When it comes to classic items you must have in your wardrobe, a leather jacket is essential. The topper is not only super stylish, but it is also the perfect transitional layer when faced with in-between temperatures. It looks great when paired with a plain white tee and cutoff jeans, but it looks just as chic when layered over a flirty spring dress—needless to say, we get a lot of use out of this singular piece. Thus, there is no denying we have either spilled coffee or wine on it or left an unsightly sweat stain on the leather. We very well can’t take it to the dry cleaner every day—that would be too expensive—so we turned to the experts for advice on the proper ways to spot clean a leather jacket. Below, David Mesquita, the Vice President of Leather Spa, shares his best tips and tricks for cleaning this delicate material.
Know What Type of Leather Your Jacket Is Made From
Different materials and finishes have different considerations. For instance, “if you have a vintage motorcycle jacket, that’s going to be made of a different grade of leather that will be much harder and stiff than today’s jackets,” says Mesquita. “For that, you can definitely take soap and dilute it with water and apply it very gently.” On the other hand, “you don’t want to put anything on a lambskin leather jacket,” he says. Unfortunately it should not be cleaned at home and only cleaned professionally.
Before Wearing Your Leather Jacket, Spray It with a Water and Stain Protector
“A water and stain repellant spray shouldn’t dry out or seal the pores of the leather, so that if you do spill anything on it you should immediately be able to wipe it off before it starts to penetrate into the leather,” says Mesquita.
Makeup Remover Is an Alternative to Soap and Water
“I haven’t tried it, but makeup remover doesn’t have too much stuff in it,” says Mesquita. “Rub it into your leather jacket very lightly and carefully.”
Don’t Rub Too Hard
Mesquita explains, “when you rub leather too hard some of the moisture sits inside the leather and makes it form dark spots.”
Keep Your Leather Hydrated
“When the leather starts to look dry, kind of like when your skin is dry, you'll want to moisturize it,” says Mesquita. “Use a leather conditioner to bring your leather back to life and restore its natural oils."