leather motorcycle jacket

How to Wash Leather Motorcycle Jackets?

Leather jackets are quite an investment. We all want one. These are something that never goes out of style. But that price tag could be very hard to swallow.

Thus, owning a leather jacket also means taking the time and energy to take proper care of it.

And in this article, we’ll show you how to wash leather motorcycle jackets properly.

What Makes a Good Leather Jacket?

When we are looking into the bare essentials, a good leather jacket will not only last you a lifetime, but it will do so by being effortlessly versatile and timeless. Which is why a leather jacket forms the staple of any wardrobe. That is why we believe that a proper leather jacket is a great first step to start off a wardrobe collection.

That being said, a leather jacket is probably the biggest wardrobe investment outside of a well-tailored suit. It should mold itself to you, and only you. The sleeves do not go beyond the wrist, so you have free arm movement. For a more detailed guide on the best leather jackets, check out our guide at Bikersrights.com.

Cleaning Leather Jackets

Now there are many ways to go about it. Some are more complicated than others, but all have the same purpose, making your leather jacket squeaky clean.

Using Detergent and Water

This is the simplest amongst all the methods we will be taking a look at today. We just need some warm water, a pot, or an open lidded container for that water, a fabric or a sponge, and some dish detergent. Bonus points if it is liquid detergent. Make sure the detergent is as mind as possible.

  • Step 1: Add Detergent to Water

We start by adding about two teaspoons of this mild detergent to a few ounces of water. Stir until dissolved.

  • Step 2: Dampen

Dampen the towel or the sponge with the liquid. The keyword here is: dampen. We would not want our jacket to take in any extra liquid.

  • Step 3: Wipe with Detergent Mixture

We start wiping down our leather jacket. Remember, leather can be very damage-prone when wet. So rather than straight on scrubbing it, we make do with long, slow motions. We clean the dirty spots first. Afterward, we turn our attention to the water spots and any discolored patches.

  • Step 4: Wipe with Clean Water

We take another piece of fabric and dampen it, this time with clean water. And we use this to gently wipe off the detergent liquid from the previous steps. Again, proceed with long slow motions.

  • Step 5: Pat Dry

This time around, we take a dry towel and use it to dry our leather jacket. Pat to dry, do not rub or grind.

  • Step 6: Hang Dry

Hang the jacket in someplace dry and airy. This helps us dry it naturally. Do not hang it in direct sunlight.

Using a Toothpaste

toothpaste to clean jacket

Yes. You read that right. We are going to use some toothpaste to clean our hardy leather jacket. There is a caveat, though. The toothpaste in question has to be no-gel.

Step 1: Take some toothpaste on your fingertips.

Step 2: Proceed to rub it on the stain. Make sure to use circular motions in order to cover the whole stained area. Be slow and gentle with the rubbing motion.

Step 3: Use a damp sponge or fabric to gently wipe off the toothpaste completely. This would be one of the easiest ways to lift a stain off of a leather jacket. However, the type of toothpaste you use is very important. It is something to watch out for, else you risk damaging your leather jacket.

Using Baking Soda or Cornstarch

Other than for baking, baking soda does have some cleaning properties. Thus, we can use some to remove those annoying grease stains off selected objects. So, if we feel that our jacket has a grease stain, we can opt for the baking soda or cornstarch method.

Step 1: Sprinkle some cornstarch or baking soda on to the stain spot.

Step 2: Dampen a sponge or a rag and rub the sprinkled powder on the stain.

Step 3: Let it stay for a few hours. Do not leave it to dry overnight. The baking soda or cornstarch absorbs the oily content from the stain, removing it altogether.

Step 4: Use a clean, dry rag or towel to pat the jacket dry.

Using Nail Polish Removers

Use with caution. Nail polish removers are only to be used if you feel that you have an ink stain or a random scuff mark on your trusty leather jacket.

Step 1: Take a cotton swab, dip it in some nail polish remover, proceed to shake off any extra polish remover.

Step 2: Using the dipped swab, blot out the stain.

Step 3: Keep blotting until the stain grows invisible. DO NOT rub the cotton swab on the leather. Doing so might result in discoloration.

Step 4: Use a damp sponge or fabric to wipe the area.

Step 5: Use a dry fabric or towel to pat the area dry.

Using Rubbing Alcohol

It has the same use case as nail polish removers. And it is quite handy to keep around. Unlike nail polish removers, we do not apply it directly on to the leather. Use cases of rubbing alcohol are basically for molds and ink stains.

Step 1: Dilute some rubbing alcohol by mixing with water. We recommend going 50:50.

Step 2: Dampen a sponge or fabric with the mixture.

Step 3: Rub on to the mold or stained area in a smooth, circular motion.

Step 4: Once the area looks clean, use a water-damped cloth to rub off the alcohol.

Using Leather Cleaners

A leather jacket is evidently a long term investment. And thus, to get the most out of it, we really recommend getting into leather cleaners to go along with it. They remove dirt, stains, and keep the leather healthy, supple, and shiny.

Step 1: Take a small dollop of the leather cleaner into a clean piece of fabric.

Step 2: We recommend cleaning the entire jacket at once as we want it to shine throughout.

Step 3: Take more of that leather cleaner and apply it as necessary.


A leather jacket is one of those forever additions to any wardrobe. We can style it out to suit our needs and any outfit. Taking care of your leather jacket will increase its lifetime over many years. Thus, follow the steps in our guide, and you will have a spick and span leather jacket in no time at all!