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How To Dry Leather

Wet leather just plain sucks, whether it’s getting your leather handbag spilled on or your leather shoes soaked from the rain. Drying your items out can be a time-consuming process that requires a lot of patience and effort. 

In this review article, we'll discuss how to properly dry leather by discussing the most common methods for drying your product. We'll also examine why you should dry leather products after cleaning them, and what you can do to help with the drying process.

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Ready to get started? Then let’s get to reading!

How To Care For Wet Leather

Dab and Dry

For larger items, you’ll need to get them dry as soon as you can. Let’s take jackets for instance: if it’s soaking wet, go ahead and hang it up immediately. It’ll be best to let this air dry. 

Once the outside is dry, turn it inside out and let the inner portion dry also. This may take time but it is well worth it. Do NOT attempt some home remedies such as taking a hot blow dryer to it or placing the jacket in a stove. 

You run the risk of ruining your leather goods this way. Just let it dry naturally. After it’s dry, then you should go ahead and clean and use a conditioner on your product as described below.


The first method of treating wet leather is to condition it. While it may seem obvious, it's helpful to have an explanation of why this method is necessary for a smoother and longer-lasting product. 

Simply put, if the leather is left to dry after being soaked, it will become brittle and will eventually lose its natural flexibility. The best way to condition wet leather is to use products that will bring the leather back to its natural, supple state. 

There are many products that will help with this.

Buff and Protect

The method for drying leather after cleaning also involves no liquid or solvents. Leather may not always need buffing, but it always needs conditioning. Luckily there are a literal ton of products such as leather waxes and deep protectors that will help the leather repel water and other liquids.

Buffing helps the leather to remain supple and shiny. It also helps with removing minor stains and scratches to the leather without harming it. 

How to Treat dried water stains on smooth or vegetable-tanned leather?

Test the Leather First

To dry leather, most manufacturers recommend you remove all the dirt and excess water from your leather before using the second cleaning method. You can then let the leather dry for up to 6 hours or overnight. 

However, you may want to test the leather to make sure it's soft enough. You will need to test the leather first to make sure there are no adverse reactions from the cleaning agent. 

This method is best suited for any piece that has any water stains. The reason for this is that you're able to see the water stains on leather. 

These spots appear because the pores within the leather absorb water as it passes over the leather and solidifies on the top. Once the leather has dried, these pores no longer contain any water and the moisture will naturally dissolve.


It’s pretty easy to treat your leather as long as you have the right products. We mean you should invest in some type of good quality leather cleaner, conditioner and wiping cloths. 

The cleaner will remove stains and especially water spots. The conditioner will return the leather to a pliable and soft state. 

Cloths such as micro cleaners will ensure that any excess dirt, grime or cleaning products are properly removed. 


Leather works best when it’s dry, everyone knows this. Some leathers absorb more moisture than others, so when purchasing your products, be aware of what to use to keep them dry and when to use products for drying your goods. 

By using water-repelling products before your products are subjected to water, you’ll save a lot of time and effort during the drying process. 

Use a Conditioner

Using a conditioner is the easiest way to get rid of water stains on smooth or vegetable-tanned leather. Conditioners help to retain the smoothness of the leather and to keep it from becoming stiff.

It's also a great way to renew the lustre of your leather product. Another advantage of using a conditioner is to help make the leather water resistant.

How To Prevent Leather From Getting Wet?

Unfortunately, leather can get wet, whether it's from water or from outside water. Fortunately there are water resistant waxes and conditioners that can be used on your products. While they cannot make your leather items waterproof, these products can help to keep additional moisture from seeping into the leather.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can leather be dried?

First off, you'll probably be wondering if it's possible to dry leather. The answer is yes and no. Leather is as sensitive to heat as any other material. 

When the material is left in direct sunlight, or hung out to dry naturally, it will have to be cleaned and conditioned properly in order to prevent damage. 

It’s never recommended to throw your leather jacket into a dryer. The high heat will dry out the leather and lead to all sorts of problems.

How do you fix water-damaged leather?

When you need to fix water-damaged leather, you don’t need to freak out about it. Today’s modern cleaners and conditioners can easily restore leather materials to make them soft and look like new again. 

The key is to be thorough when drying your leather goods.


And that’s it, you now know how to dry leather. We hope you enjoyed this article. As you can tell, it’s not impossible to dry leather. It only takes time, patience and quality product to help make sure your leather items remain clean and supple after the drying process. Take care and good luck with drying your leather.