Nasty DIYs: How to Clean Your Trusty Leather Jacket

Love your leather for years to come.


By Rebecca Byatt


We know that you and your leather jacket have been through thick and thin. Countless first Tinder dates, a gazillion gigs and more nights out than we’ve had hot dinners. It’s a constant in your wardrobe that pairs perfectly with any outfit: summer or winter, night or day. Whether it’s makeup around the collar, a pizza sauce stain on the sleeve or just in some general need of TLC, these steps to cleaning your leather jacket will bring it back to life. After all, we’re all about working with what we’ve got.

These steps can apply for both real leather or vegan leather jackets but also be sure to read the care label for any specific requirements. Cleaning a leather jacket should always be done by hand. Try to avoid machine washing.

Disclaimer: If your leather jacket is looking seriously past its sell by date, there are professional cleaners who would probably be the more suitable option. If you are cleaning your own leather jacket, then test these steps on a small area of the material first.

What you will need:

What you will need:


  • Your leather jacket
  • A clean, dry cloth
  • Soap
  • Hot water
  • Fabric spray



  • Leather wipes
  • Leather cleaner
Washing the Outside of Your Leather Jacket:

Washing the Outside of Your Leather Jacket:


We used specialist leather wipes but you can use warm soapy water and a clean sponge or cloth, use circular motions to wash away any dirt, dust or stains. Try and be gentle and use a small amount of water to avoid damaging the leather.


Top Tip: There are leather cleaners available to buy which you can buff into the jacket with a cloth to make it shine.

Washing the Inside of Your Leather Jacket:

Step 1:

Step 1:

Turn the jacket inside out and lay it out on a clean surface.

Step 2:

Step 2:

Use a small amount of warm soapy water on a clean cloth and wipe the lining to remove any stains. Usual areas to pick up stains are around the collar and cuffs.

Step 3:

Step 3:

Hang the leather jacket and leave it to air dry inside out.

Top Tip: For extra freshness, try spraying the lining with scented fabric spray and leave to dry before wearing.

Caring for a Leather Jacket: Top Tips

We’ve put together our Top Nasty Tips to help treat your leather jacket with love and care, so it can love you back for years to come:


  • Hang the leather jacket on a clothes hanger whenever you’re not wearing it, so that it keeps its shape. Try and hang in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight to avoid bleaching or mould developing.
  • Waterproofing your leather jacket can be a good idea to ensure that it is less susceptible to stains and damage as it forms a barrier to protect the leather.
  • Special stain remover or leather conditioner is great for cleaning and protecting your leather jacket, but be sure to test on a small, discreet area first.
  • In order to keep your leather jacket looking fresh all of the time, clean with a wipe or damp cloth weekly or fortnightly to keep on top of the dirt.
  • BONUS: these steps can also be used on all faux & real leather clothing from leather pants to leather skirts.

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