Whenever you are out, with your leather bag, leather jacket, leather shoes, etc, you don't want them to get wet by rain or snow. That is a major rule when using leather, try to avoid getting them wet or soaked. Wet leather can be a real problem. If you’ve ever gone swimming for too long, you likely remember what your skin felt like afterward. Everything dried up like a raisin, wrinkled and numb. You wanted to plunge your hands back in the water to give them moisture again, but that was exactly the problem. More water’s not going to lubricate the skin, and by extension, neither will it lubricate leather. We have to wait for the natural oils our body produces to replenish our lost oils, and leather needs exactly the same thing.
There’s a bit of a difference between living skin and leather. While living skin can make its own oils, leather cannot. In its most natural state, leather is material in a state of decomposition. Leather goes through a preparation and tanning stage to prevent this, getting soaked with preservative chemicals that can prolong its life significantly, but this isn’t going to keep it healthy forever.
Now the question is.. what do I do if my leather good got wet? how do I dry it? Use this useful tips to prevent damage in your leather.
Tips to Dry Your Leather Goods:
- The first thing you’ll want to do is soak that water back up. Use a soft, lint-free cloth for this, and dab it on the wet leather. Your goal is for the water to absorb into your cloth, not smear. If you smear, you’re just pushing the water deeper into your leather’s pores, which is bad. Soak the wetness up as much as you can, and then set up camp to dry leather somewheres cozy.
NO SUN OR HEAT. This is very important. Leather and heat don't mix. In addition to pulling out vital nutrients, heat has the unfortunate effect of causing leather to shrink. If you’re thinking about using a blow dryer, go with something else. Don’t try sunlight either. Sunlight’s just as bad as heat, and what’s more, can cause much more irreversible damage. The UV rays are your greatest threat, disrupting the leather on a chemical level and breaking down its most vital nutrients. Also, the color will fade over time, which makes it look less pretty. So dry leather somewhere cool. No artificial heat. Let nature run its course and your leather dry naturally.
Clean it and keep it Indoors. Your leather’s pores are already open, and dust can seep into its fabric really easy. So keep it in a clean place. That’s the exact reason indoors are so great, as you won’t have to deal with those ferocious elements. Just keep it out of the dust. And keep the house cool-ish.
Condition it after the cleaning. After your leather has dried out all nice and smooth, it’ll be a good idea to give it some tasty leather conditioner to feed it back those lost nutrients. Remember to test any leather conditioner in a discreet area and let it dry before you use it.