How to Clean A Vintage Leather Jacket when You First Bought It

You just bought a beautiful brown leather jacket, it's gorgeous and you can't wait to wear it for the first time so everyone can see it and appreciate your good taste in fashion. However, you should know that buying a leather jacket is quite different from buying any other type of jacket, as these garments require a very specific care to keep them in perfect condition for many years; maybe even for your whole life.

how to clean a vintage leather jacket

Surely more than once you've heard someone say that leather is the best material that exists for the creation of clothing but over time it ends up cracking and spoiling. And so it is, whether jackets, bags, handbags, wallets or shoes, if we do not take care of it properly the leather will end up tearing and that precious jacket that we bought so hard will be totally unusable.

Although leather is a very resistant material that has been with us for thousands of years (in fact, ancient man already used it as a garment without even knowing how to treat it and without any aesthetic purpose), it tends to wear out very easily and makes our investment go to waste before its time. Because yes, leather is an expensive material, always has been and always will be, so it is worth taking care of it and amortize to the maximum the price we have paid for it.

On the other hand, we believe it is also important to differentiate between leather jackets made with high quality synthetic leather and those made with leather of natural origin. Both give very good results and have a similar maintenance but the synthetic one will always end up getting damaged sooner no matter how much we take care of it, it is inevitable.

So, before buying your jacket you should take a good look at the lining label to know how good is the leather you are going to buy and how you should maintain it.

Because of all this and because we believe that the only way to take proper care of your new leather jacket (whatever type it is) is to have the right information for its maintenance, below we are going to give you a list of the best tricks to keep your leather jacket in perfect condition over the years.

Do you want to know everything you should do to show off your vintage leather jacket for eternity?

Take note!

The best tips for clean vintage leather jacket

The best tips for clean vintage leather jacket

Tips for the first use

This first section will not teach you how to clean your leather jacket, but it will give you some very useful tips on what you should and should not do when you wear your newly bought leather jacket for the first time.

Because you don't always have to wait for things to get dirty before you have to clean them, effective prevention is also another way to keep your leather jacket clean and in good condition for much longer. And these are some of the things you should keep in mind to make it happen:

  • Try not to expose your jacket too much to the sun, as it will gradually fade and no amount of cleaning or dye will be able to bring it back to its original shade.
  • Do not fill the pockets, this will cause the leather to stretch little by little and crack more easily over time.
  • It is not advisable that certain toxic substances that we use in our daily lives and that we throw on our jackets through the use of aerosols, such as perfumes, hairsprays or hair gel, fall on the jacket. These substances damage the surface of the skin and can cause it to lose its color or even burn.
  • Try not to spill alcohol while wearing your leather jacket, as it is a very aggressive liquid that could irreversibly damage the skin.
  • Use suitable leather moisturizing agents on a regular basis. This will protect your jacket against all the possible accidents I mentioned in the list above, as well as take care of the leather and keep it with a natural shine.
Guide to Cleaning Your Vintage Leather Jacket Properly

Guide to Cleaning Your Vintage Leather Jacket Properly

Now that you're clear on the red flags of what not to do while wearing a vintage leather jacket, we'll move on to explain what you should do to keep your jacket looking as great as the first day you saw it in the store

Below, we will explain different ways to clean your leather jacket properly, both inside and out, as well as the best manual method to remove dirt and stains and washing by using a washing machine program.

1.Cleaning leather with soap and water by hand

Those who are passionate about this mythical garment believe that the only way to clean a leather jacket without damaging it is by hand, using only water, delicate soap and a small, soft sponge.

Although there are many modern solutions to clean the leather without damaging it, being able to clean it by hand without any chemical or electronic agent will always guarantee us to have a better control of the care of the garment and cleaning it by the most traditional method that exists is and will be one of the best ways to do it.

clean your vintage leather jacket

Step by step

To clean our leather jackets we must first mix water and a little mild soap in a shallow basin. It is important to emphasize that in the mixture we make there should always be more water than soap, since an excess of soap could end up damaging the leather and discolor it.

It is also important that we choose a soap suitable for delicate fabrics, in supermarkets there are already multiple options of handmade soaps with extremely delicate ingredients that will allow us to clean the jacket without any risk of damaging it accidentally.

So we recommend you to do a little research before washing and buy a natural soap suitable for your vintage leather jacket.

Once you have the mixture, moisten the sponge lightly and begin to gently clean the entire jacket. Don't use too much force because you could scratch the leather and crack it. Make short, gentle movements, and if you notice that any area is dirty, go over it later when it has dried.

It is not advisable to soak the jacket too much, because excess moisture can also damage the leather and cause stains to appear.

Once you have wiped it all off, wipe it with a damp towel to remove any soap that may have clung to the leather. Remember to do this with a soft towel, a microfiber one for example, and that it is not wet but damp. Keeping the jacket semi-dry while cleaning it is crucial to avoid cracks or stains on the fabric due to excessive exposure to water or soap.

Cleaning the lining of your vintage leather jacket

2. Cleaning the lining of your vintage leather jacket

Generally, all leather jackets have an inner lining that will be in direct contact with our body and sweat whenever we wear it. A lining that also needs to be washed to prevent the leather from cracking prematurely, because although we believe that the inner part of a jacket does not have so much risk of ending up stained.

The human heat we generate and our own sweat are themselves harmful agents for this delicate fabric, so we must take care of the inside of our leather jacket with the same care as the outside. Or even more.

Step by step

To clean the lining of your leather jacket, we recommend that you fill a small basin with a mixture of water, delicate soap suitable for leather, a little vinegar and baking soda.

As we indicated in the other cleaning method, it is convenient that there is always a greater amount of water than soap. As for vinegar and baking soda, we should only add a pinch of both, because although both are perfect natural cleaning agents to remove odors and stains, they have a very high level of acidity and could have a counterproductive effect on the skin.

To clean our lining it is convenient to use a soft bristle brush, like the one we use to comb the babies, or a cotton or microfiber cloth. We dampen it slightly, do not soak it, gently rub the entire surface and remove the excess soap with a dry towel.

Afterwards, we will only have to let it dry hanging in a cool place with a low sun exposure. It is important that our jacket dries well and in a dry place, as leather is a material that can easily create mold and that would be fatal for our precious jacket.

Cleaning with a washing machine

3. Cleaning with a washing machine

If you prefer to clean your jacket with the help of a washing machine, either because you don't have the patience to clean it by hand or because you never have the time, we inform you that there are now washing machines with washing programs suitable for natural and synthetic leather jackets, guaranteeing a complete and risk-free cleaning.

Step by step

The best way to clean your jacket in the washing machine is to use special soap for delicate garments, set the washing machine with the program for delicate garments and at a maximum temperature of 30. This way, the jacket will not deform or shrink.

On the other hand, it will not be necessary to use fabric softener or spin-drying. It will be enough to wait for the washing cycle to finish and hang our jacket in a well ventilated and shaded place. Afterwards, we will be able to use our jacket again and show it off as if it were brand new.

In short, by following this guide you will be able to make your precious vintage leather jacket always look like it was just bought. Do not hesitate to put into practice everything we have explained throughout this article to start noticing the results and take care of your jacket as it deserves!