Leather is a material made of tanned animal hide. It is used to make many products, including jackets, furniture, shoes and purses. Although leather is a durable material, getting strong smells out of it can be difficult. The smell of smoke, food odour, sweat and perfume can soak deeply into the leather, and removing them can be a trial-and-error process. You can always get professional help to avoid damaging the item. However, if you want to try to do it yourself, then we’ve got just the thing for you. Here’s a beginner’s guide to removing odours from leather jackets.
How to Remove Chemical Smells
If the leather jacket you are buying smells strongly of chemicals, don’t buy it. A strong chemical scent indicates the leather was badly tanned or that this is a faux leather jacket. Either way, the chemicals in the leather can cause respiratory problems. If you can, choose a leather jacket which has been vegetable tanned, as it will have undergone a lengthier tanning process using fewer chemicals. If possible, place the jacket in a bag and cover it with baking soda; leave it there for 24 hours before removing, as this may help to reduce the chemical smell.
How to Remove Fishy Smells
Some manufacturers use cheap, low-quality fish oil to finish their leather products. This fish oil breaks down over time, resulting in an unpleasant fishy smell that is not easily removed. A baking soda treatment is unlikely to remove the odour, so you will need a good quality leather cleaner.
How to Remove the Smell of Smoke
Leather is a porous material, so it naturally absorbs odours. Since the smoking ban in restaurants and bars, the likelihood of your jacket becoming contaminated with smoke is much less, although standing near a bonfire on "Guy Fawkes Night" can still present a problem. To remove smoky odours from your leather jacket, mix equal parts of water and vinegar, and sponge the mixture onto the jacket with a damp sponge. Afterwards, condition the leather to keep it from drying out.
How to Remove the Smell of Sweat
If your leather jacket smells like sweat, the lining is probably the source of the odour. Don't put the jacket in the washing machine because the agitation will damage the leather and shrink the jacket. Read care instructions for the lining; silk or rayon need special cleaning, but cotton can be hand washed. Wash affected areas with a gentle detergent, but avoid soaking leather. Allow it to dry somewhere warm, but not hot.
We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you get rid of undesirable smells from your leather jacket. While it may seem tricky, it’s not something that you won’t be able to do if you know how to approach the problem. Be sure to keep everything you’ve learned here in mind so that you can best take care of your leather jackets.
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