Hopefully you're reading this before your leather bags, shoes, or garments have gotten wet. However, if you've met with the unfortunate situation of holding a wet item in your hands and wondering what to do, this article will give you some quick ideas to remedy the situation.
In the event that your item is stored somewhere in your home and it got wet without you knowing it, you won't be able to miss the smell of wet leather...wet animal-smelling leather. Or, if you've ever worn a leather item in the rain, you know too well that the smell, combined with pollution, other weird odors and possibly body odor, can smell like a rancid dairy product.
The very first action step you should take whenever you've discovered wet leather is to choose one of the following methods for drying that wet item fast.
- With a clean and dry cotton or flannel cloth, wipe the leather item off and try to remove as much of the moisture as possible. At this stage, do not apply any chemicals, compounds, soaps, or odor-masking solutions to the wet leather.
- Place your leather item outside to dry in the sun, but don't allow the direct sunlight to shine on your leather bag or clothing because the sun can make the leather crack and wear out quicker. If there's no sunshine on that particular day, you can still place your leather product outside to air dry.
- If you're extremely careful, you can use a handheld hair dryer to quickly dry the wet leather. Just remember not to get the dryer too close to the leather and don't let the leather burn. Using a hair dryer on a low setting for heat will help the moisture evaporate more quickly; thus, the leather will not expand due to the weight of the moisture.
To retain the leather garment's original condition, or even to restore leather shoes and boots back to a wearable condition after they've been exposed to a wet environment or unfortunate rainy or snowy encounter, apply a leather conditioner. You can use either a spray-on product or a conditioner that you rub into the leather. Linseed oil, the high quality type, and not an alternative, will restore the oil into the leather that's needed for it to return to its original texture and feel.