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Removing That Vintage Leather Smell And Caring For Your Leather Clothes

Removing That Vintage Leather Smell And Caring For Your Leather Clothes

9 Sep

Removing That Vintage Leather Smell And Caring For Your Leather Clothes

Vintage clothing – we all love it. Just the idea of browsing through the racks of a vintage clothes or thrift store and finding the PERFECT leather jacket is a cause for celebration. BUT the smell! Anyone who loves vintage clothing can attest to this fact – the detestable odor (like cigarette smoke) that emanates from leather clothing is such a turn off.

Removing the smell is possible, however it will take time and effort, particularly if you are planning to take the DIY route.

Maybe All Your Leather Jacket Really Needs Is A Good Cleaning?

Cleaning the leather item should do the job however if it doesn’t, you can try the following DIY remedies at home.


This product is an incredible first line of attack if the leather item has a stitched lining. Febreeze is often used to take smell out of any fabric AND it works just as well for leather! Remember to use this product sparingly as most manufacturers don’t really recommend Febreeze. Staining or dye removal is a very strong possibility.

What to Do

As always when trying out a new product you aren’t sure about, conduct a spot test on one part of the item. If there’s no visible change or damage to the leather, then only apply a saturated mixture of Febreeze (inside and out) and dry it flat.

baking-sodaBaking Soda

This incredible kitchen product isn’t only use to clean carpets and drains! You can use baking soda in a number of ways to try and remove odors from your favorite leather jacket. Since baking soda is a gentle product, it likely won’t damage the material. However, it’s better to be safe and perform a spot test first.

What to Do with Dry Baking Soda

Place your jacket in a pillow case or a paper bag, alongside with an OPEN box of baking soda. The smell will be completely gone if kept like this for 24 hours. For greater results: sprinkle some baking soda inside the pockets and interior OR leave a sock filled with baking soda inside the item.

What to Do with Baking Soda Solution

Pour one liter of warm water in a bucket and mix one teaspoon of baking soda. Saturate the leather item in this solution. You may also need to concentrate the mixture depending on the item and stubbornness of odor. Take it out after a good soak, rinse completely and dry flat on the ground.

Remember: Leather can get damaged with too much water saturation. Go for the professional dry cleaning route if the item is expensive or valuable.

polishSome Additional Leather Caring Tips to Keep In Mind

Imperial Valet suggests protecting leather clothing with a high quality polish before wearing them. You can try Kiwi’s Protect-All. The polish should be re-applied every three months.

If you’re taking the DIY route when cleaning leather items, always go slow. Only mild soaps or leather cleansers should be used on the item. Rub it carefully and gently using a damp paper towel. Let sit for a few seconds then wipe clean.

Allow the item to dry naturally, and then moisturize using a good quality leather conditioner.

Don’t go by its appearance but leather is a very delicate material. DIY cleaning and polishing methods could damage the fabric of your favorite vintage jacket! Always head to the professionals at the first sign of fading or damage – Imperial Valet will help.

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