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How to Get Bad Smells Out of Leather Jackets

Leather jackets are designed to be worn and can be worn for decades with the proper care and maintenance. But like any clothing item, the leather can pick up strange or off-putting smells over time. If they’re bad enough, those smells can leave you wondering if you should give your leather jacket away. Luckily, you don’t have to. There are a few easy things you can do to get rid of those bad smells so you can enjoy wearing your jacket again. Here are a few things you can try.

Air It Out
Believe it or not, bad smells can dissipate over time, but you can speed up the process by airing your jacket out. Hang it in a well-ventilated space or set it out in a covered or protected space outside. If you’re hanging your jacket indoors, open the windows and point a fan or two at your jacket. This can help circulate the air and makes it easier for the odors to dissipate. If you’re hanging it outside, try to do so on a lightly breezy day. The breeze will act like the fans you use indoors and will circulate the air around your jacket, gradually removing those smells.

Use Baking Soda
If the odors are really stubborn and airing your jacket out doesn’t work, you may be able to use baking soda to remove the smell. Sprinkle dry baking soda on your jacket and let it sit for about 24 hours. Then, inspect your jacket to see if the odor remains. In most cases, the baking soda should be enough to get rid of even the most stubborn smells. After letting the baking soda sit, simply shake it off outside and vacuum up any residue that remains. If the smell persists, try reapplying the baking soda and repeating the process.

Wrap Your Jacket in Packing Paper
If your jacket just smells a bit musty or stale, baking soda may seem like more trouble than it’s worth. Instead, consider wrapping your jacket in packing paper. This plain brown paper can help absorb odors when left to sit for a week or two. Once you unwrap the jacket, much of the smell should’ve been absorbed by the paper which you can then recycle or throw away. 

If you don’t have access to packing paper, you can use newspaper. But the ink can transfer onto the leather if you’re not careful. If you choose to use newspaper, only do so if you have a dark jacket and be prepared to clean your jacket afterward to remove any of the ink left behind.

Clean and Condition the Leather
Believe it or not, some odors can be trapped in the dirt and grime your jacket collects from regular wear. Often, cleaning up that dirt will help get rid of the smell. Use a dedicated leather cleaner that’s safe for your jacket’s material. Then, condition the leather and check it for odors.

Restore Your Leather Jacket the Easy Way
These tips can help you get rid of minor odors on your own, but if the smells are overly strong or you don’t have the time to get rid of odors yourself, let an expert help. At Jonval Leather and Furs, our team can repair and restore your jacket for you. Contact us today to learn more.