The Importance Of Keeping Your Vest Clean

Once you have your hands on a quality motorcycle vest of your own, you’ll find that it serves many purposes.

First of all, it’s a statement of style. A vest is one of the most recognizable pieces of biker gear along with the signature jacket and jeans.

You’ll find it adds comfort thanks to its adjustable fit and the fact that it holds loose pieces of clothing down. A good vest will also provide extra storage with added pockets, making it practical both on and off your bike.

But most importantly, a quality vest will protect you against potential injuries. There’s no question that a well-fitting motorcycle vest keeps you safer in case you fall off the bike. Similarly, a vest will protect your body from road debris like sticks and rocks, as well as bugs. (You’d be surprised at how much pain a June bug can generate when it slams into you at 55 MPH.)

However, these benefits won’t last forever if you don’t maintain your vest properly.

Without a regular, thorough cleaning, your vest will accumulate dirt and grime. And if you don’t clean it the right way, the leather might become damaged, threadbare, or too stiff.

Let’s start with things you should NEVER do when cleaning a leather motorcycle vest – or any other leather item for that matter:

  • Avoid using any chemical cleaning solutions, conditioners, and polishes like bleach. These can make the leather wear out quicker. The same goes for cleaning your vest with a rough cloth.
  • Keep your vest away from washing machines and dryers.
  • Once cleaned, never dry your vest by applying direct heat, i.e., using a radiator or hair dryer. This applies to sunlight as well.
  • Whatever you do, don’t iron your leather vest.

With the don’ts out of the way, here’s what you should do to clean your vest properly:

  • Maintain the vest regularly. Use fine cloths, rags, or brushes for dust removal.
  • Clean stains with a soap and water mixture, or a cleaner designed for leather.
  • Next, you’ll want to apply a leather conditioner to replace the natural oils that may be lost during the cleaning and normal wear and tear.
  • Apply a water / UV treatment to reduce the effects of UV damaging your vest.
  • For drying, either use a piece of fine cloth or let the vest dry on its own.

If you keep your vest in good condition, it will serve you well for years to come. Next time you need to clean your vest, keep the tips from this article in mind, and you’ll be good to go.

And if you want to find the perfect vest to call your own, check out the select models at Eagle Leather at

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