Schott N.Y.C.

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My experience with Arrow Leathercare

I want to share my experience with Arrow leather.  I had bought a used Schott police jacket from eBay a while back. When I got it, it had a horrible b/o smell all over it from years and years of use. Typically, I accept the fact that it’s a used jacket and so I deal with the unpleasantness. I must have emptied a whole bottle of expensive cologne over a period of several months but to no avail.  I also tried putting baking soda all over the inside and outside the jacket for over a week but that didn’t help either. The repugnant smell would always come back with a vengeance. Hence, I decided to send it to Arrow for a professional cleaning. About a month later,  I get it back and to my surprise, the smell was still present.  They got rid of a little bit of it but man, the smell was part of the jacket’s DNA. I was kind of upset considering I spent a lot of money to get it cleaned and I specifically instructed them to eradicate the odor.  I left my honest review on yelp and a few days later I get a call from the owner of Arrow. He was very nice, asked to resend it back and said he’ll personally oversee the cleaning of my jacket. He also tells me that if they can’t get rid of the smell, he would refund me the bill. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that. So I send it back and wait a few more weeks. When I got it back, the smell was still there.  I emailed the owner to inform him and never heard back anything.  At this point, I have no desire to wear the jacket and was thinking of selling. I keep this jacket in the garage because the smell would permeate my closet so that was not an option. Every time I step into the garage, I get a whiff of it.  I finally decide to do the unthinkable and hand wash it with liquid detergent.  I know, I know!  That’s considered a sin but I didn’t care.  I handwashed and rinsed twice to be sure.  After hang drying it for a couple of days, a miracle happened. The smell was gone!  About 98% gone. It felt a little tight (obviously) but did not shrink the jacket. As you can imagine, the leather needs a good conditioning to bring back the softness due to the drying of the leather. Many of you would disagree with my methods, but it was worth it for me and it was the only way to get rid of the odor.  The main thing I’ve learned through this process is that in my opinion, conventional cleaning methods don’t work. All the sweat, grime, and nasty stuff penetrates the inner fibers of the leather itself and not just the lining.  The only way to get it out is by washing it in water. Again, I know every leather coat maker will tell you that will ruin the coat but I can tell you that for me, it was the only thing that worked to get rid of the smell.  Oh, did I mention that I sent it to Arrow Leathers twice and they could not do the job?  I’m waiting for the days to get chilly so I can wear my jacket and work out the stiffness.  By the way, I am not promoting this method to anyone out there. I’m merely sharing my experiences. I have another jacket, a Schott 157 cafe racer, and did the exact same thing 3 years ago due to similar circumstances and nothing bad happened to this jacket.  This one did shrink a bit but I actually liked it as it fit better on me! It is way cleaner and I love it. It didn’t break apart, lose any color or dye, or ruin the jacket in any way. A testament to Schott quality. I conditioned it several times afterwards, and it is perfect.  One caveat is that I would never do this washing method to a newer, expensive jacket such as on my new 641HH.

So, as far as spending a lot of money to send it to a “professional” cleaner, I’d love to hear some thoughts.  I imagine they are good at cleaning just about anything but cleaning something really dirty.....the jury is still out. 

Gail on 09/06/19 at 07:17 AM

I am really sorry to hear you had a unpleasant experience with Arrow. I have recommended this professional leather cleaner to many people and to my knowledge all were pleased with their service. Since this jacket appears to have had a severe problem with dirt and odor, I agree you had nothing to loose by washing. Through all the years I have never heard of a jacket having such a odor problem that a cleaning could not remove.Not sure since it appears the odor existed when you received it why you did not immediately return it to the seller. Odors do attach themselves to leather and just like your own skin, cologne does not cover up a body odor. This person who owned this jacket must have a serious odor problem and may be the reason he sold the jacket. Not sure why anyone would sell a jacket with this issue.


bobg12 on 09/08/19 at 07:33 PM

I would have tried the same thing. You had nothing to lose Arrow couldnt help you.  I'm glad it worked out.

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