First and foremost, you should be very careful about the things you follow on the internet. There’s tons of information and only some of it can be trusted. So no matter what you read and how convincing it might sound, always do a patch test before applying anything to your leather jacket; a cleaner, conditioner, polish, or a moisturizer. Another important factor is to know which type of leather you’re dealing with. Suede and nubuck should be taken to a professional for cleaning because they are extremely vulnerable to irreparable water damage. Leather jackets are a long-term investment so if you’re expecting them to last a lifetime, take proper care of them. Here’s an interesting and brief guide to keeping your leather jacket as good as new for years to come.
Clean Your Leather Jacket
People often wait for their leather jacket to get pretty dusty to actually consider cleaning it. This is a wrong approach because the more dust it absorbs the more vulnerable it becomes to damage. Whether you wear it on daily basis or twice a week, make sure to properly clean it every once in a while, preferably once every 4 months. Apart from that, if there’s any water or alcohol stain on it, make sure to clean it right away before it sticks to the leather.
Avoid Dry Cleaning Your Leather Jacket
Despite popular opinion, the dry cleaning of a leather jacket is never a good idea. It can dry the leather and cause it to become stiff. The texture of the leather might also change a bit which is why you should take some time out and clean your leather jacket yourself. But hold on. This doesn’t mean that you should wash it in a washing machine. The smooth texture of the leather comes from its natural oils and a rugged washing process might ruin that. So the best and most effective way to clean your leather jacket is to use your hands.
Hang It, Don't Fold It
Folding a leather jacket might cause unpleasant wrinkles on the surface hence you should always hang your jacket and make sure to keep it at a moderate temperature. Leather creases are hard to remove and may kill the look of your jacket. Direct sunlight is damaging to the leather i.e. the color might fade. It is better to get a padded hanger so that you don't soil the shoulders of your leather jackets. Pay attention to the inner lining because wool should be protected against moths so cedar wood pieces or blocks are recommended.
Leather contains natural oils that keep it from drying out but regular wearing can dry those out which is why moisturizing and conditioning your leather jacket is important. It not only keeps the texture smooth and soft but locks in the moisture within pores for a longer period of time. However, make sure to get the products that are specifically made for leather. Out of all the moisturizers and conditioners available in the market, choose the ones depending on the type of leather your jacket is made of. That way, you can keep your jacket well maintained and comfortable for a long time.
Store It Properly During The Off Season
Although a leather jacket can be worn during all seasons but with a warmer inner lining, you might need to put your leather jacket in the closet for a while. So follow a proper way to store it so that when you take it out, it’s as good as new. It’s better to clean the jacket before putting it to rest for the offseason. Hang it on a hanger with extra padding to keep the shape of the shoulders. Use a use a nylon garment bag to wrap it in and choose a moderate climate-controlled area to store your leather jacket.
Avoid Excess Water And Heat Exposure
If you accidentally spill water on your leather jacket, don't ever hang it in the sun to dry. Too much sun exposure will do more damage than good. Even on regular rainy days, try to avoid water drops. Leather is capable of absorbing water which can lead to dryness and loss of moisture causing your leather jacket to crack. Saving it from extreme weather conditions can make your leather jacket look as good as new for a much longer period of time.
Waterproof Your Leather Jacket
This is a good idea. Waterproofing a leather jacket can not only protect it from rain but also give your leather jacket the look that’s as good as new. Although, leather can never be truly 100% waterproof but While cleaning your leather jacket, adding a layer of wax on it can protect it to a large extent. It will definitely protect the leather from water but this sure doesn’t mean that you should go and stand in the rain. By doing this, you can not only prevent any kind of water damage but also increase the life of your leather jacket.