Parenting Hacks: Machine Washing Leather Jacket

It’s a big no-no, right?

Let’s find out together. I’m writing this post about Autumn’s brand new (not really, we got it at Goodwill yesterday for $5.99) leather jacket. She’s been wanting one for a while, found this cool little piece for six bucks, and couldn’t pass it up. Incidentally, we also found 13 ties and four men’s shirts for upcoming projects. SO excited for those!!


We got it home and she tried it on to do a little strutting only to find that it retained an unpleasant smell that she really didn’t want spreading to the rest of her wardrobe.  Next, guilt struck as she researched and realized that having it cleaned would negate the cheapness factor. So, we did a little research on washing leather. Turns out, several people feel it’s possible and have posted pictures and success stories. We really liked these articles by EditByDesign and Glamour.

Here’s the jacket – pre-wash – on my favorite female model, of course.

Ignore her softball attire…she had practice just beforehand.


Washing Leather!!!

So, I followed the most common of the instructions – buttoned it up, turned it inside out, and put it in with some soft materials (a few towels). I set the temperature to cold and used the “hand wash” cycle….wish me luck….

Score! So far, so good. Please excuse the photo quality on these two images….it was tough to get a good shot and I didn’t want to wait too long to get it in the dryer.

Inside-out shot of the jacket just out of the washer


I turned it right-side out to show how it looks fresh out of the washer.


Following some of the advice from the posts we used as guidance, I did stretch the sleeves a little and then turned the jacket inside out to put it in the dryer on low for 20 minutes so we will see how it looks at that point. Fingers crossed!

After 20 minutes in the dryer on low, the jacket looked great but I popped it in for 20 more minutes on low. I needed to leave so I left the jacket on top of the dryer to finish drying. We’ve got a long day so Autumn won’t be able to try it on until tonight but I’m thinking it will be dry by then. It DEFINITELY smells better!

The Solution

By the time we got home for the night the jacket was dry enough for Autumn to try it on.

She is SO pleased, it doesn’t smell bad and it fits great! We’re going to use a little leather conditioner on it but it looks and feels normal but sans the nasty, musty smell. #MomWin

2 thoughts on “Parenting Hacks: Machine Washing Leather Jacket

  1. Prior to sticking a PU leather jacket in the washing machine , check the label of the jacket to make sure it is machine washable . If the jacket says hand wash only and you have a handwash setting on your washing machine , use this setting.

    • Tracy Broyles says:

      Thank you for your comment! This is not a PU leather jacket, it is real leather and the point was that we were able to wash our thrift store find to avoid paying for a leather cleaning. The jacket looks great and feels great after we took these steps. Of course, I cannot speak to what other people may or may not encounter, this was our experience and it worked out.

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