Synthetic leather jackets are one of the most popular types of stylish clothing, but many people don't know how to wash them. Although people have always known that leather is an unwashable material, synthetic leather can actually be cleaned more easily. Regardless of how dirty your jacket is, you can make it clean again using materials you probably already have at home.
Method 1 of 3: Washing Synthetic Leather Jackets Manually (by Hand)
Step 1. Remove any dry dirt or scale that has stuck to it
Before you clean your faux leather jacket, carefully inspect the fabric for dried dirt or spills (eg food residue). Remove the dry dirt and wipe the dirty part using a soft cloth.
Step 2. Mix a mild laundry detergent with warm water
Take about a tablespoon (15 grams) of detergent and pour it into a small bowl of water. Shake the water to mix it evenly with the detergent.
- If you are planning to buy a new detergent, choose a product that is formulated for easily damaged or delicate clothes.
- You can also use a commercial synthetic leather cleaning product.
Step 3. Wet a soft washcloth
Dip a washcloth in the soapy water mixture to wet it. Squeeze the rag to remove any excess water so the rag doesn't get too wet (and just damp).
Squeeze the rag to remove as much water as possible as it will be easier for you to add water back in (if needed) than to remove excess water
Step 4. Wipe your jacket
Wipe a damp cloth over the jacket and focus on cleaning any scuffed or dirty areas. Re-wet the washcloth with soapy water if necessary.
For best results, take additional time to directly clean areas that have spilled food/drinks, dirt, or dust
Step 5. Use a clean, damp cloth to remove any soap residue
Wet a new, clean washcloth and wring it out to remove any excess water. Carefully rub the washcloth against the jacket and repeat this process until no soap residue remains. Rinse the rag first every time you finish cleaning one particular area before you use it again to wipe down another area.
If it's still stuck to the synthetic leather jacket, the soap residue can crack and harden the leather
Step 6. Dry the wet part of the jacket with a soft cloth
After removing the remaining soap with a damp cloth, continue handling with a dry cloth. Since you're only using a small amount of water, you can dry it easily with a washcloth. If the jacket still feels damp or wet, let the jacket air dry to dry.
Do not speed up the drying process by putting the jacket in the dryer or using a hairdryer. Exposure to excessive heat can damage the leather lining of the jacket
Step 7. Apply conditioner to the jacket
Conditioner prevents the leather on the jacket from drying out as this can cause the leather to crack or break. The process of cleaning the jacket can dry out the layers of leather, so it is important that you end the treatment process with conditioner. You can use a commercial leather conditioner to condition the jacket, or polish it with olive oil. Put a few drops of oil on the washcloth first, then rub the washcloth against the jacket.
Even though synthetic leather is different from genuine leather, you still need to condition it
Method 2 of 3: Machine Washing Synthetic Leather Jacket
Step 1. Check the label of your synthetic leather jacket
Synthetic leather jackets usually come with different care labels, depending on the manufacturing process and the percentage or amount of synthetic leather in the jacket. Before washing the jacket in the washing machine, make sure the care label indicates that the jacket is machine washable.
- Synthetic leather clothes produced today are usually machine washable.
- Do not wash synthetic leather jackets using the dry cleaning method unless the label clearly indicates that the jacket can be washed using this process. The cleaning agents used in the dry cleaning process dry out the leather jacket, causing the leather to crack, stiffen, and change color.
Step 2. Turn the jacket over and place it in the laundry gauze bag
Protect the look of your jacket by turning it over first and washing it in a special laundry bag made of delicate/perishable clothing.
If you don't have a laundry bag, try washing the jacket in a pillowcase. Make sure you tie the ends of the pillowcase with a hair tie or knot
Step 3. Use the fine laundry setting with a slow spin speed
Turn the washing machine on to the fine and slow spin settings, and fill the tub with cold water, unless the clothing label says otherwise.
Step 4. Dry the jacket by airing it
Synthetic leather is easily damaged by heat exposure. Therefore, place the jacket on a flat surface and let it air dry. You can also hang the jacket in the sun as long as you attach it to the clothesline in a "balanced" way (one or both sides don't pull) so the jacket doesn't stretch.
- If you use a tumble dryer to dry the jacket, you will actually damage the jacket and the machine.
- If you want to dry the jacket, make sure the hanger doesn't press the jacket where it shouldn't. The hanger's shoulders should align with the jacket seam.
Step 5. Use an iron on the coldest setting if you need to tidy up any creases in the jacket
Place a towel over the jacket and carefully press the wrinkled areas of the jacket with an iron. Don't just place the iron on a towel and make sure the bottom of the iron (the metal part) doesn't touch the jacket.
- You can also steam a leather jacket to smooth out any creases.
- Never expose the heat directly to a synthetic leather jacket.
Method 3 of 3: Remove Odor from Jackets
Step 1. Sprinkle baking soda on the inside of the jacket
Baking soda absorbs and neutralizes odors, without damaging the fabric. Use enough baking soda to cover as much of the inside of the jacket as possible.
Don't forget to put the baking soda inside the sleeves of the jacket
Step 2. Store the jacket where it will not be disturbed
Choose a place that is safe from the reach of pets and children (eg in the center of the table). Lay the jacket flat so the baking soda doesn't spill or fall.
Pets and children can get sick if they find and ingest baking soda
Step 3. Let the jacket sit overnight
Baking soda takes time to absorb odors, so you'll need to let the jacket sit for at least 8 hours.
Step 4. Remove the remaining baking soda using a vacuum cleaner
Attach a small nozzle or use a small vacuum cleaner (hand machine) to remove any remaining baking soda from the jacket, including the sleeves. Shake the jacket and repeat the lifting process if you still see baking soda falling from the jacket.
Step 5. Smell your jacket
The unpleasant odor will disappear from the inner lining of the jacket. Repeat this process if you still have a bad smell.
Always read the recommended care instructions on clothing labels
- Never dry a synthetic leather jacket as the leather layer may melt.
- Do not use the dry cleaning method.
- Using too many cleaning products can crack the skin layer.
- Once the synthetic leather layer begins to crack, the damaged part cannot be repaired.