How to Get Musty Smell Out of Leather Jacket

Do you have a leather jacket that has been sitting in the back of your closet for years, but every time you bring it out the musty smell is so strong and off-putting? You don’t want to get rid of a beloved item like this so don’t worry! With some effort and care, you can restore your jacket back to its original state with fresh smelling leather.

How to Get Musty Smell Out of Leather Jacket

In this blog post, we will explain how to get musty smell out of leather jacket, even from any type and style of leather jacket without having to take it to a professional cleaner. So keep reading if your wish is once again be able to wear that favorite old coat without worrying about embarrassment due to unwanted odors.

Reasons to Get Bad Smell From Your Leather Jacket

There are many reasons why you should try to get the musty smell out of your leather jacket. Leather is especially prone to retaining odors due to its porous nature, and over time this can lead to an unpleasant musty odor that may not be appealing to wear. 

Additionally, if the smell isn’t properly addressed it may become increasingly difficult to remove, leading to a poor overall quality of the jacket. If you want to keep your leather jacket in top condition it is important to address any musty smells as soon as possible. Additionally, by taking steps to properly care for your leather jacket and avoid this issue altogether you can maintain its quality and longevity.

Guidelines on How to Get Musty Smell Out of Leather Jacket

If your leather jacket is giving off a musty smell, there are some simple methods you can apply to get rid of it. The following guidelines will help you get the musty odor out of your leather jacket:

1. Sunlight and Fresh Air

Hang your leather jacket outdoors in the sun and fresh air on a clothing rack or hanger. Leave it out for several hours to help reduce the musty odor. It ’s best to do this on a sunny day and in an area with good air circulation. This is  an especially good method for leather jackets that have been in storage for a long time. When  you’re done, be sure to bring the jacket inside before nightfall.

Hang Leather Jacket
Outdoors in the Sun

2. Clean the Jacket

Using a soft cloth, gently clean any dirt and dust from the leather jacket with a mild soap and lukewarm water. Then wipe down all of the surfaces with a damp cloth and dry it completely. This will help to eliminate any mildew or mold that may be contributing to the musty smell. If you have an especially dirty leather jacket, you may want to take it to a professional dry cleaner.

3. Baking Soda

An easy and effective way to remove odors from your leather jacket is by sprinkling baking soda over it. Make a paste out of baking soda and water, and use it to scrub the affected areas of the leather jacket.

The paste should be thick enough to stay on your finger when you rub it together. Let the baking soda sit overnight and then brush off in the morning before storing your jacket away again. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to remove the baking soda residue.

4. Vinegar

Using white vinegar is another great way to get rid of the musty smell from your leather jacket. Create a solution of equal parts vinegar and water and spritz it onto your leather jacket, making sure to avoid contact with any metal hardware (zippers, buttons).

Then allow the jacket to dry completely before storing it away. You can also pour some white vinegar directly onto a cloth or sponge and scrub the affected areas gently. Once finished, wipe down the entire jacket with clean water and let it air dry.

5. Use a Leather Conditioner

After cleaning your leather jacket, apply a light layer of leather conditioner to it. This will help to keep the leather soft and supple while absorbing any odors that are trapped in the fabric. Be sure to read and follow the instructions on the product label for best results. This  will not only help get rid of the musty smell, but it will also help preserve your leather jacket and keep it looking better for longer.

6. Apply Deodorizer

Spray or rub the surfaces of your leather jacket with an odor eliminator specifically designed for use on leather items. You can also fill a bowl with white vinegar and place it near where the jacket is stored to help absorb odors. It ’s best to do this in an area with good air circulation so that the smell can dissipate quickly.

7. Using Newspaper Inside the Jacket

You can also use newspaper to help absorb any musty odors from your leather jacket. Line the inside of your leather jacket with crumpled up newspaper and leave it inside overnight. The paper will help absorb any remaining odors and keep them from permeating into other garments. Be sure to check the newspaper each day until all of the musty smell has dissipated.

8. Anti-static Sheet

You can also use an anti-static dryer sheet to get rid of musty odors from your leather jacket. Place a few sheets inside the jacket and leave them in for several hours, or overnight if possible.

Use an Anti-static Dryer Sheet

The anti-static sheets should help absorb any odors that are trapped within the fabric. When you’re done, you can either discard the dryer sheets or keep them in the jacket if you’re worried about it becoming musty again.

9. Store in Clean Wardrobe

Once you have removed the musty smell from your leather jacket, make sure to store it in a clean wardrobe or closet. Make sure that the area has good air circulation so moisture does not accumulate and cause musty odors. It’s also important to avoid exposing your leather jacket to direct sunlight as this can cause fading and damage the material.

The discussion on how to get musty smell out of leather jacket will help to keep it smelling fresh. Be sure to routinely clean and condition your leather jacket in order to maintain its original look and feel. With proper care, your leather jacket will last for years to come.

Safety Measurements

When trying to get the musty smell out of a leather jacket, it is important to take proper safety measurements. Before starting, you’ll want to be sure that your work area is well ventilated and the leather is clean and free from any dirt or dust.

Additionally, when using certain products like vinegar or baking soda to remove the smell, it’s wise to wear gloves and a face mask to protect yourself from inhaling these substances.

When Get the Musty
Smell Out of Jacket

It may also be helpful to open some windows or turn on fans while cleaning your leather jacket as well – this will help provide fresh air and reduce any odors in the room. By following these simple steps, you can safely ensure that your leather jacket will be odor-free and looking its best.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question:  How do I get rid of the musty smell from a leather jacket easily?

Answer: The best way to remove the musty odor from a leather jacket is by using an air purifier or dehumidifier.

Question: How often should I clean my leather jacket?

Answer: It’s recommended to clean your leather jacket at least once a month. This will help prevent the build-up of musty odors and keep the material in good condition.

Questions: Does leather jacket ever stop the musty smell?

Answer: Yes, if you take the necessary steps to remove and prevent the musty smell from building up on your leather jacket. Using an air purifier or dehumidifier can help eliminate existing odors, while regularly cleaning your jacket will help prevent the musty smell from returning.

Questions: How long does it take to get the musty smell out of a leather jacket?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to remove the musty odor from a leather jacket depends on several factors, such as the severity of the odor and how often you clean your jacket. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks before you notice an improvement in the smell.

Questions: How do I prevent musty smell from coming back in my leather jacket?

Answer: To keep the musty odor from returning, it’s important to regularly clean your jacket and store it properly when not in use. Additionally, using an air purifier or dehumidifier can help reduce moisture and keep the material in good condition. For further prevention, consider using a leather protectant spray or sealant to help repel water and stains.

Using an Air Purifier


Removing musty smells from a leather jacket is definitely something that can be done. While there are chemicals like ammonia and alcohol available to purchase, natural solutions such as baking soda and vinegar may provide an inexpensive and simpler alternative.

Of course, depending on the source of the smell it may be worth considering having the jacket professionally cleaned if over-the-counter methods are not successful.

Ultimately, with a bit of research and experimentation you’ll be able to identify and use the perfect remedy for your cherished leather jacket. With this knowledge in hand on how to get musty smell out of leather jacket, you can now bring new life to your clothing wardrobe, free from those pesky musty smells.

Photo of author

Matt Clark

Hi, this is Matt, and I am a leathercraft hobbyist. I have been working with leather for quite a bit of time. When I was a teenager, my father taught me the basics of leathercraft. Along the way I have learned a lot of things about leather work leather items, restoring leather, and creating leather accessories. I started this blog to share my knowledge of leatherworking with others and help people learn about this amazing craft. I also wanted to create a community of like-minded people who could share ideas and support each other in their leatherworking journey.

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