Tutorial: How to Clean and Care for Leather Jackets

A leather jacket is a classic statement piece. Keep it protected throughout the seasons with our tutorial on how to clean and care for leather jackets.

Mom and daughter wearing leather jackets

As the temperatures get warmer and we start to pack our coats and scarves away for the season, it doesn’t hurt to give our winter wardrobe pieces a bit of cleaning and care. A long and harsh winter can do a number on delicate materials such as leather.  There are two ways your leather jacket can look based on how you care for it. Do you want your jacket to take a beating from the elements and develop an aged, Indiana Jones worn-out look? Or are you planning to take every measure to perfectly preserve your jacket to look its best, even after years of wearing? If you identify with the latter, then know there is some TLC involved in keeping your leather jacket in top condition.

As leather enthusiasts ourselves, Venta has some helpful tips on how to clean and care for your leather jacket in this simple tutorial, and you guessed it, humidification plays a huge role.

Step 1:

Always reference the care instructions on your jacket. There are different types and forms of leather that exist from kangaroo leather to cowhide, top grain to full grain. Each type has specific care instructions.

Step 2:

Invest in some quality leather protecting sprays and conditioners. These will help to protect your jacket from unexpected stains, and the conditioner/lotion will help to keep the leather soft and supple. Be careful not to over-treat your coat. Only use these protectants when needed.

Step 3:

Despite the occasional exposure to rain and accidental spills and stains, it is not recommended to put your jacket in a washing machine. Too much moisture will be extremely harmful and can cause permanent damage. Spot cleaning with sprays and conditioners will be enough to care for your jacket.

Woman wearing leather jacket sitting by ocean

Step 4:

As too much moisture can be a problem, not enough moisture is also something to be aware of. If you are storing your leather jacket in a place that has very low levels of humidity, it will be more susceptible to rough spots and cracking. You should be especially mindful of this during the winter when the air tends to be exceptionally dry.

A Note on Leather and Humidity

Cold, dry air can cause leather to crack, just as it causes damage to musical instruments made of wood and other wooden items like furniture, floors, and window frames.

An excess of humidity and moisture can cause mildew and mold to build up in leather’s porous surface. So while it is necessary to have a humidifier running in the room where you store your leather jacket, make sure you are not over-humidifying your environment.

A humidifier like the Airwasher ensures that your space is never over-humidified due to its patented Cold Evaporation system. The Airwasher reaches a humidity level between 40% and 55%, and with the Cold Evaporation process, any excess humidity can virtually be ruled out. A device like a hygrometer might be something to invest in as well, as it accurately measures the humidity levels in your space.

Leather graphic with text

Step 5:

If your jacket does get wet, always let it air-dry. Also, as mentioned in Step 2, have some stain-removing sprays on hand.

Step 6:

When your leather jacket is not being used, make sure it is hung up to help keep its natural shape. Avoiding wrinkles will also help to prevent cracks or rough spots from forming.

Follow the steps in this tutorial for optimal leather jacket care. Over time, your jacket will inevitably develop a more lived-in look. However, these steps will also help to prevent the jacket from becoming ruined due to cracks, stains, and rotting.

Do you let your leather age and get that Indiana Jones worn-out look, or do you like to keep it looking new and pristine?

If this post inspired you to update (or start) your leather jacket collection, check out a Chicago staple The Alley and their complete selection of leather jackets fit for a rock n’ roll legend.