While some experts recommend avoiding washing leather pants altogether, others say that it is possible to wash them without damaging the leather. The truth is that it depends on the type of leather and the washing method used.
If you have genuine leather pants, the best way to clean them is to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Some leather pants can be machine washed, while others require professional cleaning.
Dos and don’ts of washing leather pants
5-step guide to washing leather pants
Prepare the cleaning solution
Mix a small amount of mild soap or a specially formulated leather cleaner with lukewarm water. Dip a soft, clean cloth into the solution and wring it out so it’s damp, not soaking wet.
Spot clean stains
Gently rub the damp cloth on any stains or spots on the leather pants, being careful not to saturate the leather. Use a circular motion, working from the outside of the stain towards the center.
Wipe down the entire surface
Use a separate damp cloth without soap to wipe down the entire surface of the pants, removing any soap residue and dirt. This will help ensure an even appearance and prevent the cleaned areas from looking different from the rest of the pants.
Dry the pants
Allow the leather pants to air dry in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Don’t use a clothes dryer, as the heat can damage the leather.
Condition the leather
Once the pants are completely dry, apply a leather conditioner specifically designed for the type of leather you have. Follow the product’s instructions and use a clean, soft cloth to apply the conditioner in a thin, even layer. This will help maintain the leather’s suppleness and prevent it from drying out or cracking.
Can I use regular soap or detergent to clean my leather pants?
It’s best to use a mild soap or a specially formulated leather cleaner for cleaning leather pants. Regular soaps or detergents may contain harsh chemicals that can damage the leather or strip away its natural oils, causing it to dry out or crack.
Can leather pants be dried in the dryer?
No, you should never put leather pants in the dryer. Instead, hang them up to dry or lay them flat on a towel. Avoid drying them in direct sunlight or using a heat source to dry them, as this can cause the leather to crack or fade.
How often should I condition my leather pants?
The frequency of conditioning depends on factors like the climate, how often you wear the pants, and their exposure to the elements. As a general guideline, condition your leather pants every 3-6 months or when you notice the leather starting to look dry or dull. Always follow the instructions on the leather conditioner product for best results.
What should you avoid when washing leather pants?
Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials when washing leather pants, as this can damage the leather. You should also avoid using hot water or high heat when drying them, as this can cause the leather to shrink or become misshapen.
Is it safe to use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process after cleaning my leather pants?
It’s not recommended to use a hairdryer or any heat source to speed up the drying process, as high heat can damage the leather. Instead, allow the pants to air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight and heat sources.