Leather leggings are much different from leggings that are made of wool, cotton, nylon, or spandex. These leggings are more flexible than leather leggings since they are much more stretchable and wrap closely around your lower body.
Some leather leggings can even contain an elastic material to make up for the lack of flexibility, as leather can harden over time. As leather is also a sensitive material, you shouldn’t be simply throwing it into a washing machine with your other clothes.
If you aren’t sure how to wash your leather leggings without ruining their natural texture and gloss, we have compiled a list of steps you can follow.
In summary, the best way to wash your leather leggings is to select a washing method (machine washing or handwashing), wash the leather leggings using your preferred method, and dry them properly before use.
1. Select a Washing Method
There are two ways to wash your leather leggings: handwashing and machine washing. However, it is best to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions about specific washing methods to ensure you clean your leather leggings safely.
If you don’t notice any symbol guides on the washing label, you can feel free to clean your leggings by either handwashing or machine washing them. Machine washing using incorrect settings can cause damage to your leather leggings since the harsh spin cycle may overstretch the material.
Therefore, you should pay close attention to the settings on your washing machine. Don’t worry, we’ll be discussing more on that in the next section.
Using a washing machine also happens to be the easiest and fastest cleaning method you can choose for your leather leggings. Select this method if you’re pressed for time or if your leather leggings aren’t branded or expensive.
On the other hand, handwashing leather leggings are a much safer option since you can control how much pressure to apply while washing them and there aren’t any spin cycles that can potentially damage your leather leggings.
2. Washing Your Leather Leggings
The safest option is to use cold water and mild detergent to hand wash your leather leggings since it will keep them in the most natural shape when they have dried. However, when you’re in a rush, using a washing machine is an option, too!
Each of these washing methods has pros and cons when it comes to leather leggings. Let’s explore them in more detail.
Using a Washing Machine to Wash Your Leather Leggings
Machine washing is one of the easiest but also harshest cleaning methods you can choose for your leather leggings. Nevertheless, if you want to minimize the damage to your leather leggings, you can follow a few tips that would keep them safe during the washing process.
To begin, turn your leggings inside out and choose a leather-friendly detergent. Having tried and tested several options in the market, our go-to product is the Leather Laundry Solution, as it’s gentle, easy to use, and works great on sensitive materials and clothing pieces such as leather leggings.
When you start washing the leggings in your washing machine, choose the gentlest cycle. This generally means that you’ll be using cold water, a low number of spin cycles, and a short wash time. The faster the spin cycle and the warmer the water, the higher the risk of damaging your leather leggings.
It’s also important to remember that you should wash your leather leggings separately from other clothes (even if they’re made of leather), in order to avoid the transfer of dyes. Wash each leather clothing piece separately.
Handwashing Your Leather Leggings
Handwashing leather leggings is one of the safest and most effective ways to clean them, as you won’t be exposing them to any harsh spin cycles and you’ll also be able to focus on which specific areas of your leather leggings to clean.
Similar to using a washing machine, you’ll need to use a leather-friendly detergent. We advise using a mild detergent and cold water for handwashing leather products. While you’re able to use any detergent compatible with leather, we recommend the Leather Laundry Solution.
Mild detergents are formulated to gently cleanse off the clinging dirt and grime, while the cold water will rinse it off without harming or deforming the texture of the leather.
If you’re spot cleaning your leather leggings (as a result of spills, stains, or scuff marks), you can also choose any leather cleaning solution for that, since it may reap similar effective results. However, for general cleaning, we recommend hand washing your entire leather leggings.
3. Dry Your Leather Leggings
After you have cleaned your leather leggings, you should move on to safely dry them. We highly advise against using a dryer. A laundry dryer utilizes high heat to dry items which can be extremely damaging for leather. This heat can cause the leather to dry out, become stiff, and even lead to cracks over time.
The most effective way to dry your leather pants is to let them naturally air dry. However, before that step, it’s vital to remove any excess moisture from the leather by using towels. Lay a towel below and above your leather leggings and gently press onto them to bring out the water.
This will help you draw out as much water as possible before air-drying them. Place your leather leggings in a well-ventilated, cool, and dry environment, away from direct sunlight until they are completely dry.
UV rays from sunlight can cause the leather to dry out and fade; therefore, it is best to keep your leggings away from direct sunlight. The best places to dry your leather leggings at home are on the verandah, balcony, patio, or a clean shaded area.
Ensure the drying area is free from excess humidity and warmth since it can keep mold and mildew from developing on the leather.
Best Practices When Washing Leather Leggings
We hope that our washing guide gives you a better understanding of the process. However, we also wanted to share with you some of the best practices that you should consider when it comes to cleaning your leather leggings. Below, you’ll find some useful tips and tricks!
- Don’t Wash Them Too Often – Leather is a sensitive material that can easily get damaged by water damage. To minimize water exposure to your leather leggings, we advise against washing them too frequently. Moreover, alkaline detergents and high spin cycles can also affect the leather leggings if they are washed repeatedly.
- Use Leather-Friendly Detergents – Leather-friendly detergents have the correct pH values that are compatible with leather articles. They can keep the leather protected as you clean your leather leggings in the washing machine or when handwashing them. Some leather-friendly detergents and cleaners have nourishing ingredients as well that can protect the leather for a long time.
- Remove Stains before Washing – If you notice any stains or spots on your leather leggings, you should opt for spot cleaning first before deciding to wash them. Since the washing for leather articles should be very gentle, tough stains and spots need to be taken care of beforehand for effective cleaning. This also avoids accidentally transferring them onto other parts of your leather leggings.
- Follow the Washing Labels – It is best to follow the washing, drying, and care instructions mentioned on the washing labels of the leather leggings. The manufacturer’s labels can help prevent damage while washing them and ensures that your leggings are cleaned safely.
Co-Founder, Researcher & Writer At Leatherskill
I’m a leather enthusiast who spends most of his free time crafting, researching, and writing about the many facets of this versatile material. Thanks for reading!