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Taking Care of Leather Vests: A Motorcycle Rider’s Guide

Posted on December 05, 2014

Your motorcycle vest can be considered as one of your most important clothing items for riding. It is where your patches are attached and has to last a long time. It basically represents you in the motorcycling world. And they don’t come cheap, right? Well, this is the reason why you should take care of it and make sure to maintain its good condition.

As we all know, leather is a complex natural material. Making sure that it’s kept in perfect condition can indeed be difficult. That’s why we have gathered some proven tips for taking care of your motorcycle vest.

Maintaining Your Leather Vest:

    1. Make Your Vest more Water Resistant. Find a “leather protector” or a “leather waterproofing” product suitable for the  type of leather used for your vest. It can be in the form of spray or cream. All you have to do is follow the instructions provided on the packaging. However, be mindful of the restrictions to avoid damaging effects to the color, shine or longevity of your vest. Typically, you should apply a protector or a waterproofing product on a monthly basis.

    2. Condition Your Leather Vest. Leather loses oil overtime and can cause excessive dryness. This will eventually lead to irreparable damage in the form of cracking. To avoid this, you should apply a leather conditioner to your vest. This product restores the natural oil content of leather, thus avoiding damages. However, take note that you should also avoid overdoing the application. Too much oil can also affect the color and can shorten the life span of leather.

    3.Apply Polish Rarely. Leather polish surely adds shine and brilliance to your leather vest. However, frequent use can remove its natural color and can dry out its surface. Thus, make sure to use any type of polishing product infrequently. Take note that suede and other fuzzy-textured leather should not be polished.

    Cleaning Your Leather Vest:

    1. Be Aware of Specific Cleaning Instructions. Before cleaning or before even using your leather vest for the first time, make sure that you are aware of the specific instructions for removing dirt from it. This is often found on the vest’s tag or label. These cleaning directions are applicable to the type of leather used. You should keep them in mind so that you will know the dos and don’ts in taking care of your vest.

    2. Know When to Use Commercial Leather Cleaners. There are lots of cleaning products available for leathers. However, you should always be cautious in using them. Remember that improper use or application can damage your motorcycle clothing. Always take time to read instructions on labels.

    3. Use Rubbing Alcohol or Mild Soap. You can clean your leather jacket with the use of rubbing alcohol or mild soap. This technique is very effective especially in removing mold and other deposits. All you have to do is mix either of the ingredients with water and use it in removing mold. It is best done with the use of a cotton cloth.

    4. Use Gum Art Eraser. If alcohol or soap is not effective enough, you can also try using gum art eraser. Much like in an artwork, the eraser can be used to literally erase stains and dirt. If residue clings unto the vest, you can wipe it off with a damp cloth or use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of it.

    5. Opt for a Dry Clean. If all the cleaning tips or products you’ve tried don’t work, it’s time to bring your leather vest to the expert. Visit your local dry cleaners who specialize in leather clothing. They will be able to remove the stain and dirt on your motorcycle vest.

Storing Your Leather Vest:

    1. Dry Clean First. If you are planning to store your motorcycle vest for a longer period of time, it is best to clean it up first. If you are confident enough that cleaning it yourself can do the job, go for it. However, if you feel it should be handled by the experts, you should have it dry-cleaned by professional cleaners.

    2. Use a Padded Hanger. Your leather vest, as with other leather clothing, shouldn’t be stored folded as this can stretch the surface or create fold streaks on it. Instead, you should hang the vest with the use of a padded hanger to make sure that the leather won’t get damaged.

    3. Avoid Direct Heat or Sunlight. You should store your motorcycle vest in a place not exposed to any heat source especially sunlight. This element can cause cracking, dryness and discoloration which can ultimately deteriorate the condition of leather. Thus, you should pick a cool and dry place for storage.

    4. Avoid Smelly Storage Areas . Leather can absorb the smell of its surroundings and removing the foul odor can be daunting. This means you shouldn’t store your vest in an area with smelly chemicals. One of the best examples is the use of mothballs or similar home pesticides on cabinets. This should be avoided if you don’t want your vest to stink.

The  leather care tips that we have provided here will indeed help you make the most out of your  motorcycle vests. And guess what, some of these easy to follow steps can also be applied to other types of motorcycling gear. If you have your own tips to share or add in our list, feel free to buzz on the comment section below.