Rick Owens Leather jackets are a timeless fashion statement known for their durability and unique aesthetic appeal. Proper care is essential to maintain their appearance and functionality over time. Leather is a natural material that requires specific cleaning and maintenance techniques to preserve its texture, color, and overall condition. Acroera is dedicated to providing guidance on how to clean a leather jacket through their comprehensive blog, ensuring your Rick Owens Jacket from Acroera stays in top shape for years to come.

Importance of Proper Cleaning for Maintaining Quality and Longevity

Proper cleaning and maintenance on How to wash a leather jackets are crucial for several reasons:

  1. Preserving the Material: Leather is a natural material that can dry out, crack, or fade if not properly cared for. Regular cleaning helps remove dirt and oils that can degrade the leather over time.
  2. Maintaining Appearance: A well-maintained leather jacket retains its original color, texture, and suppleness. Regular cleaning and conditioning keep the leather looking vibrant and smooth.
  3. Preventing Damage: Dirt, oils, and other contaminants can cause permanent damage to leather if left untreated. Regular cleaning prevents the buildup of harmful substances.
  4. Enhancing Longevity: Leather jackets are an investment. Proper care extends the life of the jacket, allowing you to enjoy it for many years. Regular maintenance prevents issues like cracking, fading, and staining, which can shorten the lifespan of the jacket.
  5. Hygiene: Cleaning removes sweat, bacteria, and other microorganisms that can accumulate on the jacket, keeping it fresh and hygienic.

In summary, proper cleaning and maintenance are essential for preserving the quality, appearance, and longevity of your Rick Owens leather jacket. By following the guidelines in this guide, you can ensure that your leather jacket remains a stylish and functional part of your wardrobe for a long time.

Understanding Leather Types

Different Types of Leather Used in Jackets

Type of Leather



Common Uses

Full-Grain Leather

The highest quality leather, made from the top layer of the hide.

Durable, develops a patina, breathable, and natural markings.

High-end jackets, luxury items.

Top-Grain Leather

Second-highest quality, sanded and refinished to remove imperfections.

Smooth surface, more uniform appearance, less breathable than full-grain.

Fashion jackets, accessories.

Genuine Leather

Lower quality leather, made from the layers below top-grain.

More processed, less durable, lower cost.

Budget-friendly jackets, belts.

Suede Leather

Made from the underside of the hide, has a napped finish.

Soft, flexible, less durable than full-grain or top-grain.

Fashion jackets, shoes.

Nubuck Leather

Top-grain leather that has been sanded or buffed to create a soft, velvet-like surface.

Durable, luxurious feel, more prone to staining than other types.

High-end jackets, shoes.

Patent Leather

Leather that has been coated with a high-gloss finish.

Shiny, waterproof, less breathable.

Fashion jackets, accessories.


Specifics of Rick Owens Leather Jackets

Rick Owens is renowned for his avant-garde designs and high-quality leather jackets. The specifics of Rick Owens leather jackets include:

  • Premium Materials:

    • Rick Owens jackets typically use high-quality full-grain or top-grain leather, ensuring durability and a luxurious feel.
  • Unique Finishes:

    • The brand often incorporates unique finishes and treatments, such as distressed or waxed leather, to create a distinctive look.
  • Craftsmanship:

    • Attention to detail and craftsmanship are paramount, with precise stitching and construction techniques.
  • Design Aesthetics:

    • Rick Owens jackets are known for their bold, edgy designs, often featuring asymmetrical cuts, oversized silhouettes, and intricate detailing.

Identifying the Type of Leather in Your Jacket

To accurately determine the type of leather used in your jacket, follow these practical steps:

  • Check for Labels and Tags:

    • Most leather jackets come with a label or tag that specifies the type of leather used. Look for terms such as "full-grain leather," "top-grain leather," "genuine leather," "suede," or "nubuck."
    • Labels may also provide additional care instructions specific to the type of leather.
  • Visual Inspection:

    • Full-Grain Leather: Look for a natural, uneven surface with visible grain patterns and imperfections. Full-grain leather often has a rugged, organic appearance.
    • Top-Grain Leather: This type has a smoother, more uniform surface due to sanding and refinishing. It appears more polished and consistent.
    • Genuine Leather: Typically has a more processed look, with a consistent texture but less natural character than full or top-grain leather.
    • Suede: Recognizable by its soft, napped finish. The surface will appear slightly fuzzy and feel velvety to the touch.
    • Nubuck: Similar to suede but derived from the outer layer of the hide, nubuck has a smooth, velvet-like surface and is generally more durable than suede.
    • Patent Leather: Distinguished by its high-gloss finish, patent leather is shiny and smooth, often with a reflective surface.
  • Touch and Feel:

    • Full-Grain Leather: Feels robust and firm, with a texture that becomes softer and more supple over time.
    • Top-Grain Leather: Smooth to the touch, often softer and more pliable than full-grain leather due to the refinishing process.
    • Genuine Leather: Generally feels less substantial and more processed, with a consistent but less natural texture.
    • Suede: Soft and flexible, with a distinctive nap that can be felt when running your hand over the surface.
    • Nubuck: Soft and smooth with a slight nap, similar to suede but with a more refined texture.
    • Patent Leather: Smooth and shiny, often feeling slick or glossy to the touch.
  • Smell Test:

    • Authentic leather has a distinctive, rich, earthy smell. Synthetic leathers and heavily processed genuine leathers might have a more chemical or plastic-like odor.
  • Water Absorption Test:

    • Place a small drop of water on an inconspicuous area of the jacket.
    • Full-Grain and Top-Grain Leather: The water will slowly absorb into the leather, leaving a dark spot that dries gradually.
    • Genuine Leather: The water may bead up and take longer to absorb.
    • Suede and Nubuck: Water will be quickly absorbed, and the spot will darken temporarily.
    • Patent Leather: Water will typically bead up and not absorb due to the glossy finish.

By using these practical methods, you can more accurately identify the type of leather in your jacket, allowing you to tailor your cleaning and maintenance approach accordingly.


Preparing for Cleaning

Gathering Necessary Supplies

  • Soft Cloth:

    • Why: A soft cloth is essential for gently wiping away dirt and applying cleaning solutions without scratching or damaging the leather.
    • How: Use a microfiber or cotton cloth, as these materials are non-abrasive and can effectively lift dirt from the surface.
    • Leather surfaces are sensitive to abrasions, and using a soft cloth minimizes the risk of creating micro-scratches that can deteriorate the leather over time.
  • Mild Soap:

    • Why: Mild soap can effectively clean without stripping the natural oils from the leather.
    • How: Mix a small amount of mild soap, such as baby soap or liquid dish soap, with water to create a gentle cleaning solution. Avoid using harsh detergents or cleaners.
    • Harsh chemicals like ammonia or bleach, commonly found in household cleaners, can break down the natural oils in leather, leading to drying and cracking. Mild soaps have a balanced pH and are less likely to disrupt the leather's natural moisture.
  • Leather Cleaner:

    • Why: Specially formulated leather jacket cleaners are designed to clean without damaging or discoloring the leather.
    • How: Apply a small amount of leather jacket cleaner to a soft cloth and gently rub it onto the leather in circular motions.
    • Leather cleaners contain pH-balanced ingredients that clean while preserving the leather's natural properties. They often include conditioning agents like lanolin or neatsfoot oil that help maintain the leather's suppleness.
  • Leather Conditioner:

    • Why: Leather conditioner replenishes natural oils, keeping the leather soft and preventing it from drying out and cracking
    • How: Apply a small amount of conditioner to a clean, soft cloth and work it into the leather evenly.
    • Leather can lose its natural oils over time, especially after cleaning. Conditioners contain emollients such as lanolin or beeswax that penetrate the leather fibers, restoring flexibility and preventing brittleness.

Testing Cleaning Products on a Small, Inconspicuous Area

  • Why Test First:

    • Reason: Testing ensures that the product does not cause discoloration, staining, or damage to the leather.
    • Basis: Different leather finishes and dyes can react differently to cleaning products. Testing helps prevent irreversible damage to the visible parts of the jacket.
  • How to Test:

    • Step-by-Step: Choose a hidden area of the jacket, such as the inside hem or under a collar. Apply a small amount of the cleaning product to a soft cloth and gently rub it onto the test area. Wait for a few minutes to observe any reactions.
    • Leather is treated and dyed in various ways, which can affect its chemical reactivity. Testing allows you to observe the interaction between the leather and the product, ensuring compatibility. If the leather darkens, becomes sticky, or shows signs of damage, it's a sign the product is not suitable.

Cleaning Steps

Step 1: Dusting and Basic Cleaning

Using a Soft Cloth to Remove Surface Dust and Dirt

  • Why:
    • Reason: Regular dusting prevents the accumulation of dirt and grime, which can damage the leather over time.
    • Dust particles can be abrasive and, if left on the leather, can cause micro-abrasions that degrade the surface and lead to a dull appearance. Removing dust regularly helps maintain the leather's finish and prevents deeper cleaning issues.
  • How to Do It:
    • Step-by-Step Guide:
      • Choose the Right Cloth: Use a soft, non-abrasive cloth such as microfiber or cotton. These materials are gentle on leather and effective at picking up dust.
        • Microfiber cloths have fine synthetic fibers that attract and hold dust particles, making them highly effective for cleaning delicate surfaces without scratching.
      • Prepare the Cloth: If the jacket is only lightly dusty, a dry cloth will suffice. For more stubborn dirt, slightly dampen the cloth with water. Ensure the cloth is only damp and not wet.
        • A damp cloth can help lift dirt without saturating the leather, which could cause water damage. Excess water can penetrate the leather, potentially leading to mold growth or warping.
      • Wipe the Jacket: Gently wipe the entire surface of the jacket, paying special attention to seams and creases where dust can accumulate. Use light, circular motions to lift dirt without pressing too hard.
        • Light, circular motions help lift and remove dirt without grinding it into the leather. This method also helps distribute the cleaning effort evenly across the surface.
      • Inspect the Cloth: Regularly check the cloth for dirt buildup and refold or rinse as needed to ensure you are using a clean part of the cloth.
        • Using a dirty cloth can re-deposit dirt onto the leather, negating your cleaning efforts. Keeping the cloth clean ensures effective dust removal.

By following these steps, you can effectively remove surface dust and dirt from your leather jacket, maintaining its appearance and prolonging its life. Regular dusting is a simple yet crucial part of leather care that prevents minor issues from becoming major problems. If you're looking for advice on how to wash a Rick Owens leather jacket, these guidelines will help keep your jacket looking pristine and extend its lifespan.

Step2: Spot Cleaning

Removing Stains with a Damp Cloth and Mild Soap Solution

  • Why:
    • Reason: Spot cleaning addresses specific stains without the need for a full cleaning, which can be more intensive and potentially damaging if done too frequently.
    • Targeting only the stained areas minimizes the exposure of the leather to cleaning agents and moisture, helping to preserve its natural oils and integrity.
  • How to Do It:
    • Step-by-Step Guide:
      • Prepare the Mild Soap Solution: Mix a small amount of mild soap (such as baby soap or liquid dish soap) with lukewarm water. Use approximately one teaspoon of soap to one cup of water.
        • Mild soaps are less likely to strip the leather of its natural oils compared to harsh detergents. They provide enough cleaning power to remove stains without causing damage.
      • Dampen the Cloth: Dip a soft, non-abrasive cloth into the soap solution. Wring out the cloth thoroughly to ensure it is damp, not wet.
        • Excess water can penetrate and damage the leather, leading to potential issues like water stains, mold, or warping. A damp cloth allows controlled cleaning.
      • Blot the Stain: Gently blot the stained area with the damp cloth. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the stain and push it deeper into the leather.
        • Blotting lifts the stain particles without grinding them into the leather. This gentle approach helps maintain the leather’s surface integrity.
      • Clean the Area: If blotting does not fully remove the stain, use gentle, circular motions to clean the area. Be patient and avoid applying too much pressure.
        • Circular motions help lift and disperse the stain particles. Light pressure ensures you do not damage the leather fibers.
      • Rinse the Cloth: Rinse the cloth in clean water, wring it out, and wipe away any soap residue from the leather.
        • Soap residue can attract dirt and may cause discoloration over time. Removing all soap ensures the leather remains clean and free from potential buildup.
      • Dry the Area: Use a dry, soft cloth to pat the cleaned area dry. Ensure the leather is completely dry before using or storing the jacket.
        • Moisture left on the leather can lead to mold growth or water spots. Thorough drying helps maintain the leather’s health and appearance.

By carefully spot cleaning stains with a damp cloth and mild soap solution, you can effectively address minor blemishes without compromising the overall condition of your leather jacket. This method helps maintain the Rick Owens jacket’s appearance and extends its lifespan.

Step 3: Deep Cleaning

Applying Leather Cleaner or Conditioner

  • Why:
    • Reason: Deep cleaning is essential for removing embedded dirt, grime, and oils that regular dusting and spot cleaning might miss. It helps maintain the leather's appearance and extends its lifespan.
    • Over time, dirt and oils can penetrate the leather, causing it to lose its suppleness and develop cracks. Regular deep cleaning helps prevent this buildup, preserving the leather's natural properties.
  • How to Do It:
    • Step-by-Step Guide:
      • Choose the Right Product: Select a leather cleaner or conditioner specifically formulated for your type of leather, such as Lexol Leather Cleaner and Conditioner, Leather Honey, or Bickmore Bick 4 Leather Conditioner. These products are designed to clean and nourish without damaging the leather.
        • Leather-specific cleaners and conditioners are pH-balanced and contain ingredients that nourish and protect the leather, unlike general cleaners that may strip away natural oils and damage the surface.
      • Prepare the Cloth: Use a clean, soft cloth. Apply a small amount of the leather cleaner or conditioner to the cloth, not directly onto the leather.
        • Applying the product to the cloth ensures even distribution and prevents over-saturation of the leather, which could cause uneven absorption and potential damage.
      • Test a Small Area: Before applying to the entire jacket, test the product on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it does not cause discoloration or damage.
        • Different leather treatments and dyes can react differently to products. Testing ensures compatibility and prevents potential damage to visible areas.

Using Circular Motions to Clean the Entire Jacket

  • Why:
    • Reason: Cleaning in circular motions ensures even coverage and helps lift dirt and oils from the leather’s surface more effectively.
    • Circular motions help distribute the cleaning product evenly and allow for better penetration into the leather's fibers, ensuring a thorough clean.
  • How to Do It:
    • Step-by-Step Guide:
      • Apply the Product: Using the prepared cloth with leather cleaner or conditioner, gently apply it to the jacket in small sections.
      • Use Circular Motions: Work the product into the leather using gentle, circular motions. This method helps lift dirt and allows the conditioner to penetrate deeply.
        • Circular motions help ensure that the product is evenly distributed and that all areas are covered. This technique also helps lift embedded dirt from the leather fibers.
      • Be Thorough but Gentle: Cover the entire jacket, including seams and creases. Avoid applying excessive pressure, which could damage the leather.
        • Gentle application prevents stretching or abrading the leather, while thorough coverage ensures all parts of the jacket receive the benefits of the cleaner or conditioner.
      • Allow to Absorb: Let the cleaner or conditioner sit on the leather for the recommended time, usually a few minutes, to allow it to penetrate and work effectively.
        • Allowing time for absorption ensures that the leather fully benefits from the nourishing ingredients, which help maintain its suppleness and prevent drying.
      • Buff the Leather: After the product has absorbed, use a clean, dry cloth to buff the leather, removing any excess product and giving the jacket a polished finish.
        • Buffing helps remove any residue that could attract dirt and restores the leather’s natural shine.

By following these deep cleaning steps, you ensure that your Rick Owens leather jacket is thoroughly cleaned and conditioned, maintaining its appearance and durability. Regular deep cleaning is crucial for keeping your leather jacket in optimal condition. If you're wondering how to clean leather jacket, these steps will guide you through the process, ensuring your jacket remains in excellent shape.

Drying the Jacket

Patting Dry with a Clean Towel

  • Why:

    • Reason: Patting dry with a clean towel removes excess moisture without rubbing, which can damage the leather.
    • Leather is porous and absorbs moisture. Rubbing can spread the moisture unevenly and cause the leather to stretch or become misshapen. Patting helps to remove surface moisture gently.
  • How to Do It:

    • Step-by-Step Guide:
      • Use a Soft, Clean Towel: Choose a soft, absorbent towel, such as cotton or microfiber.
      • Pat the Leather: Gently press the towel against the leather surface to absorb the moisture. Do not rub or scrub.
        • Patting avoids friction that can damage the leather fibers and ensures even moisture removal.

Air Drying Away from Direct Sunlight and Heat Sources

  • Why:

    • Reason: Air drying prevents heat damage and maintains the leather's natural oils.
    • Direct sunlight and heat sources can cause leather to dry out too quickly, leading to cracks and brittleness. Gradual air drying preserves the leather's integrity.
  • How to Do It:

    • Step-by-Step Guide:
      • Choose a Shaded Area: Hang the jacket in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and heat sources such as radiators or heaters.
      • Allow Natural Drying: Let the jacket dry naturally at room temperature.
        • Natural drying allows the leather to dry evenly and slowly, preventing the loss of natural oils that keep the leather supple.

Avoiding the Use of Hair Dryers or Other Artificial Heat

  • Why:

    • Reason: Artificial heat can cause the leather to shrink, warp, or crack.
    • High temperatures from hair dryers or other artificial heat sources can rapidly evaporate moisture from the leather, leading to drying out and potential damage to the leather fibers.
  • How to Do It:

    • Step-by-Step Guide:
      • Avoid Heat Sources: Do not use hair dryers, heat guns, or place the jacket near heaters to speed up the drying process.
      • Patience is Key: Allow the jacket to dry at its own pace in a controlled environment.
        • Preserving the natural drying process ensures that the leather retains its natural oils and flexibility, preventing damage from rapid drying.

By following these drying steps, you can ensure that your Rick Owens leather jacket from Acroera dries properly, maintaining its quality and longevity without risk of damage from excessive moisture or heat.

Conditioning the Leather

Importance of Conditioning to Prevent Drying and Cracking


  • Reason: Conditioning leather keeps it moisturized, preventing it from drying out and becoming brittle. This extends the life of the leather and maintains its appearance.
  • Scientific Basis: Leather is composed of natural fibers that need moisture to remain flexible. Without regular conditioning, these fibers can dry out and become prone to cracking. Additionally, environmental factors like humidity, temperature changes, and exposure to sunlight can accelerate this drying process.

Choosing the Right Leather Conditioner

  • Why:

    • Reason: Selecting the appropriate conditioner for your specific type of leather ensures effective care without causing damage or discoloration.
    • Scientific Basis: Leather conditioners contain ingredients that replenish the natural oils and lubricants in leather. High-quality conditioners like Lexol Leather Conditioner, Leather Honey, and Bickmore Bick 4 Leather Conditioner are designed to be pH-balanced and free from harmful chemicals that can cause long-term damage. For instance, petroleum-based products can create a residue that blocks the leather's pores, inhibiting its ability to breathe and leading to a buildup that attracts dirt and moisture.
  • How to Choose:

    • Step-by-Step Guide:
      • Read Labels: Look for conditioners that are formulated specifically for your type of leather (e.g., full-grain, top-grain, suede, nubuck).
      • Avoid Harmful Ingredients: Avoid conditioners with petroleum distillates, silicones, or waxes. These substances can create a surface film that prevents the leather from absorbing moisture properly.
        • Scientific Basis: Petroleum distillates can clog the leather's pores, silicones can create an unnatural shine that attracts dust, and waxes can leave a sticky residue. These substances interfere with the leather’s natural ability to regulate moisture and can lead to accelerated aging and degradation.

Applying Conditioner Evenly and Allowing It to Absorb

  • Why:

    • Reason: Even application ensures that the entire surface of the leather receives adequate conditioning, preventing uneven drying and cracking. Proper absorption ensures the leather remains flexible and resilient.
    • Scientific Basis: Uneven application of conditioner can lead to patches of dryness and cracking, as some areas may not receive enough moisture. Proper conditioning restores the leather’s flexibility and resistance to environmental stressors, such as temperature fluctuations and physical wear.
  • How to Do It:

    • Step-by-Step Guide:
      • Clean the Leather First: Ensure the leather is clean and dry before applying the conditioner. This allows the conditioner to penetrate effectively.
        • Scientific Basis: Dirt and oils on the surface can block the conditioner from penetrating the leather fibers, reducing its effectiveness. Cleaning removes these barriers and allows for better absorption.
      • Apply a Small Amount: Apply a small amount of conditioner to a soft, clean cloth. Avoid applying directly to the leather to prevent over-saturation.
        • Scientific Basis: Using a cloth ensures controlled application, preventing excess conditioner from pooling and causing uneven absorption or a sticky residue.
      • Use Circular Motions: Gently rub the conditioner into the leather using circular motions. This helps distribute the conditioner evenly and ensures it penetrates the leather fibers.
        • Scientific Basis: Circular motions promote even distribution, ensuring all parts of the leather are nourished and protected. This method also helps lift any remaining dirt or oils from the surface.
      • Allow to Absorb: Let the conditioner sit on the leather for the recommended time, usually a few hours or overnight, depending on the product instructions.
        • Scientific Basis: Allowing adequate absorption time ensures that the leather fully benefits from the conditioning agents, restoring moisture and flexibility. This step is crucial for deep conditioning, which penetrates the leather’s structure.
      • Buff the Leather: After the conditioner has absorbed, use a clean, dry cloth to buff the leather, removing any excess conditioner and enhancing the leather’s natural shine.
        • Scientific Basis: Buffing removes any residual conditioner that could attract dirt and gives the leather a smooth, polished finish. It also helps distribute any remaining product evenly, ensuring a uniform appearance and feel.

By following these conditioning steps, you ensure that your Rick Owens leather jacket stays moisturized, flexible, and resistant to environmental damage. Regular conditioning is essential for maintaining the leather's health, appearance, and longevity.

Storing the Jacket

Proper Hanging Techniques to Maintain Shape

  • Why:

    • Reason: Proper hanging techniques prevent the leather jacket from losing its shape, developing creases, or getting stretched out.
    • Leather is a malleable material that can conform to the shape it is stored in. Incorrect hanging can lead to deformities and creases that are difficult to remove. Using the right hanger supports the jacket’s structure and maintains its original form.
  • How to Do It:

    • Step-by-Step Guide:
      • Choose a Wide, Padded Hanger: Use a hanger with wide, rounded ends, preferably padded, to support the shoulders and distribute the weight evenly.
        • Wide, padded hangers mimic the natural shape of the human shoulders, preventing sharp bends and creases that can occur with thin, wire hangers. This even distribution of weight helps maintain the jacket’s shape.
      • Button or Zip Up the Jacket: Fasten all buttons or zippers before hanging.
        • Buttoning or zipping the jacket helps it hold its shape better and prevents it from sagging or stretching out around the opening.
      • Hang in an Upright Position: Ensure the jacket hangs upright without touching other clothes or surfaces.
        • Hanging the jacket upright prevents it from folding or crumpling, maintaining its form and avoiding unwanted pressure points that can lead to permanent creases.

Storing in a Cool, Dry Place

  • Why:

    • Reason: Storing the jacket in a cool, dry place prevents damage from humidity, heat, and UV rays.
    • Scientific Basis: Leather is sensitive to environmental conditions. Excessive heat can cause the leather to dry out and crack, while high humidity can promote mold and mildew growth. UV rays can fade the color and weaken the leather fibers over time.
  • How to Do It:

    • Step-by-Step Guide:
      • Choose the Right Location: Select a storage area away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and damp areas.
        • Keeping the jacket out of direct sunlight prevents UV damage. Avoiding heat sources like radiators and heaters prevents the leather from drying out. A dry environment prevents mold and mildew growth, which can cause staining and odor.
      • Monitor Humidity Levels: Use a dehumidifier or silica gel packets to maintain an appropriate humidity level (40-50% is ideal).
        • Controlling humidity levels prevents excessive moisture that can lead to mold and mildew, ensuring the leather remains in optimal condition.

Using a Breathable Garment Bag for Long-Term Storage

  • Why:

    • Reason: A breathable garment bag protects the jacket from dust, dirt, and environmental pollutants while allowing air circulation.
    • Scientific Basis: Leather needs to breathe to maintain its natural moisture balance. Non-breathable bags, like plastic, can trap moisture, leading to mold growth and deterioration. Breathable bags, such as those made from cotton or canvas, allow air circulation and protect the leather.
  • How to Do It:

    • Step-by-Step Guide:
      • Choose a Breathable Garment Bag: Opt for a garment bag made from natural fibers like cotton or a specially designed breathable fabric.
        • Scientific Basis: Natural fibers allow air to circulate while providing a barrier against dust and dirt, ensuring the leather remains in good condition without suffocating the material.
      • Place the Jacket in the Bag: Ensure the jacket is clean and dry before placing it in the garment bag. Hang it inside the bag using the appropriate hanger.
        • Scientific Basis: Storing a clean, dry jacket prevents the trapping of any residual moisture or dirt that could lead to mold or damage over time.
      • Store Upright: Hang the garment bag in a cool, dry place, ensuring it is not squished between other items.
        • Scientific Basis: Hanging the bag upright avoids creases and pressure points, maintaining the jacket’s shape and condition.

Keeping It Dry After Washing

  • Why:

    • Reason: Proper drying techniques ensure that the leather dries evenly and prevents the growth of mold and mildew.
    • Scientific Basis: Leather can retain moisture after washing, which if not dried properly, can lead to mold growth and deterioration. Even drying helps preserve the leather's natural oils and structure.
  • How to Do It:

    • Step-by-Step Guide:
      • Pat Dry with a Clean Towel: After washing, use a soft, absorbent towel to pat the leather dry, removing as much moisture as possible.
        • Patting dry removes surface moisture without causing abrasions or stretching the leather.
      • Hang to Air Dry: Hang the jacket on a wide, padded hanger in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
        • Air drying in a shaded, ventilated area prevents the leather from drying too quickly, which can cause cracking, and avoids UV damage that can fade the leather.
      • Allow Sufficient Drying Time: Ensure the jacket is completely dry before storing it. This may take several hours or overnight.
        • Thorough drying prevents residual moisture that could lead to mold growth and maintains the leather’s structural integrity.

By following these drying and storage steps, you can keep your Rick Owens leather jacket in optimal condition, ensuring it remains dry, maintains its shape, and stays protected from environmental factors that can cause damage.

What to Avoid



Using Harsh Chemicals

Harsh chemicals like ammonia, bleach, and acetone can strip natural oils, cause discoloration, and damage the leather.

Soaking the Leather

Soaking can saturate the leather, leading to water damage, loss of shape, and potential mold growth.

Excessive Water Use

Excessive water can penetrate and weaken the leather fibers, causing deformation and promoting mold.

Direct Sunlight Exposure

UV rays can fade the color, dry out the leather, and cause it to crack.

Heat Source Exposure

Heat sources like radiators and hair dryers can dry out the leather too quickly, leading to cracking and brittleness.


Regular Maintenance Tips

Maintenance Activity



Routine Dusting and Spot Cleaning

Regularly remove surface dust and address minor stains to keep the leather clean and prevent buildup.

Soft cloth, mild soap solution

Monthly Conditioning Schedule

Condition the leather monthly to maintain its suppleness and prevent drying and cracking.

Leather conditioner (e.g., Lexol, Leather Honey)

Handling Minor Scratches and Scuffs

Gently buff out minor scratches and scuffs to maintain a smooth appearance.

Soft cloth, leather conditioner or leather repair balm


By following these regular maintenance tips and avoiding these common mistakes, you can keep your Rick Owens Leather Jacket in excellent condition, ensuring it remains clean, supple, and free from minor damage.

When to Seek Professional Help?

  • Stubborn Stains:

    • Why Professional Help: Professional cleaners use specialized solvents and techniques to remove tough stains like ink, oil, or wine. These stains often penetrate deep into the leather, making them difficult to remove with DIY methods without causing discoloration or damage. Professionals can break down these stains effectively without harming the leather.
  • Extensive Damage:

    • Why Professional Help: For significant damage such as deep scratches, tears, or burns, professionals have the tools and materials to repair the leather. They can seamlessly blend patches and use advanced techniques like heat sealing or color matching that are not feasible with at-home kits. DIY repairs often lack durability and can result in visible, unsightly patches.
  • Mold or Mildew:

    • Why Professional Help: Mold and mildew require specific treatments to remove the spores and prevent them from spreading. Professionals use antimicrobial treatments and controlled environments to eradicate mold without causing further damage or health risks. DIY attempts might spread the spores or only superficially clean the surface, leading to recurrence.
  • Complex Cleaning Needs:

    • Why Professional Help: Certain leathers, such as suede or nubuck, require specific handling and cleaning agents. Professionals are trained to use the right methods and products, such as specialized brushes and non-water-based cleaners, to clean these delicate materials without altering their texture or appearance. DIY cleaning can often lead to roughening or discoloration.
  • Regular Maintenance for High-Value Jackets:

    • Why Professional Help: High-end jackets benefit from periodic professional maintenance, which includes deep cleaning, conditioning, and protective treatments. Professionals can apply high-quality conditioners and protectants that penetrate deeply and provide lasting protection. Regular home cleaning might not reach the same level of care and could miss crucial aspects of leather preservation.

How Professionals Resolve Issues?

  • Deep Cleaning and Stain Removal:

    • Methods: Professionals use industrial-grade leather cleaners that are pH-balanced and specifically designed to penetrate and lift deep-seated dirt and stains. They might use ultrasonic cleaning or steam cleaning for thorough results.
    • Advantages: These methods ensure the leather is cleaned deeply without stripping its natural oils or causing shrinkage and damage that can occur with harsh DIY cleaning agents.
  • Repairing Extensive Damage:

    • Methods: Techniques like heat sealing, leather filling, and color blending are employed to repair tears and scratches. They also use high-quality adhesives and fillers that match the jacket’s color and texture.
    • Advantages: These repairs are long-lasting and often invisible, restoring the jacket to near-original condition. DIY kits often lack the precision and quality needed for such repairs.
  • Mold and Mildew Treatment:

    • Methods: Professionals use antimicrobial treatments and ensure the leather is thoroughly dried in a controlled environment to prevent mold spores from regenerating.
    • Advantages: This comprehensive approach not only removes visible mold but also ensures the spores are eliminated, preventing recurrence and maintaining a safe, odor-free jacket.
  • Specialized Cleaning for Delicate Leathers:

    • Methods: Professionals use non-water-based cleaners for suede and nubuck, as well as special brushes to maintain the nap. They also apply protectants that help repel future dirt and stains.
    • Advantages: This maintains the leather’s soft texture and appearance, something DIY methods can often compromise due to improper cleaning techniques.
  • Periodic Maintenance:

    • Methods: Applying high-quality conditioners and protective treatments, professionals can ensure the leather remains supple and resistant to environmental damage.
    • Advantages: Professional treatments penetrate deeper and last longer than over-the-counter products, ensuring the jacket’s longevity and appearance are preserved with regular maintenance.

By understanding these points, it’s clear that professional cleaners offer specialized techniques and products that go beyond the capabilities of DIY methods, ensuring thorough cleaning, effective repairs, and long-term maintenance of Rick Owens leather jackets.

Handling Specific Types of Leather

Suede Leather Jackets

  • Brushing:

    • Why: Regular brushing keeps the suede looking fresh and prevents matting.
    • How: Use a suede brush to gently lift the nap (the tiny fibers on the surface). Brush in one direction to remove dirt and maintain the texture.
    • Suede has a delicate nap that can trap dirt and become matted. Brushing lifts the fibers and removes embedded dirt, maintaining the soft, textured appearance.
  • Spot Cleaning:

    • Why: Immediate spot cleaning prevents stains from setting.
    • How: Use a suede eraser or a clean, white cloth with a small amount of white vinegar to gently rub the stain. Avoid using water as it can cause discoloration.
    • Suede is highly absorbent and can easily become stained. Using a dry or minimally damp method prevents water stains and maintains the leather's integrity.
  • Protection:

    • Why: Protecting suede from water and stains prolongs its life.
    • How: Apply a suede protector spray evenly over the surface. Reapply regularly, especially after cleaning.
    • Protective sprays create a barrier against water and stains, reducing the risk of damage and making future cleaning easier.

Patent Leather Jackets

  • Wiping:

    • Why: Regular wiping keeps the patent leather shiny and free from dirt.
    • How: Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe down the surface. Follow with a dry cloth to buff and enhance the shine.
    • Patent leather has a high-gloss finish that attracts dust and fingerprints. Regular wiping prevents dullness and maintains the glossy appearance.
  • Polishing:

    • Why: Polishing enhances the shine and removes minor scuffs.
    • How: Use a patent leather cleaner or a mixture of water and mild soap. Apply with a soft cloth and buff to a shine.
    • Polishing with the right products maintains the smooth, reflective surface of patent leather, preventing scuffs and preserving its aesthetic.
  • Storage:

    • Why: Proper storage prevents scratches and maintains the finish.
    • How: Store in a dust bag or a soft cloth to protect the surface. Avoid stacking items on top of the jacket.Patent leather can scratch easily. Storing it properly prevents surface damage and maintains its glossy finish.

Nubuck Leather Jackets

  • Brushing:

    • Why: Regular brushing maintains the texture and removes dirt.
    • How: Use a nubuck brush to gently clean the surface. Brush in different directions to lift the nap and remove debris.
    • Nubuck is similar to suede but slightly tougher. Brushing helps keep the fibers raised and free from dirt, maintaining its velvety texture.
  • Stain Removal:

    • Why: Prompt stain removal prevents permanent marks.
    • How: Use a nubuck cleaning cloth or a suede/nubuck eraser to gently rub the stain. For stubborn stains, use a specialized nubuck cleaner.
    • Nubuck's porous surface can absorb stains quickly. Using appropriate cleaning tools prevents staining without damaging the leather.
  • Protection:

    • Why: Protecting nubuck from water and stains preserves its look and feel.
    • How: Apply a nubuck protector spray evenly over the surface. Reapply after cleaning or exposure to moisture.
    • Protector sprays create a water- and stain-resistant barrier, reducing the risk of damage and making maintenance easier.

By following these specific care techniques for suede, patent, and nubuck leather jackets, you can ensure each type remains in excellent condition, maintaining its unique appearance and extending its lifespan.

Myths and Misconceptions about Leather Jacket

  • Leather Doesn’t Need Regular Cleaning

    • Debunked: Leather accumulates dirt, oils, and pollutants over time, which can degrade the material if not removed.
    • The accumulation of dirt and oils can break down the collagen fibers in leather, leading to deterioration. Regular cleaning prevents this buildup and preserves the leather’s integrity.
  • Any Soap or Detergent Can Be Used to Clean Leather

    • Debunked: Household soaps and detergents often contain harsh chemicals that can strip leather of its natural oils, causing dryness and cracking.
    • Harsh chemicals like ammonia, bleach, and strong detergents alter the pH balance of leather, stripping away essential oils that keep it supple. Using pH-balanced leather cleaners ensures the leather retains its natural oils and remains flexible.
  • Water Is Harmless to Leather

    • Debunked: Excessive water exposure can cause leather to become stiff, discolored, and prone to mold and mildew.
    • Leather is porous and absorbs water, which can disrupt its structural integrity. Excess moisture can cause the fibers to swell and then contract as they dry, leading to stiffness and potential cracking. Additionally, water can facilitate mold and mildew growth, which damages the leather.
  • Leather Conditioner Is Optional

    • Debunked: Leather naturally loses oils over time, and without conditioning, it can dry out and crack.
    • Conditioning leather replenishes the natural oils that keep it supple. These oils are lost over time due to environmental exposure and wear. Regular conditioning prevents the leather from becoming brittle and extends its lifespan.
  • Direct Sunlight Is Good for Drying Leather

    • Debunked: Sunlight can cause leather to fade, dry out, and become brittle due to UV radiation and heat.
    • UV radiation breaks down the chemical bonds in leather dyes, causing fading. Additionally, the heat from direct sunlight accelerates the evaporation of natural oils in the leather, leading to dryness and cracking. Controlled drying in shaded areas prevents these issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I clean my leather jacket?

You should dust your leather jacket regularly to keep it free from surface dirt. For deeper cleaning, aim to clean and condition it every few months, depending on how often you wear it and the conditions it's exposed to.

What should I do if my leather jacket gets wet in the rain?

If your leather jacket gets wet, gently pat it dry with a clean towel to remove excess moisture. Hang it in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat and sunlight to air dry completely. Avoid using a hairdryer or other heat sources to speed up the drying process.

Can I use regular shoe polish on my leather jacket?

No, you should not use regular shoe polish on your leather jacket. Shoe polish is formulated for shoes and can contain chemicals that might not be suitable for the softer, more flexible leather used in jackets. Use a leather conditioner or polish specifically designed for clothing leather.

What’s the best way to remove a scratch from my leather jacket?

For minor scratches, gently rub the area with a soft cloth and a small amount of leather conditioner or repair balm. This can help to blend the scratch into the surrounding leather. For deeper scratches, it might be best to consult a professional leather repair service.

How can I prevent my leather jacket from developing a musty smell?

To prevent a musty smell, store your leather jacket in a cool, dry place with good air circulation. Avoid storing it in plastic bags or cramped spaces. Using a breathable garment bag and placing silica gel packets nearby can help absorb excess moisture and keep your jacket smelling fresh.

June 19, 2024 — Darshan jain