Leather jackets are a universally known and acknowledged wardrobe staple that is truly timeless. While there may be many out there who still remember when they purchased their first leather jacket, few will be able to recall ever actually maintaining or caring leather jacket.
Many of us may currently have our personal leather jacket collection that may vary from a couple to four or five. Maybe even more. Yet few of us would be as excited to clean, maintain and care them, save a few who may be leather jacket buffs.
In this post, we will go through all the simple and effortless stages of caring and maintaining your leather jacket.
Here’s what we will cover in a nutshell
Care Labels and Manufacturers
Before jumping into the core of the subject, it is important to point out a few aspects to keep in mind ahead of leather jacket care in any form. Firstly, check your leather jacket for care labels and instructions by the manufacturers.
While this may be the first thing most people do, many forget this vital factor that can be really helpful. Why? Simply because no two leather jackets are the same. So it’s crucial to have some idea about your leather jacket.
This could be the type of leather material used, such as sheepskin, buckskin, cowhide etc. the treatments that it may have undergone, but most importantly how to clean, care and store it.
How to Clean a Leather Jacket?
As far as cleaning your leather jacket goes, you will find many different and effective ways to clean your leather jacket. From using a pinch of salt to olive oil, vinegar, baking soda or the good old-fashioned way of simple soap and warm water applied with a sponge or a soft cloth.
Leather jackets tend to get stiff over time and extensive use, which is why leather softeners are used to soften the leather and get that new leather jacket softness and suppleness. Using baby oil or petroleum jelly on the leather jacket, you will find it works to soften the leather in no time.
However as much as we all like a good DIY using household items, it’s best to use the correct and appropriate products designed for the said use.
Leather Conditioning and Conditioners
For good results from leather jacket care and treatments, it would be a great idea to invest in a leather jacket conditioner. Aside from conditioning your leather jacket, it also helps you break into your leather jacket without you actually having to wear it all day, every day.
Although there are many leather conditioners available, the best and easiest application would be in spray form, as opposed to going for a wipe-on variety. Not many people have been able to master it. The key to remember regarding the leather conditioner spray is that you need to spray it on a cloth and then rub it into the leather jacket.
As always, you would need to be careful when drying the leather jacket, to keep it away from direct exposure to heat sources. Heat takes no time in drying-out and destroying leather.
Leather Jacket Polishing
Perhaps one of, if not only phase in the whole of leather jacket care, is the polishing of leather jackets simply for aesthetics. Leather jacket polish is meant to add luster to the product rather than protection from the elements over time.
Leather jacket polishes often have a built-in moisturizer as well, but you’d really have to read the description, ingredients and instructions on the packaging to know for sure.
There is no major rule as to how or when to polish your leather jacket. Although most polish when cleaning and treating it. You can never overdo it when polishing leather jackets. This only helps to achieve a soft and shiny look. Good as new!
Saddle Soap and What it’s all About
Believe it or not, saddle soap is self-explanatory. A soap that is used to clean leather saddles. A must-have item for leather cleaning and care. Saddle soap is what you’d typically use to clean soiled leather jackets as well as any other leather product.
There are a few cautions to be noted before using saddle soap and that is the amount. Just a bit goes a long way. Using a damp cloth, apply just a bit of saddle soap and work it into a lather that you can use on any leather surface that needs cleaning or even for stain removal.
Once cleaning is complete, it is essential that you use another damp cloth to completely remove residue of the saddle soap.
The biggest key to keep in mind is that saddle soap is only used for extensive cleaning or for areas that are in great need of deep cleansing. For daily cleaning and maintenance, however, a leather conditioner is what you need to be using.
Leather Jacket Care Kit
While many people are selective about the products they choose to use to clean, maintain and care for their leather jackets, there is the option of going for a leather jacket care kit as well. This can be a pack of two to more items you’d need to keep your leather jacket clean and well maintained.
Typically this leather jacket care kit includes a leather polish and conditioner.
How to Store your Leather Jackets?
Perhaps one of the most asked question that also happens to be the most searched is how to store your leather jacket. Again, there are many options and suggestions made online, however; you can never go wrong with this simple process that isn’t time-consuming at all.
You would need a padded hanger on which to hang your leather jacket. A strong wooden one would do as well. Avoid wire or plastic hangers as they will contribute to a misshapen leather jacket, mainly around the shoulders.
Another point to avoid is storing your leather jacket in plastic as all leather needs some breathing space and plastic simply doesn’t allow this.
For extended storage time, it’s best to go for a nylon garment bag, if you must use anything. The key to remember here is that any kind of storage must not restrict air circulation.
A Few FAQs Answered
Rain can damage most leather, through water spots, fading and stretching it out of proportion. Perhaps the only type of leather that isn’t easily affected is deerskin. However, this too gets damaged over time and excessive rain exposure.
With that said, it is also important to note that most leather though waterproof may not affect your leather jacket in mild; a few seconds of rain exposure. It is the drenched in the rain that affects leather jackets so people living in climates that have lots of rain- be careful.
Interestingly- leather jackets that get wet, leads to the natural oils in the material to seep to the surface. Likewise, exposure of leather jackets to heat lead to it being dry and brittle.
By giving your leather jacket some extra protection, you can prevent water damage. All you have to do is condition it generously, using a good leather conditioner which will make it water-resistant. Aside from looking as good as new.
It would serve you well if you condition your leather jacket once or twice a week. Again this may be subject to change depending on the condition of your leather jacket and the lifestyle in which it is used that may require more or less conditioning.
After hanging your leather jacket on a sturdy wooden hanger or even a padded hanger, use a nylon garment bag and store. Remember- ideal storage of leather jackets need to be in breathable materials for it to last.
Yes totally. Waterproofing a leather jacket not only protects it from rain and the elements but it also gives your leather jacket the luster and look that’s as good as new. Being regular with this routine in time, enhances the durability of your leather jacket.
Getting your leather jacket professionally cleaned and treated at least once or twice a year by true blue professionals would be a great idea and here’s why.
Even though you may be regular with your leather jacket care and maintenance and may not think you need professional care for your leather garment- you do!
A professional leather cleaner will know exactly what type of cleaning process or treatment to use based on the condition of your leather jacket as well as based on the type of leather jacket, color, style etc.
A professional leather cleaner will also know how to enhance the vibrancy of your leather jacket as well as repair any damage (if any) so you can continue wearing your leather jacket for many more years.
Your Leather Jacket Care Recap
Post cleaning your leather jacket, a simple and effective leather jacket care routine can now be set in place.
This involves the usage of leather softeners, through which we also got a few tips using household items (with discretion), conditioners, their advantages and ways to condition, as well as some polishing that we learned, enhances the aesthetics of our leather jacket.
Don’t forget the active use of saddle soap. How less is really more when using saddle soap to clean your leather jacket. The perks of having a leather jacket care kit, products that are found in it and storage tips on how to store your leather jacket for ideal durability.
With so much to incorporate and so many points learned, it all makes for a renewed leather jacket care guide definitely worth trying out.
Question how do I repair cracks in a cowhide leather jackets.? I have been moisturizing my cowhide jacket a lot to try to repair the cracks.. I need some advice on what to do to repair cracks in a cowhide leather jacket. Any help would be appreciated. Take care Arthur lenz.
To prevent the leather from cracking, it is advisable to protect the leather garment from direct sunlight, rain, humidity, alcohol, oil, grease, and other abrasive products and cleaners with caustic ingredients. Additionally, one should keep the jacket clean from dust and dirt, and condition it once or twice a year to maintain the looks of the leather. In case, the cracks are still visible, it is always recommended to get the leather garment professionally cleaned and conditioned.