Whether you wear your leather jacket every day or once a month, just like any other kind of outerwear, it will eventually get dirty. When it comes to cleaning leather, there is a lot of information floating around; the most important tip is to have leather garments cleaned professionally. Just thinking about the price of anything marketed as professional is intimidating, but don't worry, we have done the research, and we are going to tell you just how much it will cost to keep your leather good as new.
The typical price range for having a leather jacket professionally dry cleaned falls anywhere between $40 and $100. Along with the jacket characteristics affecting your costs, the professional cleaner themselves also plays a part. A few characteristics of your jacket will affect the price you are charged for the cleaning:
- Leather type
- Jacket length
- Jacket condition
Although getting your leather jacket cleaned can get a little pricey, remember that it is an investment to keep leather looking great. Cleaning this kind of jacket is not as simple as cleaning other fabrics, and you can be sure at the dry cleaners that your leather is being properly cared for. You can also do some things in between professional cleanings to keep your jacket fresh -keep reading to learn more!
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What factors influence the price?
You may look at the range and wonder which price will apply to you. Here are some factors that you can compare to your jacket to estimate how much it will cost:
Leather type is important when trying to pinpoint price because some forms of leather require special care to clean, which will bump up the price. Here are a few different types of leather and their professional cleaning starting prices:
- Faux leather: $40 to $70
- Real leather: $40 to $100
- Suede leather: $50 to $100
As you most likely guessed -- the longer the jacket, the more it will cost. Here is a breakdown of different jacket lengths and their price ranges.
- Regular length, under 30 inches: $40 to $90
- 3/4 length, 30 to 36 inches: $50 to $90
- Full, knee-length: $60 to $100
Lastly, the condition that your jacket is in can influence the price. It can extend costs even past the high end of the price scale. If your jacket has damage from the sun, rips, or ink stains, you can expect to pay a little more for the additional cleaning service required. Major stain removal, patching holes, and even recoloring are services offered by professional leather cleaners and are quoted on a case-to-case basis. Removal of stains from regular wear, such as sweat stains, is covered under normal cleaning prices.
Now that you are armed with the knowledge of what will affect the price of cleaning your jacket, there are a few other important things to know to properly care for your jacket.
Can you take a leather jacket to the dry cleaner?
Yes, you can take your leather jacket to the dry cleaner. In this article, we've mentioned dry cleaners a few times, and used the general term professional leather cleaners. Is there a difference between the two? Yes, the main difference is their specialty. Your local dry cleaner does not typically have the same level of leather expertise and a leather professional because they clean all kinds of materials.
There is no harm in taking your leather jacket to a regular dry cleaner if it is for routine cleaning. However, if you have leather items that require special attention, like vintage, exotic, or badly damaged leather, you should seek professionals who specialize in cleaning leather.
Dry cleaning is also a way to soften a leather jacket. Click here to read our guide on how to soften a leather jacket.
How do professionals clean leather jackets?
Leather jackets can be cleaned in two main ways: wet cleaning and dry cleaning. The kind of cleaning for your jacket will vary depending on where you take it, as well as the extent that the jacket needs to be cleaned.
Dry cleaning is typically done by using a chemical cleaner. The chemicals in the cleaner are specially formulated to go through fibers and attract the dirt into it. After the cleaner sits in the fabric for a short time, it is then extracted, taking the dirt out with it.
One thing to be wary of about dry cleaning is the kind of chemicals used. If a general cleaner is used on your leather, it could cause damage like discoloration and cracking. Be sure to ask your local dry cleaner if they use a gentler chemical when cleaning leather.
Wet cleaning is what may be considered to be traditional cleaning. Professional leather cleaners have a deeper understanding of how leather works with and reacts to water, so it is better to let them handle the wet cleaning. Even by professionals, it should only be used only when needed. Wet cleaning is a better option for your jacket if you have big stains. Despite how this method sounds, you should never submerge your leather jacket in water unless you are trained to work with leather.
How often should a leather jacket be cleaned?
The frequency of cleaning is all up to you and your relationship with your jacket. If you only wear your jacket once a week, then monthly cleanings would be good for your jacket. On the other hand, if you wear your leather jacket every day, then you will want to clean it bi-weekly or even weekly if you choose. Based on the average cleaning prices, you are looking at a minimum of $160 a month if you get your jacket cleaned weekly.
Professional cleaning can get very pricey if you need to do it more than once a month. Professional cleaning is, of course, recommended, but it is not the only way to keep your leather clean. There are a few things you can do at home in between professional cleanings.
How to clean a leather jacket at home
Cleaning leather at home is not hard to do, but it can be hard to master. For that reason, it is recommended to leave intense cleanings to the experts to avoid damaging the material. There are plenty of leather cleaning systems available online for home use. Many of these systems are very simple spray cleaners and conditioners.
You can clean your leather at home by dampening a soft cloth with the cleaner and gently wiping at stains on the jacket. Once you are done cleaning, you take a second rag damp with clean water and remove the dirt. Lastly, pat the jacket dry with a towel and hang it up to dry fully out of direct sunlight. Afterward, it is imperative to condition the leather to add back moisture lost during cleaning.
This leather cleaner by Leather Honey is a well-known and highly recommended home leather care product.
Another popular product in the leather world is Lexol. Check out our article on using Lexol on leather jackets.
What household cleaners can you use on leather?
At-home cleaners are much more affordable than professional cleaning. Even so, if you want to go full DIY mode, there are some things you have already lying around in your house that can clean leather as well, like vinegar and water or mild detergent. Both of these household cleaners will clean any minor stains from leather. The process of cleaning with this solution is the same as using a commercial cleaner at home, as discussed above.
Cleaning leather can be expensive, but it is worth getting it done professionally to avoid doing damage to the leather. The prices can range from $40 to $100. Some factors that affect the price of your jacket cleaning are leather type, jacket length, and how dirty the jacket is.
In between professional cleanings, there are some options for home cleaning. You can use some vinegar or dish soap in water to gently clean. You can also buy cleaners marketed for leather cleaning. When taken care of, leather jackets can last for decades. Cleaning not only keeps the jacket looking new but also extends the life of your jacket if done properly.