How To Bring Your Leather Jacket Back To Life!
[0:00:00] The leather jacket, the ultimate example of
rugged masculine style. But, did you know that if you don’t take care of your jacket
properly, you can send it to an early grave. Stains, fading, and even cracks will destroy
the most well-made leather jacket. But, how to take care of your leather jacket?
Should you run it through the washing machine, then run it through the dryer? Wrong! Don’t
ever do that, you’re going to ruin your jacket that way.
Leather has two enemies – moisture and heat. If your jacket gets soaked and you don’t
dry it out properly, you let it sit, you can deal with mold and mildew issues which will
ruin the leather. Water can also wash away the natural oils in the leather and it can
make the leather brittle and prone to crack over time.
What about using heat to dry out the leather? Gentlemen, if done improperly, heat can cause
leather to shrink and can over dry the leather leading to cracks. Using a heat dryer to dry
your leather jacket, laying it across the radiator, or even laying it out in the sun
can cause damage. So, how to dry your leather jacket if it’s
wet? One is a wide shoulder hanger. Don’t try to use a regular hanger, it will damage
your leather jacket. Now, when you hang it up, make sure it’s got plenty of ventilation.
Leave it for about twenty four hours and it should be dry.
So now, let’s talk about cleaning a leather jacket because how can you clean a leather
jacket if you can’t soak it in water? Let me show you. Dampen a cotton rag or a microfiber
cloth and gently rub it over the leather jacket to remove any dirt or dust. Now, a little
water won’t hurt your jacket, soaking it is what really causes the issues.
Protip. When using water to clean your jacket, use only distilled water. Regular tap water
contains minerals that can cause stains of their own. I recommend giving your jacket
a quick wipe down like this once every month or two to keep dirt from building up.
But, what if it’s really dirty? What if you got dirt cake on the jacket? What if it
looks like you need to throw it into the washing machine? No! Still don’t do it, gentlemen.
Now, my favorite product for cleaning leather is saddle soap. It’s gentler on leather
and it easily cuts through dirt and grime. Now, to get started what you want to do is
rub a damp cloth over the saddle soap to create a lather. Gently rub a thin layer of the saddle
soap over the area that’s dirty. Next, remove any excess soap with the damp cloth and let
dry for 10 to 15 minutes. Protip. Remember to spot test any leather
cleaning product or conditioner on a small area of your jacket preferably in a place
that no one’s going to be able to see to check for stain. This is important, gentlemen.
Now, if you do decide to give your entire leather jacket a deep cleaning, only do this
once a year because here’s the issue, using that saddle soap you’re removing a lot of
the essential oils on the outside and even some on the inside of the leather and you’re
going to need to replace that. You now need to condition the leather which by the way
I’m going to cover later in this video. Now, what about leather stains? Leather stains
can be a bit trickier to get rid of. Depending on what actually stained the jacket. Now,
stains from food and liquids can usually be removed at home, but a bad ink stain, guys,
that’s going to probably require professional help.
If it’s a fresh stain, immediately you want to use a clean cloth to gently blot as much
of the liquid or grease from the jacket as possible. Notice I said blot, not rub in.
Now, if the stain is still isn’t removed, we’re going to level up our efforts here
and we’re going to use a simple dish soap. Simply mix a bit with water and then you’re
going to use cloth to gently dap at the stain with the mixture. Again, we’re not rubbing
it in, we’re not pressing hard. Now, after you’ve been dabbing away with
that soapy mixture, go ahead and wipe it away with a fresh wet cloth. Finally, use another
cloth to lightly dry the area. At this point, you’re going to let the leather
sit and completely dry for a few hours. Once dried, check to see if the stain is still
there. If so, repeat the process again. Now, if the stain is more stubborn, it’s
not coming out with dish soap, you want to use a stain remover specifically formulated
for leather. You can find them out there tons of brands.
Now, every product is going to have its own set of instructions. For this one right here
for what I’m using, it says to apply it with a sponge and then gently wipe it over
the stain in small circles. Now, wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove any excess
stain remover and repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.
Now, at this point, gentlemen, if the stain persists, it’s time to take it to the professionals.
What you’re going to want to do is call all the drycleaners in your area and let them
know what the stain is and that it is in leather. And ask them if they specialize in dealing
with leather products. Now, let’s talk about how to deal with leather
jacket that has become faded and scratched. Now, leather jackets are going to fade and
develop a patina over time. That’s part of their charm, but too much patina from neglecting
the care of your jacket, guys, that just looks unsightly. And the worst part is that some
of those deep scratches if not taken care of can develop into cracks. Cracks that can
create holes right in your jacket and can make the jacket unwearable.
[0:05:03] So, the first step in the defense of your
jacket from becoming faded, scratched, and cracked, gentlemen, leather conditioner. What’s
the best leather conditioner? Down in the description of today’s video, I am going
to link over to my resources at RealMenRealStyle.com where I talk about different leather conditioners
and I give you more insight into maybe what you’re looking for.
So, to get started, use a soft cloth and apply a thin layer of leather conditioner over the
entire jacket paying careful attention to areas like the elbows where the stress of
flexing is more likely to cause cracking. Now, when you’re applying a leather conditioner,
you want to apply it in moderation. Let it soak for about 20 minutes, and if you see
you apply too much, remove the excess. Now, when is a good time to condition your
leather jacket? Anytime you get caught in the rain and that jacket gets wet and you
let it dry out. Also, if you clean the jacket recently with saddle soap, you want to apply
a leather conditioner. And, of course, don’t forget to apply leather
conditioner after you’ve treated the stain especially a spot stain. When you put that
stain remover on there, it didn’t just pull off the stain, it also pulled out a bit of
moisture. Now, a general rule of thumb is to condition
your jacket once a year, but if you rarely wear the leather jacket, if it sits in your
closet and it’s climate controlled, guys, once every five years is going to be fine.
But, what if you wear it all the time? It gets wet or you live in a dry climate like
Arizona? Guys, I would recommend two to three times a year.
Now, let’s talk about recoloring the jacket. You can actually buy special balm in the color
of your jacket. Let’s say you’ve got a black leather jacket, it’s starting to lose
some of its color, it’s become gray in areas. You use this balm like a conditioner on the
outside of the jacket. Again, making sure to test it in a small area and you would be
surprised about what you can do yourself with these balms to recolor the jacket and bring
back its natural shine and look. Now, remember, gentlemen, when it comes to
these balms, less is more. Oftentimes, you’re going to want to go in small circular strokes
and work the balm into the leather. Now, these balms in general work rather quick, but you’re
going to need to let them dry and to go over and buff, look at the results and then say,
“Hey, do I want to apply another layer?” Maybe you do and then go for it until you
get the color desired. And, by the way, I’ve seen guys do this
on their entire jacket when they wanted to make the jacket a slightly different color,
they wanted to take a lighter jacket and make it a little bit darker. Again, this is something
you need to spot check, see how it looks, but don’t be afraid to have fun with your
jacket and go for a different look. So, we’ve talked about repair and recovery,
but what can you do to protect your leather jacket from the elements? In my opinion, one
of the best products out there is a water resistant silicone spray.
This right here is going to do a great job of protecting your jacket. And if you have
a suede jacket, this is required, otherwise, yes, one rainstorm and you can end up looking
like, you know, Jerry over at Seinfeld. Yeah, remember that episode? We don’t want that
to happen to you. Now, to apply the spray, go and light overlapping
strokes until you’ve covered the entire garment. Make sure you’re in an area that’s
well-ventilated and wait about 12 hours until the leather has completely dried after you
sprayed the silicone spray on. So, what video to watch next? Gentlemen, check
out this video where I teach you how to take an old beat up pair of dress shoes and bring
them back to life. [0:08:28] End of audio