leather is a tough, durable, and almost foolproof material, which is why buying leather jackets is a smart idea for anyone looking to add a piece to their wardrobe. Leather can withstand the elements, looks great, and provides you with a tough layer of protection that will keep you warm no matter what. In the modern day, there are some very well-understood methods of caring for and treating leather, so let’s take a look at the most important and effective ones. 

Caring for Leather: The Basics

Leather and water do not mix.

One of the most important things to remember when caring for a leather jacket is to avoid moisture whenever possible. This means, of course, that leather jackets should never go in a washing machine, and if you are out on a rainy day, try to bring an umbrella. However, sometimes getting wet is unavoidable, so if you do get caught in the rain just try to pat dry it down with a towel or other absorbent pad as soon as possible.

The reason for this has to do with the natural oils contained within leather, which are what give it its soft, supple, and desirable qualities. However, when water makes contact with the leather, it permeates it easily and binds to the oils, which draws them out when the water evaporates, leading the leather to become dry and brittle over time. 

Clean the leather by hand to remove visible dirt or grime. 

This leads to the obvious question of what, exactly, is the right way to clean a leather jacket. Now, since jackets don’t usually make skin contact, you shouldn’t have to worry about it smelling bad like your other clothes. This means that you should be able to clean it quickly and easily by hand, once every month or so, or whenever you see visible dirt, scuff marks, or other undesirable contaminants.

To do so, simply use a damp or wet rag to rub down the jacket, especially where you see the dirt. Then, dry the water off with a dry towel, and let the jacket hang to dry. If necessary, you can use a tiny amount of soap mixed with the water, but for most circumstances, just water should work fine.  

Condition your leather jacket. 

Once the jacket is clean, you should also consider conditioning your leather once when it is new, subsequently every year or two, and whenever it feels dry or brittle. Conditioning your jacket makes it last longer, lowers the chances of the leather cracking or tearing, increases water resistance while retaining the healthy moisture it needs, and creates a protective outer layer.

Conditioning leather is an important part of taking care of a leather jacket if you want it to last as long as possible and function well. However, whenever you use a new cleaner, soap, or conditioner on your leather, it is always best to use a small amount in an inconspicuous location first, to make sure no adverse reactions occur.  

Always avoid harsh cleaners or brittle, stiff brushes or pads.

This tip is rather simple, but still important to remember. Always avoid using harsh chemicals or things like vinegar or lemon juice, as these can bleach your leather. Also, don’t use hard materials to scrub, like a stiff brush or one of those green scouring pads, as these will damage the leather. When you do clean it, try to rub gently along the seams and with the grain of the leather, not against it.  

If you have persistent stains or grime, saddle soap is an excellent choice for cleaning leather, as it is designed to protect and condition the material. If you have an oil stain you want to remove, after wiping it down with a damp cloth, sprinkle baby powder on the jacket and let it sit for a few hours. Then, brush off the powder and wipe the spot down again, repeating this process a few times if it doesn’t work the first time.  

Store your jacket properly.

Always keep your leather jacket hanging up in a cool, dry location, away from direct sunlight. Avoid wire hangers when possible to avoid impacting its shape, which should mold to your body. For those who follow these steps, a leather jacket will be the longest-lasting, most durable, and most versatile article of clothing you own, so it’s well worth it to take these simple, basic, steps to care for it.  

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