Asked on Jul 21, 2017

How do you clean a leather coat?

EmilyDesertRoseMolly Anmar
+10

Answered

coat has mildew on it

6 answers
  • Emily
    Emily
    on Jul 21, 2017

    I probably would wash it in the washing machine with lots of towels. If it is light colored I would add a little bleach.



    • Molly Anmar
      Molly Anmar
      on Jul 22, 2017

      Always check the inner lining or the inside of the inner side pocket for the manufacturer’s care labels on cleaning instructions and the actual type of leather used to make the coat or jacket. The instruction labels often instruct you to bring your leather apparel to a professional cleaner that specializes in leather apparels because the many different types of leather used in manufacturing the coat/jacket prevent any one single cleaning method at home to be 100% effective 100% of the time.

      Washing Machine wash has sometimes been recommended leather care websites again to clean your leather coat/jacket. Adding 2 tablespoons of laundry detergent, setting the shortest delicate wash cycle, using cold water at the lowest load setting, turning your leather garment inside out and zipping/buttoning it up does NOT mean you will avoid or even reduce your chances of permanently damaging your garment.

      In fact, it is simply not worth taking the risk just to ensure that you achieve an absolutely clean and nice smelling interior. The thread stitching can come undone; the lining material can form unsightly and uneven clumps after having been soaked through with water. Because you have absolutely no idea how the leather was tanned, the leather can shrink, get stained or discolor with unsightly patches.

      Please note Suede and Nubuck leathers should never be cleaned using home methods and they also cannot be conditioned with any oils or other types of liquid conditioners.

  • Jan Clark
    Jan Clark
    on Jul 21, 2017

    Unless you are spot cleaning, take it to a reliable cleaner that will clean leather. For spot cleaning or just the leather itself (rather than a complete washing because the lining is grody), go ahead and use a leather cleaner and follow the instructions. Liquid cleaners are no better than pastes, but they do require a bit more work. : )
  • C. D. Scallan
    C. D. Scallan
    on Jul 21, 2017

    I would wipe the mildew away with a clean cloth dipped in vinegar then treat the leather to prevent it from drying out with a proper leather conditioner or my favorite , coconut oil .
  • Molly Anmar
    Molly Anmar
    on Jul 21, 2017

    Ironically, most of the reason why mildew forms on leather has nothing to do with the leather itself, but the oils you put on it to keep it soft and in good shape. The worst thing you can do is put too much oil, or rather leather conditioner, on your leather jacket or item. Leather needs oils to lubricate the leather fibers to stop them drying out and cracking.

    The best way to fix the mildew is take it to a professional leather cleaner. That may sound like a cop out, but it’s the best way to get it cleaned. Ask your local dry cleaners if they know how to clean leather items. But lets say you want to try to fix it yourself, fine. first hang it out in a sunny spot and let it dry and bake for a few hours.

    Then mix up a 50/50 mix of water and rubbing alcohol. If you can actually see mold, brush off what you can, but don’t force it. Take a clean washcloth and rub the mixture all over the leather jacket. Make sure you get it in those cracks and corners. Let it dry, then if you still see mildew try brushing it off and do the whole treatment again. Light colored leather may get discolored doing this, or darker.

    Now take some leather cleaner like saddle soap, and clean the whole leather item. If it’s a leather jacket you want to pull the sleeves inside out and treat those too. Then let it dry once again. By now all the mildew should be gone and it should smell better. Doing all that has now stripped the leather item of oils, so you need to apply leather conditioner.

    BUT REMEMBER, the oils in the conditioner are what makes the mildew in the first place! You DO need to apply it, as it protects the leather fibers. But don’t put too much on, use a light coat and rub it in well. Once done make sure you wipe off ALL the excess. Use a toothbrush on the seams and cracks to get it all off.

    Now if it’s just one spot or so on your leather item, you do the same thing but just on that spot. Dry it, brush off the mildew, wipe with that mixture, dry it again, repeat if you have to, clean it with leather cleaner, and apply leather conditioner LIGHTLY!

  • DesertRose
    DesertRose
    on Jul 21, 2017

    see your local western wear store or Country store that carries saddle soap. It is the best way to clean a leather coat. Follow the instructions carefully
  • Emily
    Emily
    on Jul 22, 2017

    Hi, I recommended washing in the machine as I thought the coat would be a total loss if mildew not removed. I guess it depends on how valuable. . . in whatever way; the coat is to the owner. I often find leather pockets (used) for free and I always turn them inside out and throw them in my washer, and I do the same for my leather shoes well soft shoes, not heels! I don't mean to be cavalier but there are many things I have a relaxed attitude about.
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