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Care & cleaning your leather jacket

care and cleaning your leather jacket

So you’ve got your brand new leather jacket, great. Now you might be wondering what you need to do to it. Should you waterproof it? Put some kind of treatment on it, what? A leather jacket is not hard to maintain, but it does require a little more upkeep than a nylon jacket that you never do anything to.

There is a lot of products on the market for leather, some good and some crap. So I’ll tell you the steps you should take for protecting your leather jacket, conditioning your leather jacket and cleaning your leather jacket. The very first thing you should do to your new leather jacket or leather item is to apply a protector to it.

Leather Protecting/waterproofing

Leather has natural oils in it that help make it soft. Leather is porous, so you can’t make leather waterproof, only water resistant. You should avoid getting leather wet as much as possible as that can affect the leather, more about that later. Get a bottle of leather protector, there are many brand names. Test a small area first to see if it will discolor the leather.

Avoid ones that goes on thick or seem to have grease as it will plug the leather pores. Again you can’t make leather waterproof. What your doing is trying to make it water resistant so it does not dry up and crack. It also protects it from discoloring from spills and drying out. Follow the directions on the bottle.


This is stuff that you rub into the leather to replenish the natural oils in the leather that makes it soft. Like protector liquid make sure it’s not petroleum or mineral oil based as that’s bad for leather. Test a small area and see if it discolors it. You should apply conditioner several times a year, or any time your leather jacket looks dry.

Cleaning your leather jacket

From time to time your going to need to clean your leather jacket. Get a cleaning liquid that is for leather. You don’t want to use something that strips the leather of it’s natural oils. You also don’t want to leave any build up or residue on it. Again, test a small area first with it to see if it discolors the jacket.

Use a damp cloth to get any excess cleaner from around stitching and places it may build up. When done hang it up and make sure it’s dry before wearing. Those are the basics of maintaining and cleaning your leather jacket. Now lets go over some use and care areas.

Care of your leather jacket

Avoid as much as you can to getting your leather jacket wet. If you do get it wet, as soon as possible air dry it away from any heat. If you really got it soaked, after drying you should apply conditioner to it. Don’t store leather items in plastic, it collects moisture. Keep leather away from humid areas.

Leather can sometimes start to grow mildew. This does not mean its ruined, you just have to remove the mildew. Make a mix of 50% water and 50% rubbing alcohol, dip a washcloth in it and apply it to the mildew area. You can also use a mild soap with germicide and wash the area with it.

That’s the basics of cleaning, protecting and maintaining your quality leather jacket. The biggest thing as you can see is keeping your leather jacket dry, while not exposing it to extreme heat. Now for my next post I’ll get into all the hardware that comes with leather, and what is good or bad about them.

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