What to Do If You Spill Wine on Your Leather Jacket

Ready for a bold statement? The leather jacket might be the biggest wardrobe hero of all time. It’s a classic that keeps expanding its reach, from the original bad-girl, downtown look to being totally fine over a formal dress at a black-tie wedding (it’s a look I love!). Leather’s notoriously tricky to clean, but thankfully you don’t need to quite as often as most everything else in your closet. Still, when you love something as much as I do my leather toppers, you need a contingency plan for all matter of emergency. As such, I checked in with Ashley B. creative director Sun Choi to find out how to handle certain leather jacket disasters.


The biggest way to combat spill issues with your leather is speed. “Wipe up the liquid the moment you spill anything. The key is to get as much of the liquid soaked up as soon as you possibly can before it dries,” Choi said regarding coffee, pasta sauce, or wine. “If a stain remains, try rubbing it gently with a little bit of white vinegar on a soft cloth.”

Easy enough. But what if I wear my most-favorite-ever jacket to a bonfire and realize it smells (a lot) like campfire smoke afterward?

“Always try to air it out first. Hang it outside and see if that removes the odor. If it’s not enough, spray a mixture of one part water and one part white vinegar on it and gently wipe the lining and surface with a soft cloth.”

My other burning question wasn’t about spills but how to handle a much-loved (and worn) jacket that has gotten baggy in the elbows or otherwise not quite as sharp-looking as it was when first purchased.

“Fill a spray bottle with water and do a very light spray on the surface of the leather, being careful not to wet it too much,” Choi said. “Then reshape as desired and lay it flat to dry.”

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