2 Simple Tips On How To Soften Water Damaged Leather

Massaging with conditioner is the best way on how to soften water damaged leather. You can even omit the conditioner for minor damage as leather can recover easily.

These tricks will save you from worrying about what to do when your shoes, bags, or sofa get wet. Even damage from a flood can be easily remedied.

how to soften water damaged leather


How Sensitive Is Leather To Water? 

So, you may be wondering, how much water can harm leather? Surprisingly, leather isn’t as sensitive to water as you think.

Getting leather wet isn’t recommended, but that doesn’t mean your material can’t withstand a few drops. The problems don’t occur because of the water, but because the natural oils in a  leather bind with the water molecules.

When the water evaporates, oil gets sucked out too, which makes the leather stiff and brittle. Sometimes, water contaminants like bacteria or minerals can contribute to leather damage. The water itself is the least of your worries.

However, the repair is an easy process. You require minimal time and materials to get your leather looking good as new.


Softening Process On Water Damaged Leather

Several circumstances can lead to water damage to your leather goods, so you should know how to repair your things. Luckily, restoring your material is simple enough to do at home!


Method #1. Minor water damage

Sometimes, bad luck takes control of your day. You wear your leather shoes when it’s rainy, or you spill water all over your new bag. It’s best to act fast to keep your things from having severe damage.


Step #1. Dry your material

Remember to let your things dry at room temperature, and avoid using a blow dryer. Artificial heat could damage your leather further


Step #2. Wipe off excess dirt

Use a damp cloth and gently clean your material. Remember the dirt can do more damage to your leather than water.


Step #3. Let the leather dry again

After cleaning, let your material dry so you can massage it properly.


Step #4. Massage your leather and apply conditioner

A massage alone can bring your leather back to its original texture, but if you want better protection, you can also apply a leather conditioner.  Use a lint-free cloth or your fingers to apply the conditioner all over your leather. Now your material is stronger than before!


Step #5. If you apply conditioner, allow it to set

Hang your leather out for at least two hours to let it absorb the conditioner. Now your pieces are good as new!


Method #2. Damage from flooding

Sometimes, your bad luck can be extreme, and your leather apparel gets caught in a flood. The prospective victim could be your leather couch, and here is how you can fix it.


Step #1. Remove the mold

Damp environments are a paradise for mold and mildew. So, you need to remove these contaminants before you refurbish your leather.

You can use a nylon brush and some soap for your cleaning. Remember to do your work outside and use proper protection, so you don’t get sick.


Step #2. Let your leather dry

Now your couch is clear of mold, so you can leave it to dry at room temperature for the massage.


Step #3. Apply the leather conditioner

Conditioner is better for the couch, so do the same as you would for your other apparel. Remember to keep the layers even and apply them to the whole piece.


Step #4. Let the conditioner set

When your couch is fully covered, you can leave it to absorb the leather conditioner for a day. Then, it will be back to normal!


How To Protect Leather From Damage

Now, you’ve solved the water damage problem but protecting your leather from harm is the best thing you can do. Here are some easy tips to keep your material strong.


Dry your leather if it’s wet

Make sure to pat off excess water and leave it to air dry.


Condition the leather if it’s too dry

Have your leather conditioner handy and massage it onto your material.


Keep the material clean

Make sure your hands are washed, and sweep your leather daily with a soft cloth. Use a leather cleaner on your apparel twice a year for the best protection.


Store your leather if it isn’t in use

Keep your material in a fabric bag, then store it in a dry and cool place away from sunlight. Air the leather every few weeks to combat mold.


Will Insurance Cover Your Water Damaged Leather? 

Sometimes, a massage isn’t enough to fix your leather goods so you’ll need some professional repair. The costs can empty your wallet, so is there a way for insurance to cover the damages?

You can have a furniture protection plan for your sofa, which handles all forms of accidental damage. The insurance coverage can include anything from spills to flooding.

Your shoes and bags also have their respective insurance policies. Consult with the store where you bought your things and find the perfect plan for your apparel. You can always ask your lawyer if you have any questions about the coverage.



Leather is an extremely useful material,  that’s why it’s painful to see it lose its quality. When you know how to soften water damaged leather, your sofa, bags, shoes, and belts will last a long time.

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