How to Clean a Textile/Leather Motorcycle Jacket?

how to clean a motorcycle jacket

"How to clean a motorcycle jacket"  is something every rider has asked themselves at some point.

The answer to this question is based on the type of jacket that you have purchased.

Do you have a jacket made from textile or do you have a jacket made from leather? These two materials must not be cared for in the same way.

They are different and as such the way they are cared for will be different as well.

No matter which type of jacket you have the one advice that rings true for both is that you should clean it often.

Don’t wait until you have all kinds of bug guts drying and evolving on the jacket. Clean it after each ride as soon as you possibly can.

How To Clean a Textile Motorcycle Jacket:

  • Make sure it's machine washable
  • Use warm water
  • Wipe down with water and a damp soft cloth
  • Mix a solution of gentle detergent with the water
  • Softly wipe down the jacket
  • Tougher stains and bug gunk may need some extra elbow grease.
  • Use a soft bristle brush as needed taking care not be too rough on the fabric.

Ways To Clean a Textile Motorcycle Jacket

Jackets made from textile tend to require less care than your leather jackets.

Most textiles can be machine washed with the rest of your clothes so it is quite easy to clean them.

There are however a lot of different textiles out there so you should always check the care instructions tag in the garment you are cleaning prior to tossing it into the washing machine.

Can You Wash a Textile Motorcycle Jacket?

Once you check the tag and find that the jacket is compatible with machine washing then you can go ahead and remove all pads if your jacket has internal padding and liners.

Use a detergent that is appropriate, often ones without bleach.

 If you have a waterproof or water-resistant jacket and want to preserve this you can use wash-in water-repellant.

If you are up to the task you can also hand wash your jacket made from textile. You can then hang dry or dry in your dryer on low heat.

Typically jackets that can be laundered in a washing machine can also be placed in a dryer but you should again always check the instructions on the car tag within the garment to be sure.

Sometimes you may find your textile jacket has suede and leather sections.

 If this is the case with your jacket you have to be careful not to immerse the suede and leather parts into the water as this will damage those materials.

Once the item is cleaned and washed you can go ahead and apply a stain and water repellant that is suitable for textiles to your jacket.

No more wondering how to clean a mesh motorcycle jacket, as it's pretty darn easy.

There you have it, how to wash a motorcycle jacket whether it is made from leather, mesh or some sort of textile.

how to clean a leather motorcycle jacket

How To Clean a Leather Motorcycle Jacket:

  • Use a damp cloth and only water to wipe down the jacket, lubricating insect parts with or water if necessary. Continue to dampen the cloth and moisten the area with bug matter until you have hydrated it enough to loosen the matter from the jacket.
  • Continue to dampen the cloth and moisten the area with bug matter until you have hydrated it enough to loosen the matter from the jacket.
  • While wiping down the jacket you want to be looking for chafing and cracking of the material.
  • Also look at the stitching to see if there is anywhere that is loose or where the threading is falling apart.
  • If water alone doesn't do the trick...
  • Use a specialized leather cleaner and a soft polishing pad or terry cloth to apply the cleaner to the jacket.

The leather is a hide, much like your own skin and so you need to treat it well. Light cleaning should be done after each ride.

Keep in mind you should wipe down your jacket even if it seems like there is no dirt or any type of residue on it. 

There are often airborne pollutants which will eventually take a toll on your leather jacket if not cleaned.

Leather Cleaning Materials

Though you won’t be able to see it the first day after a while you will see where oxidative damage has been done to your jacket all because you didn’t clean off environmental contaminants after a day of riding.

Your leather jacket is sensitive to sulfurous, nitrous and ozone pollutants.

These will dry out the fabric and cause the pollutants to pass the top layer of fibers into the jacket.

This will cause breaking and changing especially in the flex zones of the jacket.

Cleaning your jacket often will ensure that the fabric has the lubrication it needs to prevent chaffing and cracking of the material.

When doing regular cleaning you can make use of leather cleaners. The typical ones will remove light grime from the surface of your jacket and are ideal for everyday cleaning.

If you have tough stains and dirt to get rid of then you will need to get tough on them.

You can use a soft bristle brush and diluted laundry detergent avoiding anything with bleach, chlorine or silicones.

Rub gently and slowly in circular motions with the brush so as to not damage the leather.

Once you have gotten rid of all visible dirt and grime then you can go ahead and wipe the garment dry. You also want to hang it so it can completely air dry.

You can also add conditioners and preservatives to your jacket after completing the cleaning above.

 If you choose to go this route always remember to follow the manufactures instructions to get the best results.

If you keep your leather clean it will last a long time. If you fail to keep it clean, then get used to buying a new leather riding jacket every year.

Can I Wash a Leather Jacket?

"How to wash leather jacket in washing machine." 

You may have heard a fellow rider ask you this before. I'm sure you've seen the eye roll, which is for good reason.

For the most part the answer is no. Unless the manufacture specifies that your leather jacket is machine washable, don't change it.

Throwing leather into a washing machine breaks down many of the materials and can flat out ruin your new jacket.

The first thing you must learn is motorcycle leather jacket care. That is unless you don't mind purchasing a new one every year.


Remember to always wipe down your jacket after a ride to ensure that the dirt and grime don't get the chance to get embedded into the material.

This will make it harder to remove and can also cause damage to the jacket.

A good quality motorcycle jacket is not cheap so protect your investment by taking the proper care of your jacket after a ride.

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