April 17, 2023 5 min read
Of all the different things that could potentially damage your leather items, it’s easy to overlook water. Unfortunately, moisture can easily bond to the oil in your leather, drying it out and leading to cracks or discoloration.
Water stains can make for quite the eyesore, showing up as discolored droplets or splatters on your favorite leather jackets, handbags, and shoes. Any leather product that gets exposed to the elements might run into this issue.
But don’t worry! Those stains do need to be permanent by any means. Follow our guide here, and review four easy tips on how to get water stains out of leather.
Leather conditioners are a fantastic product that can replenish your favorite leather pieces, restoring their flexible coats and adding a healthy sheen. At the same time, these conditioners help to darken your leather and fade away those water stains.
Many leather conditioners use natural oils, like those present in neatsfoot oil, mink oil, or even beeswax. In fact, your leather will love the revitalizing qualities of seed oils, beeswax, and other naturally-occurring lipids rich in fatty acids.
To really ensure you get rid of those stains, you can lightly apply a leather cleaner before using your conditioner, gently scrubbing away at the water stain. Afterward, the conditioner will replenish any hydration lost to the cleaner.
Whether you go with a more conventional oil or a vegan alternative like beeswax, you should see those water stains disappear into a natural, uniform color. Leather conditioners will restore those warm, somber tones to your leather while keeping it durable and hydrated.
Of course, you’ll want to exercise some caution when applying these products to your leather:
If you’re looking for a good conditioner to try, we definitely recommend checking out Andar’s all-natural Leather Cream, which will freshen up your leather and protect it from water. This oil is made from a combination of seed oils and triple-filtered beeswax.
Top-quality leather paint can cover up those nasty water stains and give your leather a fresh coat or even a brand-new color. Leather painting can be a fun activity, adding some newfound vibrancy to your clothes or furniture pieces.
For beginners, it’s best to use acrylic leather paint, which can be easily absorbed into the leather. Since this is a water-based paint, use a brush with polyester bristles. These types of brushes won’t absorb too much of the paint, allowing for a smooth coating.
Despite being water-based, acrylic paints are specifically designed to become water-resistant after drying: an added bonus for your protection.
For more intermediate painters, oil-based leather paint can come in handy. These take a longer time to dry but can help you work slower for more complex tones or color layering. Of course, you’ll want to use a natural bristle to hold the oil better.
Whatever paint you go with, the best advice is to start with a thin coat. Using too much paint can easily damage the material or cause the color to crack. Using thin coats also makes it easier to tell if you're getting an even spread of color across the surface of the leather.
Please note that as each coat of paint dries, it will become darker, so your best idea of the finished color will come after a few hours. You can always add more layers until you see those water stains beginning to blend in with the color.
There are many home remedies to fight water stains that you can try. Some people have tried using a mixture of water, vinegar, and olive oil to make a cleaning solution that wipes away stains. Use a spray bottle to lightly mist your leather before rinsing it with a damp sponge.
If you’re someone who is cautious about what ingredients are going into your products, you can make your own remedy for water stains right at home. Tons of recipes can be found online, using natural ingredients to make an effective leather treatment.
For now, we’ll go over one simple way for beginners to make their own leather treatment using natural waxes and oils:
Using proper drying techniques after treating your leather products will keep them from developing counterproductive stains or creases. These tips also work as a preventative measure if you’re coming home after braving a rainy day:
At Andar, we sincerely hope that our guide has helped you to get those water stains out of your leather and maybe even replenish the health and color of your favorite pieces.
We know how frustrating scratches and discoloration can be when it comes to fine-quality leather products, which is why we curate tons of tips for leather care.
We’re passionate about creating products from the most durable, water-resistant, full-grain leather in order to keep you from having irritating issues in the future. We’re particularly proud to share with you The Brooklyn, a full-grain, oil-waxed leather bag that will carry the things you need through every season.
We hope you’ve been able to calm some of your worries about those water stains with this short guide. Thanks for reading!