Leather has a naturally pleasing, fragrant aroma. It’s not too strong or overbearing. Rather, it’s a mild aroma that many people compare to a mixture of wood and spice. Over time, however, leather can lose this aroma. Although this doesn’t affect the quality or performance of the fabric, it’s still something that most people want to avoid with their leather products. So, if you own a leather jacket and want to preserve its distinct, pleasing aroma, consider the following tips.
Steer Clear of Faux Leather Jackets
You won’t be able to achieve the same fragrant aroma with a faux leather jacket as you would with a genuine leather jacket. Faux leather jackets actually aren’t made of leather at all. They are made of a base fabric, such as cotton, that’s coated with a plastic-like outer layer. The outer layer has a similar texture to real leather, but it lacks the qualities and characteristics that make real leather such a popular textile. Among other things, faux leather doesn’t have the same distinct aroma as real leather, which is why it’s recommended that you steer clear of jackets made of this textile. For the best aroma possible, choose a jacket that’s made of genuine, not faux, leather.
Clean With Leather Soap
Although you can’t clean your leather jacket in the washing machine — the water and physical stress can permanently damage leather — you can still clean it using a special type of leather soap. Leather soap refers to any products that’s designed specifically for cleaning leather. Available as a liquid detergent and liquid spray, it’s applied to the surface of leather to clean and remove stains. Leather soap is both safe and effective for leather jackets, and using it is a great way to preserve the original aroma of your jacket. Just remember to text in any new leather soap product on a discreet area of your jacket first. Assuming it works as intended and doesn’t stain or otherwise harm your leather jacket, you can continue using throughout the rest of your jacket.
Hang It Outside
Like any other garment, you can make your leather jacket smell nice by hanging it outside. Exposure to the fresh outside air naturally deodorizes garments to remove bad-smelling odors. To take advantage of the natural deoderizing effects of the outdoors, hang your leather jacket on a line for at least 30 minutes (preferably an hour or longer). When you remove it from the line, it should smell nice and fresh. Before hanging your leather jacket outside, though, you should check the weather in your area. If it’s expected to rain, sleet or snow, do not leave your leather jacket outside. Short-term exposure to these elements shouldn’t cause any major problems. But if your leather jacket is left outside too long while it’s raining, sleeting or snowing, it will become saturated with excess water.
Apply Baking Soda
Another way to remove bad odors on garments, including leather jackets, is to apply baking soda. Baking soda has hundreds of uses, not all of which involve culinary applications. If your leather jacket begins smelling musky, dry sprinkling some baking soda on it. Baking soda works by absorbing moisture and, thereby, neutralizing bad odors. After covering your leather jacket in a light layer of baking soda, let it sit for about 30 minutes, after which you can wipe off the baking soda.
Stuff Dryer Sheets in Pockets
Assuming your leather jacket has pockets, which most do, try stuffing a few dryer sheets in the pockets. Dryer sheets are most commonly used to eliminate and prevent static cling with clothes. You can place them in the dryer with your clothes, at which point the chemicals in them neutralize the buildup of static electricity. A side benefit of dryer sheets, however, is their fragrant aroma. They have a naturally clean, fresh scent that many people enjoy. And by placing a few dryer sheets in the pockets of your leather jacket, you’ll create a similar aroma with this classic form of outerwear. Keep in mind that you’ll need to replace the dryer sheets every few weeks to maintain this fragrant aroma.
Don’t Store It in a Sealed Bag
Why shouldn’t you store your leather jacket in a sealed bag? This may sound harmless enough, but it can lead to moisture buildup that eventually causes bad-smelling odors. If you aren’t planning on wearing your leather jacket within the next few months, simply hang it in your closet using a heavy-duty coat hanger. Do not try to store your leather jacket in a sealed plastic bag. When placed in a sealed bag or container, moisture won’t be able to escape. Rather, the airborne moisture vapor within the bag or container will settle on the surface of your leather jacket, causing mildew to form. As mildew forms of your leather jacket, it may develop an unpleasant musky odor.
One of the best things that you can do to keep your leather jacket smelling amazing is condition it. We’ve talked about this before, but basically conditioning involves the application of a special leather cleaning product, known as a conditioner, that moisturizes and protects leather jackets and garments from dryness. It adds just enough moisture to leather so that it doesn’t dry out. Most high-quality leather conditioners contain a special blend of ingredients that also deodorize leather to leave it smelling nice and fresh.
Break It in
You might be surprised to learn that leather jackets actually smell better with age. Over time, a leather jacket will develop an almost-vintage smell that’s truly amazing. Therefore, you should feel free to wear your leather jacket on a regular basis. Whether it’s spring, summer, fall or winter, consider wearing your leather jacket to help break it in. Along with the other tips listed here, this will help you create a leather jacket that smells amazing.