Do I Need to Dry Clean My Leather Jacket?

A classic staple for any fashion expert or budding fashionista is the famous leather jacket. These jackets can be dressed up for an edgy business casual look or dressed down for a night at the bar. As with all clothing, a leather jacket needs cleaning eventually. You may be wondering, “Do leather coats need to be dry cleaned?” Luckily for you, we have the answer in this article.

Depending on the type of leather, a leather jacket may require different kinds of cleaning methods. According to Reid’s Dry Cleaner’s article “Leather Jacket Cleaning 101,” the first step to cleaning a leather jacket is learning what type of leather composes the beloved wardrobe piece. You can generally find the wash instructions and materials on the tag of a leather jacket, located inside the garment. The short answer is that some leather jackets can go through dry cleaning, while others may be better suited to other cleaning methods.

The care label should clearly indicate important information such as the recommended water temperature for washing and drying instructions. Even if you find advice that contradicts the jacket’s instructions, resist the temptation to try something different than the tag’s directions. You might ruin your jacket if you fail to follow the tag’s advice.

To preserve the integrity of the leather, use a moisture protectant or protection spray as directed when you plan to face rain, snow or sleet in a leather jacket. No amount of cleaning can restore a leather jacket to its original glory once it is damaged. Also, for damage control, experts recommend dabbing or blotting accidental spills or wet spots with a clean dry cloth. Then, let the jacket dry naturally.

If you have opted to send a leather jacket to the dry cleaners, air it out when it returns to your possession. Remove the plastic covering immediately and hang it on a wooden hanger. Plastic can dehydrate the leather and give it a flaky appearance. According to Leather Collection’s “CAN I DRY-CLEAN A LEATHER COAT?”, leaving the plastic on a leather jacket can also attract insects, which will damage the leather over time.

Advantages to dry cleaning a leather jacket include removing oil and fat stains from a leather jacket. Dry cleaning solvents can efficiently dissolve stains without harming the leather material. Unfortunately, beadings might experience color changes or even disintegration through dry cleaning solvent. The chemicals in dry cleaning might be too harsh for leather to handle, especially darker colored leather coats. Finding a leather specialist can make the difference between cleaning a coat and destroying it, so choose dry cleaners carefully for leather.

In conclusion, it is safe to dry clean a leather jacket as long as the cleaner uses natural organic solvents, since leather is a natural product. Although it can be scary to send our favorite expensive jacket to a dry cleaner, a professional dry cleaner who follows the jacket’s instructions for cleaning is a safe bet.