How to Repair Water Damaged Leather – 5 Simple Steps to Follow

As you know, leather has a protected layer with waxes or silicon sprays which works as a waterproof layer on the leather furniture. Therefore, a small amount of water won’t damage the leather. The trouble is when you accidentally pour a significant amount of water into the leather. So, can the damage caused by the water be repaired?

How to Repair Water Damaged Leather? To repair water-damaged leather, wipe the leather material off with a microfiber cloth and then clean it with a mild soap or leather cleaner. Let it air dry before applying the leather conditioner. Let it sit overnight, and the next day, you will get your leather furniture at a top-notch state.

Here is a step-by-step process to explain:

  • Get Rid Of The Excess Water
  • Clean The Leather
  • Air Dry the Leather Product
  • Apply Leather Conditioner
  • Final Air Dry

In this article, I will tell you how water can cause potential damage to your Leather product and the convenient way to prevent such damage. 

Fix Water Damaged Leather in 5 Simple Steps:

Let me tell you the simplest way to treat the leather from water damage.

Things you will need,

  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Leather Conditioner
  • Leather Cleaner

Step 1: Get Rid Of The Excess Water

Take a microfiber cloth and gently wipe off the excess water from the leather. 

Step 2:  Clean The Leather

Drop a few drops of soap along with lukewarm water. You can also use a leather cleaner for this step.

Take a dampened microfiber cloth and start to wipe the surface of the leather. Don’t forget to be gentle.

Once you have covered all the surfaces, clean the microfiber cloth in fresh water and then wipe the excess soap residue from the surface.

This step will take off all the dirt and won’t let the water leave a spot.

Step 3 – Air Dry the Leather Product

Once you are done with the cleaning process, let it air dry. Never use any electronic drier on the leather product. It won’t help and will cause permanent damage.

Step 4 – Apply Leather Conditioner 

Once you see the leather has completely dried out, put on some leather conditioner and gently apply it all over the surface.

This will keep your leather hydrated and give a glossy & soft finish.

My favorite leather conditioner is Leather Honey Leather Conditioner, Best Leather Conditioner Since 1968; it is a completely odorless and non-sticky product that provides the ultimate care for your leather products. 

It is a robust leather conditioner that wipes all dirt from new leather and rejuvenates old ones. It’s an inexpensive leather conditioner, costing only 20 bucks. Check this product on Amazon just by clicking here. 

Step 5 – Final Air Dry 

Once you have applied the leather conditioner, now keep it to sit overnight. This will help the leather to absorb the conditioner thoroughly. 

What Can Water Do to Your Leather? [Effects of Water Damage on Leather]

1. The Leather Can Get Shrinked

When leather becomes very wet, it displaces lubricating oils, resulting in the leather fibers and proteins exposed to air as it dries. These leather fibers and proteins hold the leather together.

The internal structure of leather falls apart when the leather gets wet, and due to lack of care, it dries out.  As a result, the leather can shrink at that time.

The unintended shrinking can make leather material tighter and make it unaffordable to use. 

2. The Leather Can Get Stretched

Sometimes instead of shrinking, the leather can stretch depending on the level of wetness and what you do with the wet leather. 

Sometimes when the leather is wet, if the leather experiences unnecessary stretching, the intertwined fibers of the leather can make the leather stretch, similar to the shrinking process. 

3. Initiate Pungent Odor

Leather generally comes with a rich natural and neutral earthy smell. The smell usually comes from the tanning treatment process. 

However, if the water gets onto the leather and stays wet for a long time, such as for months, this can cause the leather to release a bad smell.

4. Pull off Leather’s Essential Oils

Leather usually contains natural essential oils, which keep the leather supple and soft and give a glossy appearance. 

However, when the leather gets too wet, the essential oils get stripped out. It eventually stiffens and loses its luxurious look and smooth feel.

If nothing is done to protect the leather, all these essential oils seep away, and leather will get dryer and lead the leather to crack. 

To prevent the leather from such damage, you can apply mild oils to keep the leather smooth and soft. 

For more information, you can read this article, Can you use baby oil on leather furniture?

5. Fade The Leather’s Color

When the leather gets wet, the moisture can fade or lighten the dyes on the leather. There are two chances of this happening in such circumstances.

Firstly, if heavy rain catches your leather product; secondly, if you accidentally drop a good amount of water.

So it is wise to get rid of the weather as soon as possible and prevent further damage.

6. Develop mildew or fungus 

Although leathers are highly durable products, they are vulnerable to mildew or fungus when the leather gets wet and dumpy.

A single spore for mold can invade your leather. So I advise you to treat or restore your leather as soon as it becomes damp or wet.

Mildew can destroy the luxurious look of your leather by discoloring it. If not treated, the mold can spread and eat into the leather fibers and eventually weaken them.

7. Leave spot or splotches on Leather

The luxurious look of leather can easily be damaged by water. Water being part of our everyday life, it is very likely to see water finding its way onto the leather.

Water can leave a mark on the leather product. Sometimes, water dyes in a particular place, leaving spots and splotches after the water content on the surface of the leather.

8. Damage to the protective layer of the leather

Leather products usually contain a resistant layer or protective coating that prevents the layer from damaging. 

When the water stays for a longer time on the surface of the leather, it is most likely to get out the protective layer of the leather. 

To treat this, you might require you to strip off the entire finish or coating the leather to add another layer of finish.

Related Questions 

How to Get Rid Of Water Stains From Leather? 

If you spill water accidentally on your leather furniture, wipe it off with a microfiber cloth and then clean it with a mild soap or leather cleaner. 

Let it air dry before applying the leather conditioner. Let it sit overnight, and the next day you will get your leather furniture at a top-notch state.

How to Get Rid Of Grease Stains From Leather? 

Your leather furniture can catch grease stains easily from food or even from your clothing. Take a soft microfiber cloth and cornstarch to clean the product. 

Blot up as much of the grease as possible with the fabric, shake a layer of cornstarch on the stain. After letting it sit for 10 minutes, take off the cornstarch with the soft brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner. 

The cornstarch should lift the grease; make sure to use this method a few times to get it all.

How to Get Rid Of Ink Stains From Leather? 

There are various products available among those, liquid soaps, rubbing alcohol, and hair spray are the most effective ones. 

Clean off the surface with a fresh white microfiber cloth, apply the product to get rid of the ink, and never forget to spread the leather conditioner afterward. For more information, check out this article.

Meraj Jahan

Hey, I am a co-author at Office Chair Trends. Not only have I experience working for extended hours behind the desks at my workstation, but I also have seen people in my surroundings suffer from body aches. Being a reader by day and writer by night, I have researched this matter and gathered knowledge along the way. I am sharing all my experiences on this site.