Knowing the best way to clean and condition your leather jacket is important because a leather jacket is a big investment in your wardrobe. Understanding how to properly care for it will help your investment go further. With proper care, there is no reason that your jacket should not last for many years, unless of course it goes out of style; there’s no cure for that. Many of the steps necessary to keep your jacket in tip top shape do not require any products, only proper care. When it comes time to clean and condition your leather, however, you will need the right products to ensure that your jacket gets cleaned and conditioned without any harm.
Leather Jacket Care 101
There are a few simple steps to take when you bring your jacket home for the first time:
- Know the type of leather – if you are unsure, ask before bringing it home. This will have a large impact on how you care for it.
- Protect it from the elements – If you will be wearing your jacket outside in rain or snow, you will need to protect it from harm. A quality water protectant, such as Chamberlain’s Water Protectant No. 3, will help to condition as well as protect your leather from any moisture it may come into contact with in the elements. If it’s a suede jacket, use a suede protection spray. Most protectants do not create a permanent chemical bond and therefore should be re-applied each season. Always clean evenly from seam to seam to prevent premature wear.
- Blot stains – If you get a liquid stain, such as a drink on your jacket, simply blot it with a clean cloth; do not rub it into the jacket.
- Let it Dry – If your leather gets wet, do not put it in the dryer, let it dry naturally. Once dry, condition it with an appropriate leather conditioner.
- Hang it Right – When storing your leather, use a sturdy hanger that has a little padding to keep the shape of your jacket.
- Don’t Use Plastic – Avoid the use of plastic bags when storing your leather as it could cause it to dry out and crack.
- Empty Pockets – Avoid leaving heavy objects in your pockets, such as car key or a cell phone; it can stretch the leather.
Cleaning and Conditioning Your Leather Jacket
Perhaps the most important component of proper leather jacket care is the use of the right leather cleaner and conditioner. When you use a cleaner, such as Chamberlain’s Straight Cleaner No. 2, you can trust that you are using a cleaner with the right cleaning agents that will not harm your leather by clogging it up with harmful chemicals. After you clean your leather jacket, it is vital that you apply the appropriate conditioner, such as Chamberlain's Leather Care Liniment No. 1, to keep your jacket from drying and cracking.
Chris Repp (www.leatherhelp.com)