Leather Jacket Maintenance Tips
Before performing leather jacket maintenance, you must know which type of leather the jacket is made from. You’ll also need to read the label to find out how the lining was manufactured. For instance, if the jacket is manufactured with nubuck or suede, it should be taken to a specialist. However, below are some essential cleaning tips that can be applied to standard leather.
Removing Dirt or Grease
To remove dirt or grease, you can wipe your jacket down with a cloth that is damp and soapy. Blot the surface instead of rubbing and do not add excess water. The leather should then be allowed to dry naturally rather than being placed in a dryer. For tough stains, you’ll want to use baking powder or corn starch. Rub the powder on the greasy spot gently with a damp cloth and let it sit. The powder will absorb the oil and you can wipe it off a few hours later. Although nail polish remover is good for taking out grease stains, you should avoid using it on your leather jacket.
Dry the Jacket Properly
Dryers or dry cleaners should never be used for leather jackets because they will extract its natural oils, which must be replenished. If your leather jacket has been exposed to small or medium amounts of water, it is best to let it air dry. If it has fallen into a large body of water and has been exposed to it for some time, it will need to be taken to a professional who specializes in leather drying. Leather jackets which are placed in standard dryers might also crack and shrink.
Can You Iron a Leather Jacket?
While some online have suggested that irons on low heat can be used to remove wrinkles on leather jackets, this is actually not advisable as doing so might ruin the material. The best way to deal with wrinkles is through prevention – always hang up your jacket with a good clothes hanger.
Conditioning the Jacket and Protecting It from Sunlight
Ultraviolet light will damage leather in the same manner it damages human skin. Leather jackets which have been exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time will gradually lose their shine. And despite advice from some that you can use shoe polish to restore their shine, you should avoid doing so as the polish can clog up the leather surface, thus drying out the jacket or discoloring it.
To properly condition the jacket, you’ll want to use leather balsam. Generally speaking, it is a good idea to condition the jacket once every twelve months. However, if the jacket is regularly exposed to sunlight, it should be conditioned every few months.
How to Avoid Peeling
A leather jacket that is properly stored and cared for will form a patina and age beautifully. Usually, it isn’t the leather that cracks, but the sealant or finish that is on the leather’s surface. Hence, you should not clean the jacket using any product with solvents since the chemicals might cause a break down in the leather’s surface. However, if you purchase a jacket made with bonded leather, it will eventually peel as time passes and this is largely unavoidable. Real leather jackets which are worn frequently should become naturally supple, but should its oil dry out, the jacket will start to lose elasticity. To improve the longevity and durability of your leather jacket, you should always maintain and moisturize it regularly.