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What Happens to Leather Jackets in the Rain?

Updated April 17, 2017

Leather jackets are a fashionable staple in any wardrobe. A well-made and well-cared-for leather jacket will last for years and is well worth the cost. You may want to avoid leather if you live in a hot or humid climate, or an area that experiences heavy rainfall, all of which can damage leather or simply render it uncomfortable...but with proper preventive measures and cleaning, you can wear your leather jacket in the rain without worry.

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Preventive Care

When you purchase your leather jacket, take advantage of the protective spray the sales clerk will offer you. It may seem like an unnecessary extra cost, but protecting your leather jacket is protecting an investment. Spray your leather jacket with a water and stain-repelling spray before you wear it for the first time, and at least once every six months thereafter. Water strips leather of its natural oils and causes it to dry out and crack, so be sure to keep your jacket clean with leather shampoo or cleaner.

Leather in the Rain

Once you've treated your leather jacket with a water-repelling spray, you'll be able to wear it in the rain. The water will bead up on the leather's surface rather than absorbing into it. Beads of water are easy to wipe away, but doing so is futile while it's still exposed to rain. Wait until you get home and wipe the water away with a damp cloth. Hang up your leather and allow it to dry at room temperature away from any heat source.

Cleaning Your Leather

When your jacket is dry, you may notice small water spots on its surface. Wipe these away with a damp cloth and apply a leather conditioner to maintain your leather's flexibility. Hang your jacket to dry. You should never put leather in a dryer. In winter, your leather jacket will be at risk for salt deposits and stains. These need to be wiped away as soon as possible with a damp cloth. Use leather shampoo or cleaner regularly to prevent damage and stains on your jacket.

Leather Storage

Clean your leather before storing it for long periods of time, such as over the summer. Use leather cleaner and a protective spray, then store hanging up in a cool, dry place. Use protective spray again before you wear the jacket outside for the first time after a long period of storage to ensure it will still repel water and prevent stains from forming.

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About the Author

Jennifer Reynolds is a professional writer covering crafting, electronics and entertainment topics. She graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing from York University.

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