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How to Maintain Your Leather Jacket : Tips to Keep It Looking Like New

how to maintain leather jacket

Leather Jackets are versatile and stylish staple pieces for both men and women. A good quality jacket will let you stay in style for many years but to keep it in its best condition, you need to treat it well. It doesn’t mean you have to wear it only once a month, you can wear it as many times as you like – as long as you are conscious about leather jacket care and know how to maintain a leather jacket.

It is certain that every piece of clothing needs caring and a leather jacket is one of them. Once you purchased a leather jacket, you may ask yourself, where should I start? What are the proper guidelines I need to follow in order to increase the lifespan?

People ask a lot of questions and in this guide, I’ll answer one by one what steps you need to follow.

Let’s get started:

What Should I Do to Extend My Jacket’s Life?

Prevention is better than cure!

This quote can also be applied to other things such as maintaining a leather jacket of course! Good quality is sealed to stay with you but there is always danger ahead that will ruin the style. So what should you do to avoid ruining your jacket?

How to Care For Leather Jacket?

Here are some tips:

  • Clean It Once Every Six Months – No matter how good your jacket is, you should give it a proper cleaning. It’s up to you if you’d like to do it every two months but I would suggest two times a year is enough. It should only be cleaned if needed.
  • Hang It Properly – Hang your jacket in a place where direct sunlight is not entering. Exposure to sunlight or heat can damage the color.
  • Don’t Keep It In One Place All the Time – No matter if the dark closet is all clean, if you leave it for too long, your jacket will suffocate. Check it every now to see if it’s alive and in good condition.
  • Wear It When Needed – You can minimize the risk of damage by only wearing it when there is an appropriate occasion for it.
  • If It Gets Wet, Let it Dry Naturally – Leather absorbs water quickly, including raindrops. If your outing has rainy adventures, you should leave the jacket to dry naturally.

How to Clean and Restore Leather Jackets at Home?

External Leather


When it comes to buying the best quality leather, lambskin should be your priority. There are other hides as well but this one is the most common selection due to its durability.

The best feature of a lambskin leather jacket is it gets better over time no matter how many times you wear it but, it doesn’t mean it will – if you decide not to maintain it.

To maintain your leather jacket is like to care for your own skin. Which means protecting it from heat, scratches, and other harmful elements. If you haven’t cleaned your leather jacket lately, this is the right time to get started.

Here are some videos from experts that will show how to properly care for your leather jacket.

Read Our Guide On, How to Wash a Leather Jacket at Home

1. Use Brush

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If your jacket is slightly dusty or getting rustic, the best option would be a soft brush. It is recommended to carry a small brush in your pocket while traveling. There are different types of good brushes in the market that are mostly treated for leather jackets. Always consider purchasing a small brush with your leather jacket.

2. Use Dry Cloth

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Another option for cleaning small particles is to use a small dry cloth. No need to mix it with water or apply conditioner if the affected area is simply mud, rain, or dusty.

How to Remove Stains from Leather Jacket?

leather jacket stains cleaning

A good quality jacket such as lambskin and cowhide is heavy which absorbs stain marks pretty easily. There are different methods for cleaning lambskin leather such as we can use to remove dirt, dust, and other visible marks – and washing it is not one of them.

If your leather jacket accidentally got coffee stains, pen marks, or unwanted scratches from rough roads, try using the above method but if that didn’t work, here are possible solutions.

1. Conditioners

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You can obtain a leather conditioner for leather jackets. Keep in mind to select the proper one designed for cleaning leather. Some people say ironing would be great but it only adds more damage to the surface. If your leather jacket is brown, try searching for a brown leather condition. The same method goes for other colors.

2. Leather Cleaning Sprays

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Rubbing any stain with leather cleansers will easily remove any stain. Mix a damp cloth with a little bit of water and alcohol then, rub it on the affected area. Just make sure to do it slowly, don’t put too much pressure on the affected area, as it might damage the piece.

How to Fix Scratches on Leather Jackets?


No matter how much you maintain your leather jacket and love your jacket but unintentionally or accidentally your jacket can get scratched. Fortunately, a real leather jacket doesn’t peel like a PU Jacket, it only gets scratched. There are two kinds of scratches, minor and deep. For deeper scratches, you should look for a professional to maintain your leather jacket but for minor, you can fix it at home.

All you need is a few things to remove the scratches from your jacket.

  • Oil – Use a smooth cloth to apply leather jacket oil, put 3-5 drops of oil on the cloth, and apply gently on the affected surface in a circular motion. Leave to dry for a while and the scratched areas are visibly hidden.
  • Lotion or Cream – Cream and lotion for leather jackets are available in the market; get the cream that suits your jacket. Apply the cream on the scratched surface and place a wet cloth on the surface. Use a blow dryer above the cloth and rub the area softly which makes the surface smooth and helps to absorb the lotion.
  • Marker – A marker is also good to hide scratches. Just get the right color shade and apply it to the scratched line to hide i. It is an easy and the best method if the same color pen is available.
  • Polish – Apply a leather polish on the targeted area properly with the help of soft cotton then allow the jacket to dry. Polish with a brush to make sure no lighter areas are visible and the surface shine is good as new.
  • Spray Protector – Spray the leather protector on the whole jacket to secure the leather jacket. It resists water and helps to increase the life of the leather jacket.

How to Dry a Jacket If It Gets Wet?


It is easy to clean the jacket but it is more difficult to dry it completely. Because any mistake can damage the skin of the leather. My personal suggestion is to use only natural methods to dry the jacket.

Following methods work like a piece of cake when drying a leather jacket.

  • Never Use a Dryer Machine – A leather jacket does not behave like normal clothes so never dry it with a machine. It is a heavier and more sensitive thing and if you put it into the spin dryer, it can stretch and its color may change due to friction.
  • Properly Hang the Jacket – Hang the jacket on a wide padded hanger in the open air such as in a garage or garden to allow the water to drip out from the jacket. It may take time to dry out completely depending upon the inner lining of the jacket, it will also air out the fishy smell which usually leather jackets get after getting wet. Do not hang the jacket in direct sunlight or extremely warm areas otherwise, cracks may appear, color may fade and chances of shrinking will be increased. After the jacket is completely dry, apply a conditioner to make good as new.

How to Clean Mold From Leather Jacket?

Cleaning off mold from a leather jacket is similar to cleaning stains, there are multiple ways to restore a jacket after getting mold. Leather cleaners are the most recommended method to remove mold.

There is also a powder type of mold that is known as mildew. You can keep the jacket away from getting mold by storing it in a dry place and often cleaning the dust. Sometimes people over-moisturize the leather resulting in getting mold.

Internal Lining

innerlining of leather jacket

Another reason why people consider purchasing an expensive leather jacket is because of the internal lining. Its job is to give you comfort and protects your body but that doesn’t mean you should not maintain or clean it. First, you need to know the types of the inner lining.

Which Inner Lining is Best for Which Season?

For Summer and Warm Weather – Viscose Lining


Especially during these seasons, you should better opt for a viscose lining. It’s a silky and soft fabric designed to comfort the garment and improve flexibility. What makes it the most wanted is the appealing softness that it provides to the wearer.

Let’s Break it Down


  • Breathable and light
  • Absorbs moisture
  • Dries quickly
  • Hygienic
  • Skin-friendly


  • Wrinkles easily
  • Shrinks after washing
  • Not a good option for colder months

For Winter/Fall Season – Fur Jackets

fur lining

The cold season brings a lot of fashion trends and one of them is the fur shearling jacket. An urban choice that has a special place in every man’s wardrobe. They are incredibly crafted and regarded as a luxurious statement pieces to pamper your winter experience. It comes in two types, faux and real. Faux looks exactly like the real but there is a quality difference. While real fur lining is durable and versatile enough to keep you warm all day.

Here are reasons why you should and should not consider it.


  • Appealing and warm
  • Long-lasting
  • Stops cold wind
  • Rugged look


  • Expensive
  • Heavy

How to Maintain the Inner Lining?

inside jacket cleaning

1. Removing Bad Smell

The more you wear your jacket, the more it absorbs your sweat and in the end, released an unpleasant smell. That is why you should know how to maintain your leather jacket.

Here’s what you need to do to get rid of the smell that has accumulated in your jacket.

  • Air it out – Leave your jacket out for a bit in the open air. Hang it somewhere away from direct sunlight.
  • Vinegar – Mix it in a bottle and spray it inside of the jacket and once it is soaked, let it dry naturally. There are also vinegar solutions available in the market.
  • Wash – Use a mild detergent with water and dip a clean sponge in it. Squeeze any remaining water and wipe the areas that collect odor such as armpits and collar. It’s not a good idea to wash a leather jacket.

2. Removing Dirt and Other Particles

One must be aware of cleaning the inside area because there is always a risk of damaging the fabric. If your jacket is a little bit dusty on the inside, I would suggest you use the following methods

  • Soft Brush – Just like cleaning the exterior part of a leather jacket, you can use it inside of it.
  • Blower – Use it at a variable speed to remove dust or any environmental particle left inside.
  • Water and Dryer – If there is a stain inside, clean it off with a partially wet cloth and then dry it off.

How to Properly Store a Leather Jacket So It Doesn’t Get Dirty Or Cracked?


When you finally got out-grow of it or decided not to wear it for some time, store it in a safe place where it won’t get any damage.

For the storage of jackets, you can adopt these habits and tricks.

  • Clean the surface – You should clean the jacket with a damp cloth or brush because dirt and dust can damage the quality of the jacket if you leave it as it is for a long time. Clean gently from top to bottom and front to back to ensure no particles or grains are left.
  • Wrap It – Wrap your jacket into white cotton sheets or bags or clean fabrics which are breathable and good for leather jackets. Do not store them in plastic bags because it can dry them and add scuffs and cracks.
  • Humidity – Do not place the jacket in an open room or near the heat source. Place it into a closet or wooden box to save it from humidity and high temperature because it can cause cracks.
  • Wooden Hangers – The important thing you need is to use a wide padded or wooden hanger to maintain the shape of the leather jacket.
  • Give It a Regular Check – Check your jacket at least once a month to see whether it is in good condition, alive, and breathing.


That’s a Wrap

These are simple and easy methods to follow for leather jacket care and extend its life. If you’re new or don’t have much idea about cleaning stuff, send your leather jacket to a professional who knows how to maintain a leather jacket. They usually have all the items needed to fix and polish leathers. Hope you enjoyed it and don’t forget to read our other leather guides.



Regularly clean the jacket dust off from the surface and apply the leather conditioner once a month. If you are not using it then hang it on a wide hanger so it doesn't get wrinkles and make sure it is not placed in too dry or moisturized.
You can't easily wash a leather jacket like other clothes because leather absorbs water and the drying process is not simple and if not done correctly then it can leave permanent damage to your leather jacket.
Turn your leather jacket inside out, clean the jacket from the inside with light soapy water, and use a sponge for a gentle rub then let it dry naturally and apply the same process with the outer shell of the jacket and apply a leather waterproofing spray on it.
Taking your leather jacket to normal dry cleaners can be risky because most of them are only specialized in textile dry cleaning they have different cleaning chemicals. Leather jacket requires special and gentle chemicals for cleaning and need specialist skills for treatment.
If you wear your jacket daily then clean the dust with a brush at least twice a week and you need to condition it twice a year at least once when the season starts and once when the season ends.
Turn your jacket inside out, mix warm water with detergent mild in a bowl, dip a clean cloth in it, and start rubbing the whole lining gently then remove the excess water with a clean and dry cloth. Finally, keep the jacket in a cool and dry place until the moisture is completely removed.
Make soap water using baby shampoo and a bowl of water, or use leather cleaners. If you are using soap water then dip a clean sponge in a bowl and gently rub the leather surface it will clean all the dirt. Then you can apply coconut oil to hydrate the leather jacket.
Toothpaste is useful for cleaning stains from walls, shoes, headlights, and other accessories. But it is not recommended to use toothpaste on the leather because toothpaste is made from multiple chemicals that can be harmful to your leather jacket.
Clean whole surface of the suede with a suede cleaning brush. It will loosen the dirt and make the jacket look better. Once you are done then start cleaning stained areas with a brush. Don't apply too much pressure that can ruin your jacket. If you still feel stains are left uncleaned then consider buying a suede leather cleaner that will remove the stains.
You can fold your leather jacket in half while placing the collars and other elements in the right place while traveling or you don't have a plan to use it for a long time. Once you unfold it then hang it for 12 to 24 hours in a dry place to save it from permanent wrinkles.
Most people iron leather jackets at low temperatures. I personally won't recommend doing that. Instead I would suggest you place it in a hot room but avoid direct sunlight. You can place heavy books on the jacket's wrinkled area and wear your jacket for a day it will keep the jacket in shape.
Shrinking a leather jacket is not recommended by us because it can ruin your jacket. If you still want to shrink it then lay down the jacket on a flat surface, spray water on it, and for drying it use a hairdryer from a little distance.  A combination of moisture and heat will shrink the leather. Once you are done then take the leather jacket to a tailor to alter its uneven shape.

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