How do I take the best care of my favorite leather jacket?
January 25, 2013 9:50 PM   Subscribe

A couple of years ago I found the best black leather jacket ever, and I diligently applied some sort of waterproofing/leather protectant spray every few months for the first year. It's been pretty well-loved since then, and is starting to show slight signs of wear--nothing major, but enough so that I don't want it to get worse. How can I restore it to its former glory and keep it protected so I don't have to think about buying another one for many years?

I've researched the heck out of this but all the advice online is contradictory or ridiculous, so I'd appreciate answers that come from practical, real world experience with garments you care about.

I don't have a cleaner in my area that I trust--I've taken jackets and pants to ones that claim to specialize in leather and they've either come back ruined or looking like they never touched it at all, so I'd rather not waste my money (unless you can recommend one you swear by in the SF Bay area). I do have basic bootblacking skills and supplies, and I'm willing to buy additional supplies.

The leather is very soft and I'm 90% sure it's lamb.
posted by rhiannonstone to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Cleaning the coat with saddlesoap and a soft cloth will do, though you could also use mink oil or leather balm. Most shoe stores carry those items. You'll definately want a waterproofing agent, as lambskin's more delicate than rawhide. I knew someone with a lambskin cycle jacket that fell apart within a few months, as it was exposed to road salt and sun without proper care.
posted by Smart Dalek at 12:44 AM on January 26, 2013

No mink oil. It weakens the leather. Saddle soap is only needed if it's dirty, otherwise it will just dry out the leather. A good quality leather conditioner is what you need, look for a tack shop and ask them.
posted by biscotti at 5:51 AM on January 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Leather conditioners like Lexol will strip the black dye from your coat. Do not use! Make sure you get something that wont take the finish off, go to a leather clothing store, not a tack store, and get something made for the finish on your coat.
posted by fshgrl at 10:29 AM on January 26, 2013

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