How to Clean Your Leather Jacket or Coat Naturally
Leather is a classy and long-lasting addition to anyone's wardrobe, but it's important to remember to clean and condition your leather often to keep it from aging prematurely. Still, most people don't carry leather conditioner in the cabinet.
In the article below, I'll show you an easy way to clean your leather jacket, coat, shoes, or sofa (any leather, really) using natural ingredients you can find in your kitchen.
How to Clean a Leather Jacket Naturally
Before going to town on your leather piece, be sure to test a small, inconspicuous area to make sure the solution won't stain the material.
- Juice from one lemon, or 3 to 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Paper towels
- Optional: tea tree essential oil
- Dab the paper towel in the olive oil. Then, dab it in the lemon juice.
- Apply the solution to the material. You will notice that the leather absorbs the oil.
- When the paper towel gets try, dab it with more lemon juice and olive oil.
- Continue this process until you have covered all of the leather. Try to use the same paper towel for the whole process, as it will get more oily and allow you to oil the jacket more evenly.
- Optional: Add 5 to 6 drops of tea tree essential oil to the same paper towel, and apply it to the material. This will make the leather smell great and repel bacteria and mold.
Let the jacket sit for a while before wearing to let the leather absorb the solution.
Note: This method works fine in a pinch. However, if the jacket is very dry, use mink oil or oil containing beeswax. Also, if you warm up the leather in the sun or using a heating vent, the oil will seep into the leather more effectively.
Clean Other Types of Leather
I've used the following method to clean different pairs of leather shoes. The process does not work well on suede.
- Dip a paper towel into some lemon juice and rub it into the leather on your shoes.
- Once you have rubbed on the lemon juice, go over it with olive oil.
- Dab a new paper towel in the olive oil and polish the leather
Couches or Sofas
- Sprinkle lemon juice onto your couch, then take a rag and wipe it down.
- Put the olive oil on the same rag and wipe down the couch again.
I do this with my own leather couches, and they have been just fine. However, if you are concerned about conditioning your couch according to industry standards, you can try either mink oil or a commercial leather cleaner. These aren't nearly as environmentally friendly, though.
Another Benefit of Using Olive Oil
One of the added benefits you can enjoy from cleaning your leather with olive oil is good skin. As a matter of fact, olive oil is really good for your skin! When you're cleaning your jacket, don't worry about the oil and lemon juice getting on your hands. The lemon juice gets rid of dirt and grime, and the olive oil conditions and moisturizes your hands.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2012 Cynthia Calhoun