Genuine leather pants have been a wardrobe staple in fashion since its first debut on the world stage. Leather pants are sexy, and a great addition to an outfit ensemble, but stains on your leather pants are not so sexy.
Consult the label on the back of the leather pants for instructions. Genuine leather pants should be dry-cleaned by a professional, taken to a leather specialist, or treated at home using a cleaning agent specifically designed for leather apparel. Start by treating the stains.
Things to consider before cleaning leather pants
The first step is to determine what type of leather it is. You’ll find this information on the label on the pants’ back. Real leather pants are made from natural animal hide/skin or bovine leather. This type of leather can last a lifetime with proper maintenance and care.
The crucial point is that you cannot wash real leather pants. Genuine leather is not resistant to water or direct sunlight and must be protected from these elements. The problem is not in the leather getting wet but rather when the leather dries. Leather contains natural oils. When the leather gets wet, the oils bind with the water molecules.
As a result, when the water evaporates during drying, the oils are drawn out of the leather. This process causes the leather to become stiff and brittle and lose its subtleness. Similarly, allowing genuine leather pants to dry in the sun for an extended period will dry out the leather, causing it to become stiff and brittle.
Faux leather, on the other hand, is more forgiving. This type of leather is made from synthetic materials and is more prevalent in the fashion industry due to its lower carbon footprint.
After determining the type of leather, you can look at the label for cleaning/washing instructions:
- If there is no label on the pants but you know the manufacturer’s name, you can look up the cleaning/washing instructions online or contact the manufacturer directly.
- If the label states “not washable” or “dry clean only,” it’s best to take the garment to a leather specialist.
- Alternatively, the label may state that you should only dry clean the leather pants, so it is best to obey the instructions.
- If the label does provide washing instructions, a slow cycle in cold water is usually the best option. When spinning the pants after the wash cycle, set the spin at the slowest level if the washing machine gives this option.
Another critical point is that genuine leather pants should never go into the dryer. Again, the label should give complete instructions on proper cleaning and caring for the specific type of leather.
How do you clean genuine leather pants?
You can invest in a good, high-quality leather cleaner to help remove dirt and stains from your leather pants. Leather cleaners are designed to help clean leather pants and remove stubborn stains. Taking your leather garment to a specialist can be expensive. An alternative is purchasing a leather cleaner you can use at home. Never use bleach or ammonia-based cleaners to clean your leather pants.
At-home cleaning remedies for genuine leather
There is another option that won’t necessarily cost you any money. It’s an option that allows you to use everyday items that you can find in your kitchen to clean your leather garment. Mix olive oil and vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the mixture over the stains on the leather pants. The ratio is half a cup of oil mixed with a quarter cup of vinegar. Allow the mixture to sit on the stain for approximately five minutes before wiping it off with a damp cloth.
Alternatively, you can use toothpaste to remove stains from leather garments. Lightly dampen the stained area with a wet cloth. Don’t soak the area; just lightly dampen it. Apply a small amount of toothpaste over the stain and gently work the toothpaste into the stain using your fingers and circular movements. Wipe the area clean with a damp cloth and allow it to dry.
Some leather garments can be dry-cleaned. Dry cleaning leather is a specialized process requiring specialized cleaning equipment and products to effectively and safely remove stains.
How often should you wash leather pants?
Leather pants should be cleaned once per season. You don’t necessarily need to have your leather pants professionally cleaned every time you wear them. Still, you should consider proper cleaning once a season or when necessary. Cleaning the pants too often may cause it to lose its subtleness over time.
You can use a leather cleaner to remove stains from your leather pants. Leather is a porous material that attracts and holds dirt easily. The material can easily absorb stains from hands or skin. Dirt can build up on the surface of your leather pants over time. A good leather cleaner can only go so far. You will need to have your garment professionally cleaned.
How to treat stains on leather pants
There are different at-home remedies that you can apply to remove stains from your leather pants, depending on the type of stain. Some stains set quickly, and others set over time. The goal is to address the stains as quickly as possible.
How to treat oil-based stains on leather pants
Baking soda or cornstarch are excellent at removing oil or grease stains from your leather pants. Place the baking soda or cornstarch over the stain and gently rub it in. Allow it to sit for a few hours or overnight. The cornstarch/baking powder will absorb the oil or grease stain. Simply wipe it clean with a dry cloth.
How to remove water stains
Wet the area with the water spot again and allow it to dry gently. This will remove any water spots on your leather pants.
How to remove mold from leather pants
Mix equal parts rubbing alcohol and water. Use a cloth and apply the mixture to the affected area. Wipe the area clean with another damp cloth.
How to remove ink stains from your leather pants
Use rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab. Dab the rubbing alcohol over the ink stain, then allow it to dry. This should effectively remove the ink stain from the leather pants.
How to remove road salt
Areas that experience snow in the winter may also have salt thrown on the road. This salt may stick to the bottom of your leather pants and cause stains. But you can quickly and easily remove it. Mix equal parts water and vinegar. Blot the mixture over the stained areas and wipe clean. This process may need to be repeated several times to be effective.
How to condition leather pants
If you own a pair of genuine leather pants, you should invest in the durability of the pants. This doesn’t only refer to regular cleaning, but also regular conditioning.
You can do this by treating the leather with a conditioner. The highest quality conditioners usually don’t have a lot of additives or silicones in them. These ingredients may leave a residue on the pants after it has dried. Ideally, lanolin-based conditioners work the best to treat and condition leather pants.
This is a critical step in the cleaning process. Leather pants should be conditioned regularly or after each cleaning. Simply rub the conditioner into the leather pants in a circular motion until all of the conditioners has been absorbed.
Is it bad to get leather pants wet?
Untreated genuine leather should not be exposed to water. Some circumstances are beyond your control, such as rain, but avoid getting genuine leather wet whenever possible, especially if the leather is untreated.
It’s the fastest way to damage or destroy leather. When leather pants are exposed to water, natural oils are pulled out of the leather during the drying cycle. The leather pants may also accumulate and absorb moisture if it is not dried correctly. This may cause mildew and mold to form. And there is no quick or easy fix for this type of problem.
On the other hand, Faux leather may be exposed to water and, in some cases, even a wash cycle. You may want to conduct a spot check on an unexposed area of the faux leather pants before plunging it into the water. Wait for the pants to dry and check for any discoloration, spots, wrinkling, or markings on the pants after it has dried.
Can you wash 100% leather pants?
No. Traditional washing methods are not ideal for genuine leather pants. There are other methods available to clean leather pants and remove stains.
Essential tips for caring for leather pants
If you live in an area that experiences a lot of rain, you may want to protect your leather pants by waterproofing the garment. You can do this by wiping your leather pants with a damp cloth before applying a leather protectant.
This will help protect your genuine leather pants from water, moisture, or other stains. This will prolong the life of your leather garment.