What is your cleaning procedure for a “new” secondhand jacket?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Schambach, Sep 20, 2021.

  1. Schambach

    Schambach One of the Regulars

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    Hi All, apologies if this has been done in the past, but I did some searching and couldn’t find a thread about it.

    When you receive a secondhand jacket, how do you go about cleaning and/or conditioning it before you wear it? I’ve been lucky so far, as most of my used jackets have been very gently used, if at all, and haven’t required much. But at some point, I’m sure I’ll get one that requires some work before wearing.

    You all have been at this a good bit longer than I have, and I know some of you have some very specific procedures for this. I’d love to hear about them!
     
  2. Carlos840

    Carlos840 I'll Lock Up

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    If the jacket is super clean/looks unworn, i just give the collar and inside of wrists a quick wipe with a damp cloth.
    If the jacket is clean but has some visible wear, i give every leather part a clean with some Lexol leather cleaner, i then give the jacket a quick rub with a little Pecard.
    If the jacket is truly worn and down right dirty i wash it in the bathtub or in the washing machine depending on the condition of the jacket, let it dry, Pecard.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
  3. Monitor

    Monitor

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    The only time I will bother with cleaning the jacket is if it's extremely filthy - Which is something that I am usually already aware of prior to purchasing it - but otherwise, I am not terribly concerned with who owned the jacket prior to me and will rarely resort to cleaning short of dusting it off. As conditioners have yet to convince me of their usefulness, slapping ointments over my jackets is also something I'm less and less inclined to do.

    But when a jacket truly does require cleaning, it has usually reached a point where only a washing machine can make a difference so that's how I'll go about it; Gentle cycle, little vinegar, no heat & some whatever liquid leather conditioner afterwards, out of simple habit. Works like a charm.
     
  4. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead One Too Many

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    I've got about 4 or 5 levels.

    If bought from here and owner says only worn few times, etc. I pretty much do nothing.

    If it's got about 1-2 years worth of wear, I'll give a wipe down with wet towel.

    If several years of wear but still looks good, wet towel wipe down (maybe some scrubbing here and there on certain areas) and some conditioner.

    If getting into the vintage zone or just looks thrashed, it goes in the bucket with some liquid dish washer soap. Some good old fashioned hand washing, thorough rinse. Then depending on how I like the fit, anything from air dry in shade/room temp room, to hanging in the sun, to full blast in the dryer or sitting in a hot car if it's too fragile. And then of course 2-3 coats of conditioner.
     
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  5. ton312

    ton312

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    Dirty liners are really what makes a jacket dirty. Hard to truly clean. In my view the leather is very easy to treat, spot clean and condition. If the liner is shot it is easier and more satisfying to simply replace it.
     
  6. Flying Monkey

    Flying Monkey New in Town

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    I use a solution of about 1/3 white vinegar and 2/3 water in a bowl. Take a clean cotton rag like an old white t shirt and wipe the jacket down with it using liberal amounts of the mix but do not soak. Wipe a small area in an out of the way place first to make sure its not going strip the finish on the leather or stain the liner, especially if the jacket is really old or is a Chinese import. You can remove both dirt and at least some smells this way. Your jacket will smell like a pickle jar for a couple days, but that goes away and your jacket smells like...basically nothing. (As long as it didn't totally reek beforehand.)
     
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  7. Schambach

    Schambach One of the Regulars

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    That's more or less what I've been doing. I haven't ended up with anything dirty or worn enough for the bathtub, or the washing machine. The latter definitely freaks me out a little, but it sounds like it works from what I've read here.
     
  8. Schambach

    Schambach One of the Regulars

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    Good point. If it comes to that, what does that run, and who would you look for to do it?
     
  9. Schambach

    Schambach One of the Regulars

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    I've gone as far as level three I think.

    Once you do get to hand washing, and drying, what sort of drying do you recommend if you don't want to shrink it? And I'm assuming you're laying it flat, or draping it over something?
     
  10. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Often times, second jacket come with some kind of scent. Either coming from the previous owner's cologne or some faint musty smell from being put away in storage for years.

    Therefore I always let them bake in the sun for a couple of days before wearing them. 9 out of 10 times that's enough to take care of all smells. Doesn't work for bo though, unfortunately.
     
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  11. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    The worst jackets need a bath with shampoo for cleaning. But be warned, you do risk washing out the tannins, especially with vegetables tanned leathers.

    81B7E99F-830D-406F-89EE-8E1669BD378A.jpeg
     
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  12. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 I'll Lock Up

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  13. Schambach

    Schambach One of the Regulars

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  14. Schambach

    Schambach One of the Regulars

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    Location:
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    As I’m sure most of you might have guessed, I started this as I have a dirty jacket to deal with. I wasn’t sure, but I had a feeling. The jacket arrived today, and sure enough it does indeed need some cleaning. It’s a mid weight Vanson, in very good shape, and it fits well, but it’s definitely a little funky, the liner more than the leather. So, I’m thinking of throwing it in the washer tomorrow. The fit is good, very good actually, so I don’t want to shrink it, so I’ll go with cold, and will dry flat on a towel in the shade. Going to rain the next few days anyway.

    Was considering cleaning the outside of the jacket with Lexol before the wash, would that be overkill?
     
  15. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 I'll Lock Up

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    ^^ So that Taubers actually got a couple of threads after it was washed. The liner wound up being replaced by Dena (can't recommend her enough) and that really transformed the jacket:

    the Sale of the jacket: https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/taubers-straight-zip-50s-60s-police-jacket.100965/

    The Restoration of the jacket: https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/taubers-straight-zip-restoration-jacket.100915/

    As for your earlier questions. I would just stick it in the wash with Woolite detergent (that's what I used) and put it on the delicate cycle. That did not do it so I ran it again on the Heavy Duty cycle. To clarify (on edit here) my washing machine is a non-agitator top load machine.

    Then I hung it up in my dry basement with a simple fan blowing on it on Medium for 2 days. Temps were ~ 65F in the room. After that is when I conditioned the leather - and now I think I would have used Urad -which Dena is a big fan of.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
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  16. alish

    alish Familiar Face

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    Putting the jacket in a mesh garment bag (like that used to wash delicates) might decrease the risk of having the lining tear at the seams if you run it through the washer. Even doing this I still had a small seam tear at the armpit the only time I ran a jacket in the washer (and yes, it was a front loader). I'm more of a fan of hand washing, using vinegar and a mild soap in lukewarm water to wash the liner. Takes more time, but much less risk... And as mentioned above, leaving it hanging outside to air out for a week or two can do a lot (as long as it's not too hot and sunny) - early morning and late evening sun unless it's pretty cool out.

    Depending on how old the jacket is, and how good the leather is, you might want to use a deeper penetrating conditioner after running it through the washer (and allowing it to nearly fully dry). I've become a real fan of Skidmore's (or more specifically Skidmore's and Vaseline mixed 1:1) to get deeper into the hide and rehydrate it. A light coat of Pecards over the top a day or two later might be good on some leathers (this was suggested by someone on one of the conditioners threads here on TFL - he found Skidmore's alone was a little tacky a day later so he hit it with a little Pecards and it turned out great).
     
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  17. alish

    alish Familiar Face

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    Based on reports here: https://www.thefedoralounge.com/thr...mparison-on-reddit.101735/page-8#post-2845937 and elsewhere on TFL, Urad and Tenderly both appear to be great topcoat products, but do not appear to deeply condition. @handymike has done some good testing with these products and now only recommends them for a topcoat after conditioning with something else.
     
  18. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead One Too Many

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    I'd wash in a bath tub or bucket. It's kind of cool to see the color of the water too :eek:

    You could do washing machine, but like others mentioned, delicate cycle, preferably non agitator. you want to let it soak though. that's why I like the bucket. I can do a proper wash, then lighter wash just letting it soak. Then by the color of the water, I know how close I am.

    As for drying, I'd put in spin cycle to get out as much water as possible. And not that I had any bad experiences, but I've always dried on coat hanger zipped up. Mentally at least, it felt like it was going to dry in proper shape and not get out of wack. And if you're happy with the fit, definitely not in the sun or dryer. A room temperature room is fine, away from heater, etc.

    Once it's fully dry, you can hang out in the sun for a day or two, maybe turning inside out if the liner is the issue. Wind and sun really do make a difference. And then you can condition while it's hanging out there too.
     
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  19. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    If the jacket doesn't look too dirty, I just start wearing it. Most of my used jackets come from people I trust or from auction site where the jacket has clearly not been worn recently.
     
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  20. Fireflame

    Fireflame New in Town

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    I learned this one the hard way. Didn’t go so well :(
     
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