How to Wash Motorcycle Jacket: Essential Techniques

Your motorcycle jacket is not just a fashion statement; it’s a vital piece of safety gear designed to protect you while riding. Whether you’ve been caught in a rainstorm, accumulated dirt and grime during a long ride, or just want to keep it fresh, knowing how to wash your motorcycle jacket is essential. In this guide, we’ll take you through the process of cleaning your motorcycle jacket, ensuring that it stays in top-notch condition for years to come.

Pro Tip: I scored a slick textile jacket and motorcycle boots designed for scorching days. They’re a lifesaver, even though I’m sweating buckets. I’ve been giving my jacket a tub bath every couple of weeks, and I’m toying with the idea of dampening the interior for that chill factor. Maybe I’ll splurge on a mesh jacket. Oh, and here’s a cool nugget – keeping the face shield down is the way to roll in this heat!

Choosing the Right Cleaning Products for Motorcycle Jacket

Choosing the Right Cleaning Products for Motorcycle Jacket
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Before you start cleaning your motorcycle jacket, it’s crucial to select the right cleaning products.

Here are some recommendations:

  • Mild Detergent: Opt for a mild detergent that is suitable for delicate fabrics, as harsh detergents can damage the leather or textile material.
  • Leather Cleaner (for leather jackets): If your jacket is made of leather, use a specialized leather cleaner. This will help maintain the leather’s suppleness and shine as leather jackets are superior.
  • Soft Bristled Brush: A soft-bristled brush will help you remove surface dirt and grime without scratching the fabric.
  • Soft Cloth or Sponge: You’ll need a soft cloth or sponge for applying the cleaning solution and gently scrubbing the jacket.
  • Leather Conditioner (for leather jackets): To keep your leather jacket soft and supple, use a leather conditioner after cleaning.

Preparing Your Jacket for Cleaning

Before you start washing your motorcycle jacket, you need to prepare it for the cleaning process. Follow these steps:

  • Check the Care Label: Always check the care label inside your jacket for specific cleaning instructions. This label provides essential information on how to clean your jacket without damaging it.
  • Remove Protective Gear: Take out any protective armor or removable liners from the jacket to ensure a thorough cleaning.
  • Zip Up and Secure Fasteners: Close all zippers, buttons, and fasteners to prevent any damage to the fabric during washing.

Handwashing Your Motorcycle Jacket

Handwashing Your Motorcycle Jacket
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For most motorcycle jackets, handwashing is the safest method. Here’s how to do it:

For most motorcycle jackets, handwashing is the safest method. Here’s how to do it:

  • Fill a Sink or Basin: Fill a clean sink or basin with lukewarm water.
  • Add Detergent: Add the recommended amount of mild detergent to the water and mix it until it dissolves.
  • Submerge the Jacket: Gently submerge the jacket in the soapy water, ensuring it’s fully saturated.
  • Scrub Gently: Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently scrub the jacket, paying extra attention to soiled areas.
  • Rinse Thoroughly: Empty the soapy water and refill the sink with clean, lukewarm water. Rinse the jacket until all the detergent is removed.
  • Remove Excess Water: Carefully squeeze out excess water from the jacket without wringing or twisting it.

Machine Washing Safety Tips

Some textile motorcycle jackets are machine washable. If your jacket’s care label permits machine washing, follow these safety tips:

  • Use a Gentle Cycle: Select a gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine to minimize agitation.
  • Place in a Pillowcase: To protect the jacket from getting tangled or damaged, place it in a pillowcase or a laundry bag.
  • Cold Water: Use cold water and a mild detergent designed for delicate fabrics.
  • Skip the Spin Cycle: Avoid the spin cycle, as it can damage zippers, buttons, and the fabric.
  • Remove Promptly: Take the jacket out of the washing machine as soon as the cycle is complete.

Drying and Storing Your Clean Jacket

Proper drying and storage are essential to maintain your motorcycle jacket’s longevity and condition:

  • Air Dry: Hang your jacket on a padded hanger in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Allow it to air dry completely.
  • Leather Care: If you have a leather jacket, apply a leather conditioner once it’s dry to keep the material supple and prevent cracking.
  • Store Carefully: When not in use, store your jacket in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.

Cleaning of Textile, Mesh and Leather Motorcycle Jacket

When it comes to washing motorcycle jackets, the type of material plays a significant role in determining the cleaning process. Textile jackets, made from synthetic materials, can generally be machine-washed with care, while mesh jackets require extra attention to prevent damage to their mesh panels. Leather jackets, on the other hand, need a completely different approach. They should be hand-cleaned with specialized leather cleaning products to maintain their unique texture and luster.


Taking care of your motorcycle jacket is as important as taking care of your bike. By following these steps for cleaning and maintaining your jacket, you’ll ensure that it remains a reliable and protective piece of gear for your rides. Regular cleaning and proper care will not only extend the life of your jacket but also keep you safe and stylish on the road.

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