Tips on Cleaning a Leather Jacket

The best way to clean a leather jacket is to follow a set of very specific instructions. Leather doesn't respond well to water or everyday soap. If you try to use them, you may end up with water marks or stains. Instead, follow these six tips on cleaning leather jackets:

  • Use Conditioner First

Your jacket will hold up over the long haul and respond better to cleaning if you condition the leather before wearing it. This helps it stay strong and resist cracking.

  • Clean Once a Year

Unless you get a stain on your jacket, limit your cleaning to every three months or once each year, depending on the use of your jacket. You can also recondition the leather to strengthen it for the coming year.

  • Use a Dry Brush to Remove Dust

Before you dive in, run a dry brush over the jacket to get rid of any small debris. Be sure to brush in the same direction so you don't mess up the grain.

  • Wipe Down the Jacket with a Leather Cleaner

You should only use solutions specially formulated to treat leather, such as our Leather Ultra Cleaner, to clean the jacket. Never spray the product directly on the jacket — apply it to a sponge and gently rub the entire jacket.

  • Spot Clean with Leather Wipes

If you need to treat a stain between your annual cleanings, leather wipes work best for spot cleaning. You can purchase Leather Wipes from our store and keep them in your purse or briefcase for easy access when spills occur while you're on the go.

  • Thoroughly Dry Your Jacket After Cleaning

After you clean or wipe down your jacket, let it air dry for at least 24 hours so mildew doesn't develop if the damp area remains moist. Hang it on a hanger and place it in a room where air circulates or you have a ceiling fan.


Now that you know how to clean a leather jacket, you may want to purchase a Leather Care Kit from Furniture Clinic to help you with the process. You can get free shipping on your purchase when you spend at least $25. After you're done shopping, we invite you to discover more DIY tips in our e-Learning Center.