Easy ways to keep your Jackets Young and Gracious
A leather jacket is to your wardrobe what a Beyoncé track is to your workout: critical. Whether it’s colored leather or classic black, this throw-on-and-go essential is the foundation of every It-girl’s closet.
However, unlike your other favorite fashion pieces, a leather cover-up requires a certain amount of TLC. You can’t just toss it in the wash, or carelessly soak in detergent overnight to remove stains. If you want to freshen up that jacket, and keep it looking new for more than a couple of seasons, you’ll need to know these six tips.
1. Remember that prevention is always better than a cure.
If your jacket is still brand new and unworn, make sure you protect your investment before wearing it out. Think about it—you wouldn’t drive an uninsured car, right?
Spending just five minutes waterproofing your leather jacket will help protect from water damage (obviously), but also make the fabric more resistant to stains–Meltonian Water and Stain Protector ($5.20) will do the job. Before you go ahead and waterproof the whole jacket, spot test somewhere hidden (like under the arm).
If it’s too late, and you’ve already worn your jacket out without waterproofing, just skip right to steps two, and then circle back to step one right at the end of your process. It also doesn’t hurt to re-waterproof every few months, after you clean your jacket.
2. Let water stains dry naturally.
If you accidentally get caught in the rain, or spill some water on yourself, don’t try and throw your leather or suede jacket in the dryer, and don’t spot-dry with a hair-dryer. The direct heat will damage the leather. Instead, we recommend you hang the damp piece somewhere light and airy and allow water to dry out naturally.
3. Use alcohol to remove ink stains.
There are few things more annoying than dropping a black pen on your cream leather jacket–but there is a cheap and easy fix. Plain old rubbing alcohol (also called Isopropyl alcohol if you’re looking for it in the store) is great at removing ink stains from smooth leather, but don’t try this on suede, which is best left for a professional dry cleaner.
Use a white cotton cloth, avoiding colored cloth as the dye may run, soaked with alcohol and blot the stain gently until the ink has faded. Be careful here, scrubbing to hard could fade the color of your leather.
4. Freeze your jacket to freshen it up.
After a few wears, your jacket will probably be begging for a clean, but might not be quite ready for a trip to the dry-cleaner. To remove odor, kill lingering bacteria, and give the piece a general freshen-up, simply wrap your cover-up in a plastic bag and pop it in the freezer overnight.
5. Apply a leather conditioner.
After following any of the above tips, make sure you finish by applying a leather conditioner, this will keep the leather soft and supple, and help stop it from drying out and cracking. Before you apply all over, do a spot test to make sure the conditioner doesn’t remove any dye from the fabric.
6. Store somewhere cool and dry.
Once you’re happy with your clean jacket, keep it somewhere cool and dry to avoid damage from mold and mildew.