When you invest in something substantial and genuine, you want the product to last for as long as possible. The handmade leather jacket is one such product which is manufactured with utmost care from one of the most durable materials. It is an enduring style symbol that can raise the fashion quotient of any outfit. Thus it is often a staple in most of the wardrobes.
However, rough handling, improper storage, and inappropriate cleaning methods can cause the material to deteriorate and lose its suppleness and attractiveness. Following are a few tried and tested ways to care for and clean your jacket to keep it in pristine condition:
Check the label
Different jackets use different leather, and each material requires its unique treatment and cleaning method. Therefore, before you clean your garment, check the label for the type of leather and any specific instructions that you should follow. The manufacturer’s directions can guide you in taking the course of action that is best suited for your jacket, and that will help it retain its immaculate condition.
Waterproof the jacket
The leather is prone to stains from moisture and water; therefore you should seal your leather jackets to make them waterproof and increase their longevity. There are numerous leather waterproofing-products readily available in the market. You have to choose a silicone- or acrylic-based sealant spray as they do not damage the quality of the leather, in the long-run, while preserving the shine, texture, and color of the garment. Apply the spray on all the exposed surfaces and repeat the treatment once every few months. The waterproof coating also protects your jacket against stains.
Apply a conditioner
The weather and environmental elements can temper with the quality of your leather jacket. Use a leather conditioner to prevent the leather from drying out and cracking. Rub or spray the conditioner on the jacket but do not use the product sparingly as too much of it can affect the color, shine, and durability of the leather.
Moreover, condition the jacket only when you feel it is getting dry or losing its sheen. Proper conditioning can help your jacket last a lifetime without any wear or tear.
Proper storage can ensure that your leather jacket does not lose its shape and remain wrinkle-free. Always hang your jacket on a padded hanger in a cool and dry environment, as opposed to folding it. Avoid covering it with a plastic bag, as the leather can deteriorate. You can always use nylon garment bags when you have to carry around your jacket or stow it away for the summer months, to avoid dust from accumulating on the material.
If your garment gets wet, hang it evenly on a wide hangar and let it dry at room temperature. Do not quick dry the leather using direct heat sources such as radiators or blow dryers.
It also goes without saying that avoid leaving your jacket in direct sunlight for extended hours as the rays can dry out the leather and cause discoloration.
You may notice dust accumulations along the creases and folds of the jacket if it has been stored for a while or you have been out and about in a dusty area. To avoid scuffing, use a dry cotton cloth to wipe off the grit and dust. You can also use a soft camel hair brush to gently wipe off the grime from the coat without wearing and tearing the material.
If your jacket requires further cleaning, you can use a damp, wrung-out cloth or sponge to clean it more thoroughly and then dry it with a soft cloth. However, before applying water on your coat, make sure to conduct a patch test first. Apply a drop of water to the least visible area of the jacket, and if the water is absorbed immediately or the leather darkens, your garment is unsuitable for water application. You need to take alternative routes.
Use a leather cleaning product
If your jacket is not water resistant or, if the stain or dirt is not removed by a damp cloth, you need to invest in specific leather cleaning products. Buy a cleaning product that is specially manufactured for the type of leather of your jacket. Before you begin the cleaning process, always do a spot-test to a hidden area of your jacket with the product to check for any signs of discoloration or damage. Leave the product for at least five minutes or as directed on the packaging before wiping it with a clean cloth. Furthermore, read the instructions on the back of the product thoroughly and follow them meticulously to avoid damaging your coat.
However, certain stains may not come off even with the commercial leather cleaning solutions. You can use some simple alternative hacks to clean your jacket. These include:
- Non-acetone nail polish remover or art gum eraser to remove fresh ink stains
- Rubbing alcohol or mild soap diluted with water to remove mold. Wipe off the moisture with a dry cotton cloth afterward
- Equal parts of white vinegar and water to clean the stains from road salt
- You can also use aerosol hairspray or toothpaste to remove some of the stubborn stains
Take it to the professionals
If any of the methods mentioned above do not work, you can take your jacket to specific dry cleaners that specialize in treating and cleaning authentic leather merchandise. Even if your coat has no visible stains, it is recommended to visit a professional who will wash and condition your jacket to keep it in a tip-top state.
Leather jackets are chic, stylish and effortlessly hip. They are also on the pricier side too. But when you do find the perfect jacket that fits you like a glove, you must hold on to it for as long as possible. Therefore, follow the tips and tricks above to preserve the original look and integrity of the jacket to last it a lifetime.