How to care for your leather jacket so it looks brand new

A leather jacket is a great addition to any wardrobe. It’s timeless, comfortable, durable and look great with almost anything. To ensure it stays that way, it requires some routine maintenance. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to care for your leather jacket so it continues to look brand new:

Leather Jacket Quick Care Guide

  • Read the Manufacturer’s Care Label
  • Never Wash It
  • Keep it in a Controlled Environment
  • Apply Leather Conditioner Regularly
  • Let it Dry Naturally
  • Hang it Properly

1. Read Manufacturer’s care label

This may come as a surprise, but not all leather jackets and leather jacket manufacturers are the same. Many use different types of leather, stitching materials or other elements, so it’s always a good idea to read the label first. It will tell you the dos and don’ts of your specific leather jacket, so you can keep it looking new. Typically, you can find the care label inside the neckline or inside the bottom of the jacket.

2. Never wash it

We recommend never washing your leather jackets as leather is susceptible to permanent damages caused by moisture and water. Since leather is an organic fabric, moisture can cause it to crack, strain or warp. Instead, we recommend spot cleaning. To clean small areas, take a washcloth, rinse in it lukewarm water and add a small amount of detergent. If your jacket requires a full clean, we recommend taking it to a professional leather cleaner like Fox Cleaners (located in Tulsa and Jenks). A professional knows how to handle the different types of stains effectively while preserving the quality of your leather.

3. Keep it in a controlled environment

When you’re not wearing your leather jacket, store it in a dark, cool, dry place. Why? Heat can cause the leather to dry out and crack. Moisture can cause mildew and mold. (The ideal humidity level to store leather jackets is between 40-50%.) Although leather fades over time, exposing it to direct sunlight speeds up this process and causes discoloration.

4. Apply a leather conditioner

Use a leather conditioner to soften and protect the fabric from harsh environmental and weather conditions. Conditioners keep the leather moisturized and prevent it from drying out and cracking. You can purchase a leather conditioner from many local stores. We recommend using a high quality conditioning product like “Saddle Soap.”

Tips on conditioning your leather:

  • Don’t apply conditioner too often because too much conditioner can damage the fabric integrity
  • Apply conditioner every 2-3 months to kept it soft and supple

5. Let it dry naturally

Try to keep your leather dry if at all possible. Water can be very detrimental to leather because it causes the natural oils to seep to the surface and evaporate, leaving the jacket dry and brittle. If your leather jacket does get wet from spills or weather, let it dry naturally. Speeding up the process with a drying machine or hair dryer may result in shrinking or cracking.

6. Hang it properly

Wrinkles and folds can destroy leather. So, try to avoid folding your leather jacket whenever possible. We recommend hanging your jacket on a wide padded hanger. Also, do not cover you leather items in a plastic garment bag. Instead, use a bag made from a breathable material like nylon, to keep the garment fresh, dry and protected from the sun.

One final note

Before you purchase your next leather product, we recommend researching the manufacturer to ensure you select a reputable company. The quality of the leather and manufacturer can make a big difference in the longevity of your leather jacket. Although owning a leather jacket requires some maintenance, the rewards far outweigh the work. You can keep your leather jacket looking like new by just following these 6 simple steps and visiting a reliable leather cleaner, like Fox Cleaners, regularly.

Fox Cleaners

We'll bring our store to your front door
twice a week or on demand.


Make life easier with
our membership perks.