Leather clothing, like leather jackets, pants, skirts, and vests, make up some of the wardrobe choices of stylish people in various parts of the country. Bikers have long relied on the protection that leather provides. It is necessary and recommended to clean you it. Just like housecleaning, cleaning your leather is important. Is there a way to do this at home, so as not to incur the exorbitant prices professionals may charge for cleaning our leather clothes? Yes, there is a way—maybe even two. Important steps must be taken to ensure you don’t do damage to the leather while attempting to clean each article of clothing.
Leather Clothing: Commercial or Homemade Cleaner?
You have two options when cleaning leather clothing if you opt not to seek professional cleaning. You may choose to buy a commercial leather cleaning product or to make your own at home. It’s important when cleaning leather clothing to not simply clean it but also conditioned it.
Cleaning Solution Supplies: (depending on which solution you decide to make)
- White Vinegar
- Food grade Linseed Oil
- Soft Lint-free White Cloths
- Spray Bottle
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Electric Fan
- Aerosol Hairspray
- Non-acetone Fingernail Polish Remover
- Regular Toothpaste (not whitening)
- Liquid Dishwashing Soap
- Clean Sponge
Mix one-part white vinegar with two parts food grade linseed oil. Swirl the mixture onto the item you’re cleaning. Leave the solution on the article of clothing overnight, then buff off thoroughly with a second cloth the next morning. You may use straight linseed oil if you believe your skirt, jacket, vest, or pants simply require some conditioning. Simply apply with the clean, lint-free cloth and leave on for a couple of hours. Make sure to wipe away any remaining oil that hasn’t soaked into the leather, and follow up by buffing thoroughly with another clean lint-free cloth.
Mold and Mildew
Occasionally, beloved articles of leather clothing become soiled with either mold or mildew. This requires a different method of cleaning. Mixing one part rubbing alcohol with one-part water in a spray bottle should do the trick, however. Spray the solution on a damp lint-free cloth, then proceed to scrub as needed. Replace the cloth when it becomes soiled. Repeat the process until the mold or mildew is gone. Allow the item to dry, but make sure to avoid direct sunlight, or this might cause the leather to crack. A fan turned to low speed will help the drying process.
What About the Lining?
Now you know a few steps you can take when cleaning the leather part of leather clothing, but what can be done to clean the lining? Surely after wearing each item a number of times, the lining has become malodorous or soiled.
If the lining is removable, by all means take that step first. Then launder the lining of your leather skirt, pants, or jacket according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the label. If the lining isn’t removable, take the following steps.
Fill a basin with warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Soak a sponge in the solution and wring in out. Wash the lining by hand, using the sponge.
Rinse the sponge in clean water and wring it out. Go over the lining once again. This will help remove any remaining soap residue and should greatly improve upon the smell of the lining. Turn the garment inside out and hang to dry, using a fan to ensure drying takes place before any mildewing sets in.
Additional Tough Stains
What can be done for other stains that make leather clothing unsightly? Rest assured there are a few tried-and-true methods for cleaning them, too. Start with toothpaste. Provided it isn’t whitening toothpaste, you may squeeze some directly on the stain, lightly scrubbing before wiping it off.
If toothpaste doesn’t do the trick, you can try aerosol hairspray. Spray some directly on the stain. Wipe it away immediately. This process will likely need to be repeated a few times before you see the stain fading. Make sure not to allow the hairspray to dry on the leather.
If you’ve gotten ink on your leather clothes, you may try some non-acetone fingernail polish remover. Apply it to a soft cloth and immediately wipe away. Some of these methods will work on your leather living room furniture when you do your housecleaning.
You can certainly look stylish in your leather clothing without letting the cost of cleaning it get you down. All of the aforementioned solutions are relatively low-cost and very simple to use. The will work when you do your housecleaning, if you have any leather furniture. The result is a wardrobe full of great looking leather clothing that smells good, looks good, and is conditioned to a comfortable, buttery softness. When you care for your leather clothing this way, it will likely last for years—maybe even long enough to go out of style!