How Much Does It Cost to Clean a Leather Jacket?

Woman in black leather jacket
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Depending on a variety of factors, the average cost to get a leather jacket professionally cleaned can typically range between $40 to $100. 

Along with price variances between different cleaners, the characteristics of the jacket will also play a major part. 

The type of leather, the length of the jacket, and jacket condition will all affect how much you are charged.

Getting your leather jacket professionally cleaned is an important investment to keep it looking as nice as the day you bought it! 

Professional leather jacket cleaning requires many years of skill and experience to properly clean your garment without damage. 

In addition to outlining some average costs and why it costs so much, we will also share some tips and tricks to keeping your jacket looking great between cleanings. 

Factors Affecting the Cost to Clean Leather Jackets

The cost to clean leather jackets will greatly vary depending on the size and style of the jacket, the type and condition of the leather, and the reputation and expertise of the cleaner.

The type of leather is important when determining price because some types require additional special care to clean. 

Cleaning finished leather can range from $40 to 100. However, suede or nubuck can be a bit trickier to clean and will cost you more, ranging from $60 to $100. 

As you may guess – the longer your jacket is the higher the cost to clean it will be. A regular length coat (less than 30” long) can range from $40 to $90, while a full-length coat can cost between $70 to $100.

The condition of your jacket can also influence the price. 

Removal of dust, dirt, or sweat stains occurred during regular wear will be covered by the cost of basic cleaning. 

However, if your jacket has sun damage, rips and tears, strong odors, and/or larger stains, you will likely be charged a little extra for any additional required services. 

Additional services would typically be quoted on a case-by-case basis, but below outlines a general price range for how much some common fixes may cost you:

  • Rips, holes, and tears can usually be fixed for an extra $25 – $50.
  • Minor alterations, such as adding zippers, making sleeves shorter, or changing the lining can cost an additional $40 to $80, depending on the work that is carried out.
  • A professional leather cleaner can even recolor leather, typically costing around $40 to $80.

If the cleaner is situated in a very high-end area and/or has a lot of experience it will likely cost you more. A cleaner that specializes in leather cleaning can also be a bit more costly than a more general dry-cleaner.

Can You Take a Leather Jacket to the Dry Cleaner?

Yes, a dry-cleaner is a skilled professional that is an excellent option for minor, routine cleaning and will always be the most cost-effective option.

However, if the leather is badly damaged, vintage, or extremely valuable, a professional who specializes solely in leather would likely be the better decision. 

Professional leather cleaners will have the additional expertise and specialized tools to ensure that your jacket is not damaged by cleaning and repair. 

Specialists will often cost a bit more than a regular dry-cleaner.

How Often Should I Get Professional Leather Jacket Cleaning? 

There is no magic number for how often you should get your leather jacket cleaned. It largely depends on how often you wear it, how exposed to dirt it is, and how it is cared for at home on a day-to-day basis.

The general consensus is that at an absolute minimum you should be getting your jacket professionally cleaned once a year. 

If you wear your jacket more than once a week, it should be cleaned at least every 6 months in order to avoid damage.

How Are Leather Jackets Cleaned?

Leather is typically cleaned in one of two ways: wet cleaning or dry cleaning. The kind of cleaning used will vary depending on the condition of the jacket and the type of cleaner that you bring it to.

Dry cleaning is performed by using a special chemical solvent with the use of very little to no water. The garment is gently agitated in the solution which causes any dirt to loosen. 

Wet cleaning is performed with water and a soap product. 

During the cleaning process, the natural oils in suede and leather are often removed. 

Part of the cleaning process involves re-oiling the leather in order to keep it soft and supple. It may then require some re-texturing in order to achieve the original finish.

Professional leather jacket cleaning will typically take 24 to 72 hours to complete. However, if it is outsourced out to a specialist, it can take up to 2 weeks.

One important thing to take into account with any type of professional leather cleaning is the type of chemicals used. 

If a general fabric cleaner is used, it can cause permanent discoloration or cracking. 

If you decide to bring your jacket to a dry-cleaner, be sure to request that they use gentler chemicals that are more appropriate to leather.

How to Clean a Leather Jacket at Home

Professional leather jacket cleaning can be pricey if you need to do it often. 

Although professional cleaning is always recommended, there are some steps that you can take at home for managing light dust, dirt, and minor spills to help extend the period between cleanings.

It is always best to start with the mildest solution first and then work your way up if needed. 

In most cases, a small amount of water may be all that is needed. It is recommended to only perform this type of cleaning on finished leather. It is always best to leave cleaning suede or nubuck to the professionals.

  1. The first step is always to check the manufacturer label on your jacket to see if any cleaning instructions are included and always follow these directions above any other guidance.
  2. If it is a food stain, very gently remove any excess food being careful not to smear or make the stain larger.
  3. Using a soft cloth or sponge with a very small amount of water, lightly blot the stain. Always work from the inside of the stain to outside. Make sure you don’t rub.
  4. As you are blotting the stain, carefully feather out the edges so that there is no hard-edged ring. If a hard ring is created, go back in again with a dampened and then feather out the edges again.
  5. Let the spot completely dry. 
  6. Apply leather conditioner once your jacket is completely dry. Apply very lightly in long, even strokes. Use a very small amount and ensure that you test out a small bit in an inconspicuous spot before you start.  

If just water on its own does not work, you can try something a little stronger. Try diluting one part Mr. Clean to 20 parts water and then blot the area again and allow it to completely dry. 

Cleaning wipes or a leather cleaning system can then be tried, but it is likely best in this case to get it professionally cleaned.