If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, then chances are that you have a lot of leather gear, like a leather motorcycle jacket. Naturally, you want to keep this gear looking fresh and pristine without using a machine wash. After all, it’s a critical part of bike maintenance. In this post, we’ll discuss how to clean your leather jacket and the step-by-step process. This also covers the different products you should use and tips to protect your gear from damage.
Start by Wiping Down the Outside of Your Leather Gear
This is a step that you can practice after every ride to get rid of dirt and debris that could get stuck to your jacket. Use a moist cloth to wipe down your jacket, and if you come across a stain that won’t come off, you can use a gentle leather cleaner. Just test the cleaner on a small patch of the gear before using it on all your leather motorcycle jackets.
Cleaning Your Leather Motorcycle Jacket From the Inside
To clean out your leather gear from the inside, you should begin by using a vacuum to get rid of debris or dust. Make sure you don’t use machine washing to get rid of pesky stains, and use mild detergent with warm water instead. Of course, remember to test a small area of the lining with the leather shampoo before using it on the entire garment.
After sanitizing the removable liner using a cleaning solution, let it air dry properly before you put it away.
Conditioning Your Leather Jacket
Apply the conditioner to a small section of your hear and using a dry microfiber cloth, rub it in a circular motion. Be particularly careful around the stitching and seams and rub gently, since they’re particularly delicate after getting wet, causing them to rot once they dry.
If you’re working on a leather jacket, start by conditioning the chest panels before moving on to the arms and back. Leave the leather conditioner for about 15 minutes so it absorbs. Then, you can use a soft cloth to buff the surface, which absorbs any excess conditioner while giving your gear an impeccable shine.
Why You Should Condition Your Leather Gear
Remember that leather will dry up over time because it’s a natural material. Moreover, the stitching can rot, causing all the panels to fall apart. Hence, it’s important to thoroughly clean your leather gear every couple of months.
But aside from washing and cleaning them, you also have to condition your leather gear often. These days, you’ll find that gear comprises different materials like polymers and carbon fiber, but much of textile gear is made from leather.
Just like your own skin needs natural oils to stay supple, leather needs to retain some hydration as well. Using a specially-formulated conditioner on leather jackets makes it easier to put on. Not to mention, it’ll be much more comfortable to ride in.
Cleaning and Conditioning For Everyday Use
While the above mentioned tips work great when you have a few days to dedicate to cleaning your gear, it’s not the case for everyone. A lot of people need some quick tips to keep their gear looking fresh all day-every day.
On your day-to-day rides, baby wipes are an effective way to get rid of contaminants and dirt. Plus, they contain gentle conditioning ingredients that can moisturize the leather to give a fantastic finish. Sure, they won’t be great for cleaning the inside as well, but they get the job done when you’re heading out for a ride and want to look your best.
Keeping Your Leather Gear Safe From Damage
If you look at the history of leather, you see that humans have used it for centuries to design all kinds of gear, such as saddles, footwear, and clothes. Although leather is one of the most durable materials out there, it requires plenty of care to keep looking good as new. Here’s how you can keep your gear safe from damage.
- Keep you leather away from direct heat sources and sunlight as they can cause leather to dry up
- Choose a cool and dry place in your home to store your leather
- Condition your gear every six months by applying a thin layer of conditioner. This ensures that your leather stays supple, while filling in any creases or cracks it formed over the last couple of months.
How to Store Gear When It’s Not In Use
Ever feel like your gear has gotten stiff because you haven’t used it in a long time? That usually happens when you improperly store leather gear when it’s not being used. Don’t worry, though, because a few steps are all you need to have your gear feeling soft and easy to put on.
For starters, you should make it a habit to clean and condition your gear on a regular basis. This is effective in protecting it from the drying process and subsequent cracking.
Similarly, avoid keeping your gear in a hot place with direct sunlight. Finally, you should stuff the gear with fabric or paper before storing it. This helps in preventing creases, which is important in maintaining a smooth shape and fantastic appearance. With these easy steps, your leather will look good as new for years.
FAQs on Cleaning Motorcycle Leather
Here are some of the most common questions riders ask about cleaning their motorcycle leather.
Is coconut oil bad for leather?
While experts consider it best to use a specially formulated leather conditioner for your gear, it’s possible to not have some on hand when you need it. Coconut oil isn’t recommended because you risk over-conditioning the gear. A simple solution is to use a minimal amount and buff it to get rid of any any excess oil.
What to do if my gear gets wet?
In case your gear gets wet, ensure to get it dry as soon as possible. Using a clean rag, absorb any excess moisture. You can let it air dry in a well-ventilated space away from the sun.
However, refrain from using devices to heat the leather, as they could lead to cracking.