How to Maintain and Care for Your Motorcycle Jacket

How to Maintain and Care for Your Motorcycle Jacket

Just as maintaining your bike is essential for safety, care of your gear is equally critical. Read to find tips on motorcycle jacket maintenance in this blog.

Maintaining your motorcycle jacket is crucial to ensure its longevity, functionality and appearance. No matter what material it’s made of - leather, textile, or a combination of materials – timely maintenance will help protect you on the road and keep your jacket looking good. You can choose from a wide range of international and domestic brands on

Here's a comprehensive guide on how to maintain and care for your motorcycle jacket:

  1. Regular Cleaning

This is the minimum possible effort required to increase the life of the jacket. Regular cleaning can be different for leather and textile jackets.

Leather Jackets:

  • Dust and Dirt Removal: Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe off dust and dirt. Avoid soaking the leather fully in a bucket or tub. This will spoil the material.
  • Deep Cleaning: Use a leather cleaner specifically designed for motorcycle jackets. Apply the cleaner with a soft cloth, following the product’s instructions.
  • Drying: Allow the jacket to air dry naturally, away from direct sunlight or heat sources which can dry out and crack the leather.

Textile Jackets:

  • Surface Cleaning: Use a damp cloth or sponge to clean off surface dirt.
  • Machine Washing: Many textile jackets come with a removable liner that can be machine-washed. See the manufacturer's care label to check if your jacket is machine-washable, whether you can use a gentle cycle with cold water and only a mild detergent or vice versa. Of course, avoid fabric softeners and bleach at all costs. Fasten all zippers and Velcro to prevent snagging mid-wash.
  • Drying: Put it on a hanger to air dry. Do not tumble dry, as it can damage the fabric and protective elements.
  1. Conditioning and Waterproofing

Jackets require regular conditioning to keep the material supple and prevent it from drying out and / or cracking. Both leather and textile motorcycle jackets for riders follow a different method.

Leather Jackets:

  • Conditioning: Select a recommended leather conditioner and use that every few months to keep the leather supple, soft and prevent cracking. Apply a thin and even coat with a soft cloth and work it into the leather, allowing it to absorb fully for optimum effect, including areas that encounter water, like seams and zippers. However, do mind that applying too much of it may result in drying out the leather, eventually making it brittle and less friendly on rides.

Use it in harsh weather?

Well, there are leather waxes that provide robust protection and are perfect for leather items subjected to extremely harsh weather. Although they take more time to apply and can leave a visible residue, they are durable and highly effective.


  • Waterproofing: Apply a waterproofing spray or cream to protect against moisture. Reapply as necessary, especially after exposure to rain. However, ensure that the jacket is given enough time to dry. This also depends on the type of leather the jacket is made from and its waterproofing capabilities, which may differ right from an hour to an entire night.


Textile Jackets:

  • Waterproofing: First things first! Before washing your textile jacket, it is crucial to first remove the protective elements, if applicable. These protectors are typically located in pockets inside the jacket and can usually be taken out via a Velcro opening; you can turn the jacket sleeves inside out to access them. If your waterproof membrane is detachable, unzip and remove it as well. Once the protectors and any removable membranes are out, you can use a soft brush to clean off any stubborn dirt from your jacket and use a waterproofing spray designed for textile fabrics. Apply after cleaning and drying the jacket. This helps maintain the jacket’s water resistance.

Sidenote: Do not forget to unzip and remove the detachable membrane! Avoid using regular washing detergent on your textile jacket. For best results, wash the jacket with a detergent specifically designed for motorcycle gear. Once washed, treat your jacket with an impregnating agent to restore its waterproof and dirt-repellent properties.

With respect to zipper maintenance, protection from weathering elements, odour management and professional cleaning, both leather and textile jackets have the same instructions.

  1. Zipper and Hardware Maintenance
  • Lubrication: Keep zippers and other metal hardware functioning smoothly by lubricating them with a zipper lubricant or wax. This prevents rust and makes operation easier.
  • Inspection: Regularly check for loose or missing buttons, snaps and other fasteners. Replace or repair them promptly to maintain the jacket’s integrity and safety.
  1. Protection from Sun and Weathering Elements
  • Storage: When not in use, store your jacket in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Use a padded hanger to maintain the shape.
  • Rain Protection: If caught in the rain, allow the jacket to dry naturally. Avoid heat sources for drying, as they can damage the materials.
  • UV Protection: Leather jackets can fade in sunlight. Consider using a UV protectant spray for leather to minimise sun damage.
  1. Odour Management
  • Deodorising: For both leather and textile jackets, use a fabric-safe deodorising spray to keep the jacket fresh. Avoid direct application to leather; instead, spray a cloth and wipe the interior gently.
  • Ventilation: After riding, hang your jacket in a well-ventilated area to air out. This helps to prevent odours from sweat and road grime.
  1. Periodic Professional Cleaning
  • Leather Jackets: Consider professional leather cleaning once a year or after significant exposure to dirt and sweat.
  • Textile Jackets: Some textile jackets may benefit from professional cleaning, especially if they have complex constructions or integrated armour.
  1. Repairing Damage
  • Minor Repairs: Small rips or tears can be repaired with leather or fabric repair kits available at most motorcycle gear shops.
  • Professional Repairs: For significant damage, consult a professional tailor or specialist in motorcycle gear repairs. This is especially important for maintaining the protective qualities of the jacket.
  1. Inspection and Maintenance of Armour
  • Inspection: Regularly check the jacket’s armour (shoulder, elbow and back protectors) for wear and tear. Replace damaged or worn-out armour to ensure continued protection.
  • Cleaning: Remove the armour before washing the jacket, if possible. Clean the armour separately using a damp cloth and mild soap.

Motorcycle jacket maintenance keeps your gear looking great and performing well for many years. By following these steps regularly, you ensure that your jacket continues to provide the protection you need on the road while looking stylish and well-kept.

In addition to the tips shared earlier, you must refer to the manufacturer’s care instructions specific to your jacket. Avoid harsh chemicals that can be abrasive and look out for specific care requirements as per the brand. Maintaining your motorcycle jacket not only preserves its aesthetics but also its protective qualities, ensuring you ride safely and in style. Visit and shop now!

 -Team Reise Moto

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