How To Wash Leather Pants So They Fit Like The First Time

January 30, 2015 by Justine Schwartz
shefinds | Style

When I initially pitched this story–tips for washing leather–to our editorial team last week, my cohorts were horrified. “You can’t wash leather!” our editorial director Jeanine Edwards told me emphatically. Oh–but, you can (and should). You don’t need to live in fear of getting your leather wet (a widespread paranoia)–it turns out washing leather pants and skirts is good for them, helps them retain their shape after several wears, and even improves the overall sheen of the leather.

Is your mind blown yet?

Designer and Banana Republic creative director Marissa Webb shared her “secret recipe” for washing leather with StyleCaster. Webb is not only an avid leather pants fan herself, but her Marissa Webb collection features several pairs we wouldn’t mind getting our mitts on (or rather, our legs in).

According to Webb, the easiest way to do it is just to throw your leather pants in to the dryer for a full cycle. This will help them retain some shape–although not all.

If you’re “semi-committed,” the story says to “Run your leather pants under warm water after wear, then toss into the dryer until fully dry.” This will give them slightly more shape than just tossing them in to the dryer dry.

But the most effective way to care for your leathert pants, Webb says, is to soak your leather pants in warm water until they are “fully saturated.” Don’t leave them in the water, though, once they are fully wet–at the point you should toss them in to the dryer on high heat for a full cycle. Webb says “I put my leather pants through this process after about 3 to 4 wears. Any time I think they need a little ‘lift.’”

And now you know how to wash your leather pants. Want some more time-saving, dry-clean-bill-saving laundry and clothing care tips? Here’s how to wash your silk tops at home. Here’s how to hand-wash cashmere. And here’s how to get those pesky pills off your sweaters.


Editorial Director

Justine Schwartz is a veteran women's lifestyle editor; she's written extensively about style & beauty tips, health advice and wedding planning for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Huffington Post and New York Weddings. Justine has been with SheFinds since 2010; you can reach her via email at [email protected]

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