How to care for a leather jacket

A leather jacket is a staple in many wardrobes because they’re practically synonymous with being casually cool and anyone can pull off the look. However, with such a popular item of clothing, it’s surprising that most people are unfamiliar with how to properly care for a leather jacket.

At Lakeland Leather, we frequently get asked about caring for our leather jackets so we’ve put together a guide that will tell you everything you need to know about looking after your favourite piece of outerwear, including:

  1. General care and best practices
  2. Storage
  3. Cleaning
  4. Removing stains
  5. Conditioning
  6. Repairs and fading
  7. Suggested products

General care and best practices

Although each leather jacket may have its own specific care guidelines, there are some general best practices that apply across the board and these are as follows:

  • Keep your leather jacket away from intense or direct heat.
  • Never put stickers on your jacket.
  • Try to keep your jacket as dry as possible; avoid wearing it in the rain.
  • Frequently apply protection spray.

By following these golden rules, you shouldn’t encounter too many problems with your jacket.


The way in which you store your leather jacket is really important, because poorly stored leather is easy to spot, even when it’s being worn.

To hang your jacket, use a wide, padded hanger to avoid wrinkling the material and, because leather is a natural material, it should be hung in a cool and dry area, as it needs to be able to breathe properly. However, try not to let the jacket touch the wardrobe! We have had customers in the past whose jackets have been damaged by the varnish in their wardrobes, so it can be a good idea to opt for a soft nylon garment, unless it’s going to be stored in a very well-ventilated area.

If you do happen to get your jacket wet or damp, you’ll also need to hang it out until it dries, to avoid wrinkling the material. To properly dry it, hang your jacket (again, on a wide and padded clothes hanger) at room temperature, and ensure that all of its pockets are empty and that it’s not hanging near a direct source of heat.

After the jacket is dry, it’s best to condition it using our new leather Revive and Renew Cream.


About once or twice every year, (depending on how often you wear your jacket) you should clean it. You can use warm water with a touch of soap, or try our Foam Cleaner that is specifically designed to cleaning leather. Using a soft sponge or lint-free cloth gently work the soap, or cleaner into the dirty area, or across the whole jacket in slow circular motions. You shouldn't need much. Afterwards gently dry the jacket by dabbing it with a dry cloth.

We would always recommend cleaning your jacket yourself, and avoiding dry cleaning.

However, if you absolutely have to use a dry cleaner, be sure to seek out a local one who has experience with leather and sheepskin.

Removing Stains

Leather jackets are similar to most other articles of clothing, in that the longer you leave a stain on them, the harder it is to get out. However, regardless of how fast you act, some stains will always be easier to remove than others.

Liquid stains are perhaps the easiest of stains to remove from leather. The first step is to apply some our cleaning foam. Once you’ve done that, dab the same area with a dry cloth and repeat this process until the stain is gone. To ensure that liquid stains disappear easily, remember to apply protector to your jacket when you buy it.

It’s easiest to remove ink stains when they’re still wet, but getting rid of an ink stain is still possible once it’s dried. The most effective way of doing this is to use our Nappa Leather Fresh Ink Remover. However, it’s important to do so as soon as possible in order for the ink remover to be effective.

One of the last things you want on your leather jacket is mould, so to avoid it, always store it in a cool, dry place. However, if you do find mould, the best thing to do is take your jacket outside, and try to buff it clean with a lint-free cloth, followed by some cleaner, protection spray and conditioner just to be sure!


Conditioning used to be a vital aspect of jacket care as, without doing so, you would run the risk of your jacket drying and cracking. In recent years, though, the tanning process has been updated, so drying and cracking are less likely to occur if you have a new jacket.

However, weather conditions, washing, drying, and environmental conditions can all wear your jacket down over time, so try to use a conditioner as required. Directions for conditioners may vary from brand to brand, so make sure you read the label carefully.

Repairs and fading

One of the most common issues with leather jackets is that the colours fade due to exposure to the elements. If this happens to your jacket, your initial action should be to clean it thoroughly with foam cleaner as it could just be dirty.

If the jacket is still faded after cleaning, try applying our Revive and Renew Cream, followed by protection cream. However, it’s important to remember that fading is a normal part of the ageing process for a leather jacket and it can sometimes even make the jacket look better!

You may also notice some scratches on your jacket and this is all part of normal wear and tear. If a scratch is fairly minor, applying some conditioner should do the trick.

Sadly, tears and rips can happen as well but we do offer a repair service here at Lakeland. Drop us an email to or give us a call on 015394 39030 to see if we can help.

Suggested Products

In order to take the best possible care of your leather jacket, we recommend only using reputable products. To get you started, here are a few products that we suggest you use to ensure that you’re carrying out proper leather jacket care:

Hopefully, this guide has given you some insight into how to properly care for your leather jacket. As it’s often an expensive, but frequently-worn and much-loved purchase, it’s always a good idea to keep it in tip-top shape.