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How To Clean & Maintain Your Leather Jacket

Posted by Avi grondin on




It is our job at Lusso leather to inform you of the right procedures to store and clean your newly purchased Leather Jacket. This is all in an effort to maintain your product and keep you happy. Read this entire article below, and you will be completely set up with the knowledge to properly maintain your vintage leather jacket from Lusso Leather.

Leather can be virtually indestructible if treated properly. With a little bit of care and attention, your new leather jacket will last well into vintage age and your vintage leather will continue to have a long happy life.

The most important things to remember about leather is not to get it soiled, soaked, or let it dry out. Even though all of these things can be rectified to some extent, it is helpful to not let leather get into such a condition in the first place.

Proper storage, cleaning, and conditioning will keep your leather jacket looking as good as new, no matter how old it is.

Storing Leather

Storing leather properly when it is not being used is the most important thing you can do to keep it in its best condition. When leather is stored it should not be in extreme hot or cold, or in excessive dryness or humidity.

Clean/Condition Leather

Keeping leather clean and conditioned only takes a few minutes, but it will make a big difference in how good it looks. If a leather jacket is to last 30 years of abuse before getting worn out, a little soap and water on a bi-weekly basis won't hurt it.

Stains on Leather

Even leather isn't averse to stains, especially if it's vintage and lived a previous lifetime before finding its way into your closet. However, you're not required to live with the stains of its past; most leather stains will come out easily with a little soap and water.

It is even possible to remove blood, oil, and wax in some cases.

Leather Odors Leather

Leather can be stubborn about holding on to odors. You may be able to locate a leather specialist or dry cleaner in your area that can remove the odor, but it won't come cheap.

Instead, try removing unwanted odors at home. There are many safe and gentle methods of removing odors like using baking soda after a nice wash.

What To Avoid

Although leather is very durable, it is not indestructible. Improper care or cleaning can crack and dry leather skin, remove finishes and colors, or make it too stiff to wear. Keeping your leather jacket away from chemicals, heat, and humidity are absolutely key. If leather is like skin, think of its care as anti-aging; if you wouldn't put it on your own skin, it probably isn't very good for the leather either.

Cleaning and conditioning leather is very simple if you just think of leather as skin. Just as you need to clean and moisturize your own skin, leather needs to be maintained in the same way to stay supple, pliable, and resilient. If you keep your own skin care in mind while caring for your vintage leather, it is sure to outlast you.

Professional Leather Cleaning

If you have a very special or very delicate leather item, or if you do not want to take any chances cleaning it yourself, there are professional leather cleaners that can do it for you.

Many dry cleaners offer leather cleaning services through which your leather is sent off site to a professional cleaning company and then returned to the dry cleaners.

Although this process is done by professionals, slight variations in color, texture, and shape may result; so be sure to clean matching garments together even if only one piece is dirty.

Cleaning at Home

In many cases, all that is necessary to clean your leather jacket is a damp cloth or a store bought leather cleaner. This will remove any surface dust or dirt. (Always follow Lusso Leathers manufacturing instructions when using a cleaner specifically for leather.)

If the leather has been in contact with perspiration, water, or is stiff, you may need a more substantial method to cleanse it.

We found this eHow video for you guys to visually see the process: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzhwlJqeKAI

Hand Washing

  1. Treat or remove any stains on the leather before washing it.
  2. Using warm soapy water made with a gentle cleanser like baby shampoo, Dove soap (unscented), or soap flakes - rub the leather with a soft cloth to produce a lather in any area you want to clean.
  3. Wipe away excess lather with a clean cloth.
  4. Rinse leather thoroughly either by running through warm water or wiping several times with a damp cloth.
  5. Pat leather dry with a clean towel to remove excess water.
  6. Allow leather to dry flat in a warm place out of direct sunlight and away from a strong heat source (fire, heater, stove, etc.)

Washing Leather in a Washing Machine

Some people claim that leather can be washed using a washing machine set on a very gentle (wool or delicate) setting with warm or cool water.

This method may not be worth the risk if you are washing a very old vintage piece.

If you choose to use this method, DO NOT use any detergent meant for washing clothes other than Woolite or Soap Flakes. Also, do not use more soap than is necessary to make the water slippery with a small amount of bubbles. Too much soap will make the leather dry and stiff!

Once your jacket has fully dried, then it’s time to condition it!

Conditioning Vintage Leather

Conditioning leather replaces the tanning oils that are depleted over time through wear, heat, and moisture. Reconditioning leather every 6-9 months will ensure that it never becomes stiff, dry, or cracked.

A leather conditioner is necessary for this step. There are hundreds of products available for this task, so read the Lusso Leather label before using a leather conditioner to be sure that product is suitable for your leather item.

Do not use leather conditioners that contain waxes or silicone which do not allow the leather to breathe

  1. Always use a lint free soft cloth when conditioning leather; microfiber cloths are ideal.
  2. Dampen the cloth with water before applying the conditioner to it so that there is not too much conditioner applied to the leather jacket.
  3. NEVER apply conditioner directly to the leather, apply to cloth first.
  4. Apply conditioner to leather by gently rubbing into the lie or nap of the leather until the entire surface has been covered.
  5. Several light applications are preferred over a heavy soaking of conditioner.
  6. Allow conditioner to penetrate the conditioner for at least 30 minutes before applying another coat.

And there you have it folks! This is an extremely thorough guide for maintaining and cleaning your leather jacket. If you are more curious about the process, see how leather is made for some more insight. Remember also, if you have questions or concerns regarding your jacket and how to maintain it, you can always reach out to us – as we are super happy to help!



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