How to Care for Wet Leather

by Megan Smith ; Updated September 28, 2017

Even when treated, leather can become damaged if it gets wet. If you're caught in the rain without an umbrella, leave your jacket out in a storm or fall victim to another wet-leather mistake, you can undo the negative effects of the water if you act quickly. You must dry the leather and then lubricate it, as the oils that the leather had originally contained have been washed away.

Dry the leather in a room-temperature, dry place for about an hour if the leather is sopping. The leather should be damp before continuing.

Gently wipe off any excess oil or dirt with a damp rag. This will prevent the leather from being stained.

Rub in leather conditioner with your fingertips, focusing on the areas that have gotten wet. Start with a very small amount at first; you can always add more conditioner as you go. You can purchase leather conditioner at your local fabric store or sewing store.

Lay your leather out to dry. Place it in a dry, room-temperature area. Do not use heat to dry the leather faster. This step may take several days.

Condition any areas that feel dry. You may have missed some areas that are now dry and brittle. Use your fingertips to rub leather conditioner into these areas.


  • The sooner you act on your leather damage, the more likely you will be to eradicate it.

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