How to Soften Leather Jackets

by Maggie Hira

Leather jackets can become stiff and hard over time, especially if they are placed in storage for long periods. If a leather jacket becomes too dry, it becomes brittle and more prone to cracking. Softening techniques prevent overdrying by adding moisture to the leather, thus preserving it for years to come. A leather conditioner is an effective softening treatment that restores shine and flexibility to leather. With proper care, a leather jacket can be maintained for decades.

Items you will need

  • Leather conditioner
  • Small wash cloth
  • Small sponge
Step 1

Dampen a wash cloth and wipe down the leather jacket to clean up surface dirt and dust. Allow the leather jacket to air dry.

Step 2

Apply a few drops of a leather conditioner, like Lexol or Snow-Proof, onto the sponge.

Step 3

Move the sponge in circular motions all over the leather jacket, massaging the conditioner deeply into the hardened fabric. Concentrate on rough and hardened areas like the elbows and outer edges. Add a few more drops of the leather conditioner as needed.

Step 4

Allow the jacket to air out for 2 to 3 days before wearing it. Hang it in an airy closet or on a chair where it can breathe.


  • Store your jacket by hanging it on a soft padded hanger in a cool, dry place.

    You can also use carnauba cream in a similar fashion to soften your leather jacket.


  • Don't store your jacket in plastic or cardboard boxes as this will cause the jacket to become dry and brittle.

About the Author

Maggie Hira has been writing professionally since 2006. She has written for numerous websites and print publications, including "LA.Direct Magazine" and The Budget Fashionista. Hira holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.