How To Clean A Leather Jacket

A clean brown leather jacket in a clothes hanger.

Cleaning a leather jacket is essential to maintain its appearance and durability.

In this guide, we’ll delve into effective methods and tips for keeping your leather jacket clean and fresh.

Understanding Leather Jackets

Before diving into cleaning techniques, it’s crucial to understand the nature of leather jackets.

Genuine leather is a durable material that requires proper care to prevent damage and maintain its supple texture.

Can You Wash a Leather Jacket Normally?

Contrary to common misconceptions, you should avoid washing a leather jacket in a washing machine.

The harsh detergents and agitation can damage the leather, leading to discoloration and stiffness.

Instead, opt for gentle cleaning methods tailored for leather garments.

Cleaning Your Real Leather Jacket at Home

  1. Spot Cleaning: For minor stains or spills, blot the affected area with a soft cloth dampened with mild soap and water. Avoid vigorous scrubbing to prevent abrasion.
  2. Leather Cleaner: Invest in a high-quality leather cleaner specifically designed for jackets. Apply the cleaner to a soft cloth and gently wipe the entire surface of the jacket in circular motions.
  3. Conditioning: After cleaning, apply a leather conditioner to nourish and protect the leather. Follow the product instructions for best results.
  4. Drying: Allow the jacket to air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat or sunlight. Avoid using a hairdryer or placing the jacket near a radiator, as excessive heat can cause the leather to dry out and crack.

Cleaning and Freshening Your Leather Jacket

To keep your leather jacket smelling fresh:

  • Air it Out: Hang your jacket outside on a breezy day to let fresh air circulate through the fibers.
  • Deodorizing Spray: Use a leather-friendly deodorizing spray to eliminate odors without damaging the material.
  • Lining Care: If your jacket has a fabric lining, follow the care instructions to maintain its cleanliness and freshness.

The Best Natural Way to Clean Leather

For eco-conscious individuals, natural cleaning methods can be effective:

  • Vinegar Solution: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water to create a gentle cleaning solution.

Dampen a cloth with the mixture and wipe the leather surface.

  • Baking Soda: Sprinkle baking soda on stained areas, let it sit for a few hours, then gently brush off the powder with a soft brush.

Choosing the Best Leather Cleaner

When selecting a leather cleaner, consider the following factors:

  • Ingredients: Opt for cleaners with natural ingredients and free from harsh chemicals that can damage leather.
  • Compatibility: Ensure the cleaner is suitable for the type of leather used in your jacket (e.g., full-grain, top-grain, suede).
  • Reviews: Research customer reviews and ratings to gauge the effectiveness and reliability of the cleaner.

A group of clean leather jackets on a clothes hanger.

Hacks for How To Clean A Leather Jacket

Vinegar SolutionMix white vinegar and water for a gentle cleaner.
Baking SodaSprinkle baking soda on stains, then brush off.
Leather ConditionerUse a quality conditioner to nourish and protect the leather.
Spot CleaningBlot minor stains with mild soap and water, avoiding scrubbing.
Air DryingLet the jacket air dry naturally in a ventilated area. Avoid heat sources like hairdryers.


Cleaning a leather jacket requires gentle techniques and specialized products to preserve its quality and appearance.

Avoid washing leather jackets in machines and opt for spot cleaning, leather cleaners, and conditioning for optimal results. 

Natural cleaning methods and choosing the right leather cleaner are key considerations for maintaining your leather jacket’s longevity and beauty. 

You may also consult a professional cleaner with Patriot Maids for advice on how to make your leather jacket look brand new!

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