Leather jackets have been an important part of a man’s wardrobe for decades, whether you remember Marlon Brando in The Wild One looking cool and sophisticated or Indiana Jones looking rough and ready for an adventure. They add a higher level of style without taking away from the manly look. But finding a leather jacket that fits your lifestyle is only half the battle. When you finally find the right jacket, you need to keep it clean without spending a lot of money. Here’s how to clean a leather jacket at home.

If you take care of your leather jacket, it can last for many years. Even though you can’t wash these with the rest of your clothes, the procedure is simple than it sounds. The jacket doesn’t need to be cleaned often because it’s supposed to look worn in, so only do this when the jacket needs extra attention. Depending on the type of stain, the process will be different and you may need different tools.

Leather jacket

How to Clean Your Jacket at Home

There is a better way to keep your jacket looking as good as the day you bought it than to take it to the dry cleaners every six months or whenever it gets a stain.

Step 1: Mix warm water with dish soap or make a cleaning solution by mixing equal parts of vinegar and water.

Step 2: Put the solution on a soft cloth, wring it out, and wipe the jacket with it. Don’t wash the jacket at all.

Step 3: Wash off the cleaning solution with a second clean, damp cloth.

Step 4: Use a towel to dry the jacket.

Taking Care of Stains

This method works best if you just want to freshen up your jacket every so often. But how do you get rid of stains? Small stains that ruin the look of a great jacket are the worst thing that could happen. Here’s how to get rid of the most common types of stains.

How to Get Rid of Ink Stains

Ink stains on your jacket can be taken care of with nail polish remover. Here’s what you need to do.

Step 1: Put some nail polish remover on a cotton swab.

Step 2: Gently blot the area, but DON’T scrub, or the stain could spread. Blot up the stain until it’s gone.

Step 3: Use a damp cloth to clean it.

Step 4: Use a separate towel to dry.

How to Get Oil and Grease Out of Clothes

Whether you’re eating pizza or changing the oil in your F-14, accidents happen, and you need to find a way to get grease and oil stains out of your jacket. How? Here’s how.

Step 1: Put baking soda on the stain.

Step 2: Use a damp cloth to rub gently.

Step 3: Let the jacket sit overnight. The baking soda will soak up the oil or grease.

Step 4: Use a soft cloth to brush the powder off the jacket.

Step 5: Use a towel to dry the jacket.

How to Get Rid of Mildew or Mold

If you’ve been living in a tropical climate for a while, it may have been a long time since you got to wear your best Steve McQueen look. When you pull a jacket out of storage and smell mildew, it’s the worst thing that could happen. Don’t worry, we know what to do to get you back in the jacket and on the bike quickly.

Step 1: Mix one part rubbing alcohol and one part water to make a solution.

Step 2: Soak a cloth in the solution and rub it over the mold.

Step 3: Clean with a second wet cloth.

Step 4: Use a towel to dry.

The last thing you want to do is protect your leather jacket after you’ve cleaned it. Just like dermatologists tell you to put moisturizer on your face after you shower, you need a leather conditioner to keep your jacket looking good. Leather Honey is one of the best out there. If you put a little of that on the jacket after you’ve cleaned it, people will soon think you look like Indiana Jones.

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