Keeping your leather jacket clean and in good condition should be a top priority. By properly caring for your jacket, you’re not only making it look more impressive; you’re making it last longer, too.
Many people don’t understand the importance of caring for their leather jacket; by not moisturizing or cleaning it effectively, they could be causing a significant amount of accidental damage. This will drastically impact the jacket’s lifetime, and it could end up costing a LOT of money to repair or replace.
Don’t worry, though. Caring for your leather doesn’t need to be difficult!
Here are 5 fantastic ways that you can keep your favorite jacket in great condition:
1. Regularly Cleaning
One of the easiest and most reliable methods that you can use to improve the life of your leather is to commit to a simple cleaning routine.
You won’t need to deep clean the jacket every time you wear it; you just need to make sure that you’re protecting it from dust, dirt and excess moisture. These can all contribute to a deterioration of materials – plus, no one likes to wear a dirty jacket.
We recommend cleaning your jacket at least once per month (depending on use). If you notice it becoming dirty, whip out your cleaning supplies and give it a quick once-over – just be careful, as over-cleaning can also cause avoidable damage.
The first step to your cleaning routine should be to read the label; make sure you follow any specialist cleaning instructions.
From here, brush the jacket down using a gentle cotton cloth. Once this is done, repeat the process with a slightly damp cloth, taking care to remove any stains.
If there’s any mould present, use a soft rubbing alcohol to clear it away.
The most important thing to consider now is drying the jacket. Never, and we repeat NEVER expose the leather to heat; instead, let it air dry naturally over time.
Moisturising is an equally important element of caring for a leather jacket. It conditions the leather, keeping it in tip-top shape, preventing a large amount of wear and tear.
Over time, leather can deteriorate. It’s a dry material, which means that it can be prone to cracks, splits, rips and tears. In really extreme situations, it can even snap!
When you moisturize (or condition) the leather, you’re re-applying the necessary oils that you’ll need to keep the jacket supple. Some conditioners have added benefits such as water resistance or re-coloration.
You should select a moisturizer or conditioner based on your jacket. Some products are made exclusively for suede, whereas some are made to benefit high-quality top-leather products.
Similarly, you should make sure that the moisturizer you use won’t affect the desired color of your jacket. For example, you wouldn’t use a black moisturizer on a white jacket!
Just like cleaning, you do need to be careful so as not to over-moisturize. Too much oil will clog the jacket’s pores, which won’t just affect its breathability; it can cause long-term damage, too.
3. Avoiding the rain
Okay; you don’t need to ALWAYS stay out of the rain, but if it’s really pouring down, you may wish to wear something more suited to the weather.
Excess moisture can cause irreparable harm to your favorite leather jacket, as it can weigh down the leather and strip it of the necessary oils. This will make it brittle, worn and discolored – it might even develop ugly stains that you can’t remove.
A small amount of rain here and there is absolutely fine, as long as you let it drip-dry as soon as you can. Problems will only start to arise when you get caught in heavy rain or snow for extended periods of time.
Good news: if you live somewhere that is affected by rain, there are steps you can take to weather-proof your leather jacket. There are plenty of different waterproofing agents available on the market, perfect for any jacket on any budget.
If you do accidentally get the jacket wet, make sure to pat it dry with a soft cloth and moisturize it before you wear it again.
4. Polish (when needed)
Whilst moisturizing the jacket can keep it supple, durable and long-lasting, it won’t always keep it shiny or colored. Over time, your jacket will start to fade or lose color; it won’t affect the overall condition of the leather, but it can make it look less impressive.
It’s easy to keep your jacket well-defined for a longer time, though – all you’ll need is a good leather polish! It isn’t too expensive, and when used (occasionally), it can keep your jacket dirt-free, shiny and true to its original color.
Over-polishing can wear the jacket down, so make sure to only polish when you need to. If the leather becomes dull or dry, apply a small amount of polish to return it to a like-new condition.
Another benefit of using a high-quality polish on your leather jacket is that it can help to protect from scratches and scuffs, too!
5. Store your jacket correctly
You won’t be wearing your jacket 24/7 (we hope!), and when you’re not showing it off, you will need to properly store the coat.
To start with, you’ll need some acid-free paper. Just stuff the inside of the sleeves and pockets with one or two sheets – this will keep any dust, dirt, and moisture at bay, whilst helping the jacket to maintain its original shape.
Now, you’ll want to wrap it up in a breathable piece of fabric, such as an old bedsheet. Alternatively, you can purchase a proper clothing storage bag from most retailers!
Finally, you will need to hang the jacket in your wardrobe using a padded or wooden hanger. Make sure it’s thick enough to support the weight of the jacket; you don’t want it to fall on the floor!
If you don’t have a wardrobe, make sure to place the jacket into a non-plastic box. Plastic will NOT allow the leather to breathe, dramatically reducing its lifespan.