Leather jackets are classy to wear with casual or fancy clothes in any season. Leather jackets are expensive but cleaning a leather jacket is expensive as well. What’s a big problem we can clean a leather jacket in the washing machine? Don’t ever put your leather jackets in the washing machine to clean them. It will damage them easily, so what is the best way to clean leather jackets without damage? You have to put a little extra effort to clean and protect the leather jacket in an easy way.

Types of Leather

Before you start how to clean a leather jacket it is important to check the leather type.  Through this cleaning and protecting leather jackets is easier. You will be able to take care of the jacket according to material type. There are 4 basic types of leather based on animals.

  • Cowhide Leather is the natural and unbleached skin of cows. Then processed to make leather jackets and other stuff.
  • Sheepskin Leather is light soft and velvety leather obtained from sheep’s skin.
  • Lambskin Leather is the most luxurious leather. It is obtained from lamb to make leather jackets and other leather products.
  • Goatskin Leather is a lightweight leather. It is obtained from goats to utilize in making leather goods.
  • Calfskin Leather is a durable and luxurious leather obtained from young domestic cattle to produce leather products.

Animal leather is categorize in two ways before making products. One is the Natural/untreated way and the other is the treated way. In the treated way leather is treated with some chemicals.  While untreated leather is free from chemical treatment. You can notice the difference by touching it, untreated one is soft while treated one has a plastic-like coating. Treated leathers are easier to clean than untreated/ Natural.

Steps to Clean Leather Jacket

An easy step-by-step guide will help you in cleaning and protecting leather jackets on your own. If leather jackets are not clean and protected with care it will ruin them. Leather has two enemies that are moisture and heat, if you are washing leather jackets in the machine it will crack them. and drying with heat will shrink them, even sun drying will cause damage to leather jackets.

Material Used

  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Saddle soap
  • Towel
  • Hanger

Check on Label

Before starting to clean a leather jacket make sure to check the label on the jacket. It is a wise way to find cleaning instructions about the brand and you are able to know about the type of leather jacket as well.

check label

Prepare Cleaning Solution

Leather jackets need a mild cleanser instead of harsh chemicals and detergents that will ruin their shine and structure, you can bring it from the store or easily make your own at home in a cost-friendly way. Mix 2-3 drops of dish liquid soap into warm water and your mild cleanser for leather jacket is ready to use.

prepare solution

Dust off Jacket

After preparing the solution place your jacket on a table or smooth surface and remove dust using a cotton wrap. Removing dust is a crucial step before starting to clean a jacket.

dust off jacket

Wipe with a wet Cloth

After dusting off the jacket take a clean soft cloth and dip it in the prepared solution, then squeeze the excessive amount of solution. wipe your jacket with a soft cloth

wipe with wet cloth

Wipe with Dry Cloth

Once you wiped the jacket with a wet cloth now dry it using a clean dry cloth. Take a clean dry cloth and wipe out the jacket thoroughly. you can further dry it using a clean towel.

wipe with dry cloth

Clean Lining

You can easily clean the lining of the leather jacket by repeating the same steps. Turn your jacket inside out and repeat.

clean lining

Conditioning Leather Jacket

Once you clean a leather jacket and dry it out with a towel, now conditioning is an essential step to carry out. Conditioning furnish shine to the leather jacket, there are quite good conditioners available in the market for jackets you can purchase them or do it on your own by using saddle soap with a clean cloth. gently apply saddle soap on the jacket using a cloth.

conditioning a jacket

Hang jacket

After completing the cleaning process make sure to hang your jacket to let it dry, Use a broad hanger to hang a leather jacket and hang it in a place where direct sunlight is not reachable. Hanging on a wire hanger will prevent it from stretch marks.

hang jacket

Removing Stains from Leather Jacket

You can remove soft stains from the jacket using a cleaning solution. But removing hard stains will require more attention if your jacket is stained with ink, tea, or coffee, then you have to use some other cleaning agents, make sure to avoid ammonia, bleach, and vinegar. Before using any agent make sure to take a patch test on the inner surface of the leather jacket to avoid any damage.

  • You can use toothpaste to remove hard stains from jackets, make sure to use non-gel toothpaste by using your fingers to apply to stains. Then gently rub with a soft cloth, and wipe out with a damp towel.
  • Nail polish remover is also used to clean hard stains like ink and others from leather items, dip a cotton swab in remover and then gently blot over the stain until vanishes, use a damp cloth to clean.
  • Corn starch is used to remove oil and grease stains from leather jackets, sprinkle cornstarch on the stained area of the jacket let it sit for hours, it will absorb oil, and then clean it using a damp towel.
  • Rubbing Alcohol is a strong agent to remove stains, you can mix it with water to remove hard stains using a clean towel.


  • Never overfill your leather jacket pockets, it will create stretch marks on the leather.
  • Don’t spray perfume on a leather jacket, it will dry out your leather jacket make sure to put on your favorite perfume and let it dry before wearing a jacket.
  • Never stick labels, tapes, or pins on the jacket otherwise it will get ruined.
  • When you are not using a jacket make sure to hang it in a garment bag in a moisture-free closet to prevent it from dusting.
  • Before using any product on a leather jacket make sure to do a patch test to prevent it from damage.


Can I wash the leather jacket in the washing machine?

Leather jackets are made from organic material and washing them in the machine will dry out them and crack them it’s better to avoid machine cleaning otherwise your jacket will be ruined.

How to polish a Leather Jacket?

You can use market brought leather balm to restore the shine of the jacket or you can use a homemade polisher for this.

How to clean a leather jacket with mold?

You can use vinegar and water mixture to treat mold on leather jackets and prevent your jackets from mold by storing them in a moisture-free space.

How to clean a leather jacket that smells?

For removing the smell from leather jackets spray them with water and baking soda mixture and let it set to work, it will soak the smell from the jacket and then dry it using a clean towel.


A Complete Guide to Leather Care