How to Wash Collar Stains on a Leather Jacket

by M.H. Dyer

A leather jacket is comfortable and durable, and with proper care, leather retains its luxurious quality for many years. However, perspiration, makeup and other substances often create stains in the collar area. Although regular cleaning by a professional leather cleaner is recommended, you can usually remove collar stains at home. Use care, as improper handling may shorten the life of the jacket.

Moisten a damp cloth or sponge. Add one or two drops of saddle soap, moisturizing body wash or mild dish detergent. Use the minimal amount of soap and water needed to remove the spot as soap residue is difficult to remove and may damage the leather.

Rub the cloth to create a lather. Wipe the stain gently until the stain is removed.

Wipe the collar with a clean, damp cloth to remove the soap residue. Allow the jacket to air dry.

Treat the collar with a leather conditioner or oil to restore lost moisture and keep the jacket supple.


  • Before cleaning a leather jacket, dab the cloth on a hidden area such as an inner seam. Let the area dry for 24 hours. Before proceeding, be sure the cleaned area displays no staining or discoloration.

    Use a suede brush to clean a stained collar on a suede jacket. If the stain is stubborn, wipe the area gently with a slightly moistened cloth. Never use soap on suede.

Photo Credits

  • David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.