A high quality leather is a very prized possession. Thousands of people in this world put a lot of effort in finding, caring for and showing off their leather jackets. Having a high quality one is like having a well groomed beard; it is a personal statement that shows your style and personality. A ‘cool’ leather jacket shows that you are tough, suave, easy going and ready for anything and everything. Be it a vintage classic, a motorcycle jacket or a designer label leather jacket, the same amount of pride and care goes into preserving and it keeping it beautiful for a long time. With that in mind, many jacket owners wonder, Must Leather Jacket Be Dry Cleaned?
The truth of the matter is, there are a lot of ways to clean and care for your leather jacket. Yes, dry cleaning them is one of the best ways to care for them. But it is not the only one. You can actually hand-clean your leather jacket frequently to keep it shining and well conditioned. Dry cleaning these jackets is a choice that most people make because many leather jackets require special care. The kind of care that only professional dry cleaners can offer on a regular basis. But, regardless of whether or not you dry clean your leather jacket, there are certain maintenance and care tips that you must adhere to. These include:
Reconditioning and cleaning
The one thing that many leather jacket manufacturers advise clients to do is to condition their jackets as soon as they buy them. Although, today almost every leather jacket is preconditioned before it ever gets to the client, it is only prudent for one to take as well a care as they can of their prized possession. So, when you buy a new leather jacket, you need to condition it first before you wear it. This will give a better chance of maintaining that beautiful new leather look for years to come. Conditioning your leather jacket is easier than most people think:
– Apply a highly recommended conditioner
– Apply a waterproofing product
How to condition your new leather jacket
– Take a soft piece of cloth
– Apply a light coating of your conditioner/ mink oil over the entire leather surface
– Gently rub the conditioner into the leather
That is all you need to do. Be sure to apply a very light coating of the conditioner. Overdoing it will mean making the leather slimy or sticky. This conditioning ensures that the leather does not easily crack, dry or rip. It will help maintain that wonderful leather look and feel all the while keeping that aromatic leather smell from fading.
As a rule of thumb, you should have your leather reconditioned and cleaned at least once every year. This is when the dry cleaners come in. As much as you can regularly clean your leather jacket at home, you still need to take it in for a thorough, all around cleaning at a professional dry cleaners.
But, if you are going to be cleaning your jacket at home, you should always makes sure that you follow the exact instructions given on the inside label. This is the manufacturers cheat code. By following these instructions you can keep your jacket looking brand new and clean for a very long time without spoiling it.
As mentioned earlier, dry cleaning your leather garments is the best option since you have professionals who know exactly what it takes to properly clean leather without ruining it. As prudent as this is, there comes a time when the cost is just too much. Honestly, taking your jacket in to the dry cleaners every other day can be a little costly. That is why it is advisable to have some handy tips on how to care for your jacket so that you do not have to dry clean it every other week. Here are some simple leather care tips to help you maintain a clean jacket without regular dry cleaning:
1. What to do when your leather jacket gets wet
At some point, your leather jacket is going to get wet. Either it will get rained on or some water-based accident might happen and you will get your prized jacket wet. When this happens, what do you do? Experts say that the simplest and most advisable way to handle this is to hang the jacket to dry. But, you should never hand it near any source of heat. This means no hanging it near a heating vent and definitely no dryers. This kind of heat will cause the jacket to shrink or lose it’s original shape.
2. What do you do about stains
When you get a stain on your jacket, the best option is to go to your trusted dry cleaners and ask for their advice. Many people think that they can just scrub off any stains that their leather jackets get. This notion is absolutely misguided. If you try to remove stains from your jacket without professional help and guidance, you will end up causing discoloration in that part of the jacket and once this happens, you will have a very difficult time trying to dye it back. It is best to take to the dry cleaners and let the professionals deal with it.
3. How do you store your leather garments?
Hang them in a dark dry place that is away from direct sunlight as this will cause the leather to fade. When hanging your leather jacket, make sure that you use a padded hanger so as not to distort the original shape. Also, cover your garments with a a bag made of cloth, not plastic. Plastic covers do not allow the leather to ‘breathe’. Without the proper covering, leather can develop mildew or mold.
You may think that your leather garments do not need regular cleaning because they always look so dark and awesome. But the truth is, they need cleaning just like any other garment you own. Make sure you take your leather jacket in to the dry cleaners for a thorough cleaning ever so often to ensure that it remains as attractive and as beautiful as it was when you bought it. With proper care, leather can remain brand new for a very long time.