How to Restore Wet Leather

Written by daina galante
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How to Restore Wet Leather
You can spray leather with waterproofing waxes to help prevent or minimise water damage. (pocket of leather image by Indigo Fish from

Leather may be damaged if left wet for too long. Natural leather may stretch or shrink with water damage. When leather stretches and dries, it can crack. Leather also has distinct colouring; if it gets wet, its colour and texture may change. Allowing leather to dry without aiding the process can destroy leather. Preservation, caution and immediate action can rescue wet leather from deterioration.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Towels
  • Bottle of leather cleaner or conditioner
  • Leather waterproofing product

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  1. 1

    Press an absorbent towel onto the wet spot on the leather to soak up the liquid.

    How to Restore Wet Leather
    Press an absorbent towel onto the wet spot on the leather. (a pile of folded plush towels in a bathroom image by nextrecord from
  2. 2

    Remove any dirt or stains that may have been lifted to the leather's surface from the spill. Use a nongreasy cleaner or conditioner for this step.

  3. 3

    Move your leather to a cool, dry area overnight. If the leather item is a boot or has a shape, put dry newspapers in the cavity of the product so that it holds that shape.

  4. 4

    Check to see if the leather is dry. If not, allow it to dry completely. When the leather is dry, take a towel and gently wipe down the leather to remove any stains or marks.

  5. 5

    Spray, rub, or coat your dried leather with a leather waterproofing product. Allow to dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Absorbent towels soak up more water than cotton or terrycloth towels. They may be better for the initial removal of water. For leather garments, lay the material as flat as possible so it retains its shape.
  • Allowing your leather to dry out in cool air opposed to hot air will reduce shrinkage. Do not ingest the waxes or cleaners.

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