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Leather pants are super cool, but how in the world do you clean them? And how often do you have to clean them? We've researched to find out what the fashion experts say on this subject and have all the information gathered for your here.
The most common tip for cleaning leather pants is to know what type of leather it is and what type of finish it has. This determines how to clean it. For some leathers, you can use a bit of saddle soap and water. Other leathers you'll only want to dry clean or brush clean. If your pants get stretched out, cleaning them after every three or four wears may help tighten them back up.
We'll take a look at this process. We'll also explore water's relationship to leather, if you can put leather in the dryer or the washing machine, how to get stains out of leather pants, how you can condition leather pants, and finally, how to fold leather pants. So please, keep reading.
How Do You Clean And Dry Leather Pants?
The first thing you need to know is what type of leather you're dealing with. Cleaning a glossy finished leather is a whole different beast than cleaning unfinished leathers, like suede. There are different approaches for each.
Cleaning Finished Leather Pants
Finished leather pants often have a glossy shine on the surface. This is an indicator that your pants have a finish on them. One way to test this is to turn them inside out and find an interior seam. Test a few droplets on the shiny finished side of the seam. If it beads, then you know your leather pants are finished.
For this type of pants, if you need to get them back into a tighter shape and not smell stale, you can fluff them in the dryer for about five minutes. If they smell stale or have a stain, use a bar of saddle soap, water, and a cotton cloth to clean the surface gently. You can let them air dry or give them a quick fluff in the dryer.
Cleaning Unfinished Or Suede Pants
Unfinished or suede pants can have an adverse reaction to water, in other words, staining. So with this type of pants, opt for a good brushing for easy cleans. If you're dealing with a bad odor, then you can wash these, but know that the overall color may darken once it's gotten wet.
Use a leather detergent in your wash for gentle cleaning for this material.
Does Water Ruin Leather Pants?
If your leather is unfinished or dried out, then water can stain it. If water gets on your leather, the first step is to soak as much of it up as you can. Once it's thoroughly saturated is when you may have issues. After you've dried it out, then condition the leather to help provide a barrier against future incidents with water.
The next step is to buff the conditioned leather. This will bring a shine to the surface and help keep the leather from drying out again. Finally, you may want to add an extra layer of protection like a beeswax cream. Always test a small patch first. Sometimes conditioning creams may darken the leather.
Can I Put Leather In The Dryer?
There seem to be two schools of thought about putting leather into the dryer. The first is never do it. The heat of the dryer can cause your leather to dry out much more quickly than it might on its own, which could lead to cracking.
The second school of thought is that it's okay to use the dryer in certain circumstances. If your pants have gotten stretched out or have a bit of a stench, then a quick tumble on medium heat with a dryer sheet will both freshen and revive them. You could also use your dryer to get them to a damp state; then air dry them for the final bit.
Are Leather Pants Machine Washable?
Doing an all-over wash is different than a water stain. Because the entire surface is being soaked in the same way, theoretically, it will all dry looking the same. Many leather pants will have washing instructions on the label. If they say not-washable, pay attention and don't put them in the machine.
However, if the label says washable, it should be safe. If you're uncertain, you can always do a spot test on an out of the way or inside seam spot to test. Wet it, then let it dry completely to see if the spot is discolored. If not, then you should be safe to wash it.
Be sure and use a leather detergent, though.
How Do You Get Stains Out Of Leather Pants?
If your leather had a good finish on it and still got stained, you may be able to get it out without going to the cleaners. There are a couple of home recipes that may help. For dark-colored leather, use a mix of equal parts lemon juice and a creme of tartar. Apply to the stain, let it sit, then dab it up with a soft cloth.
For lighter-colored leathers, use a mixture of 1 part lemon juice and 2 parts olive oil. Follow the same technique as for the dark leather to remove.
There are also commercial leather stain removers available for you to try. Always remember to follow the instructions for the best results on your particular stain.
How Do You Condition Leather Pants?
Conditioning your leather pants can keep them soft and with a surface that is less likely to pick up stains. Clean them first to remove any stains, scratches, or odors, then apply a good leather conditioner. It's recommended to put a thin layer of conditioner on overnight, letting it soak in entirely.
This will help keep the fibers porous and keep your leather clothing gorgeous for a really long time. Leather Honey is well-known for its great line of conditioning and cleaning products that are perfect for leather clothing.
Can You Fold Leather Pants?
Nice leather pants are an investment. This is why it's recommended never to fold them. The better approach is to hang them by the loops sewn into the seam of the lining. Or, if you must fold them, drape them over a soft garment bar hanger. Don't hang them on a wire hanger, or you'll end up with an unsightly crease.
Looking Good In Fresh Leather
Now that you know how to keep those leather pants looking (and smelling) awesome. It's time to get out there and rock them. Pair them with a favorite top and some sultry heels, and all heads will turn your way.
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