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Article: Is Leather Waterproof? / Leather Waterproofing - Things You Must Know!

Is Leather Waterproof?

Is Leather Waterproof? / Leather Waterproofing - Things You Must Know!

Who doesn’t love leather for its durable and long-lasting qualities? It is used for different purposes starting from shoes, bags, and goes down to accessories as belts.

Given its luxurious and lustrous look, you may wonder whether it's waterproof or not? Well, we have come up with a detailed and convincing answer for you. Read on to find out.

Is Leather Waterproof? 

There isn’t any yes or no answer to this question. As you may already know about leather that it is water-resistant. What it means is that it won't absorb water, hence making it a good choice for items that may be exposed to rain or snow. And naturally, it is also less likely to suffer from water damage than other materials, such as fabric. 

However, note that leather is not entirely waterproof. If it is exposed to a large amount of water, it can become saturated and start to break down. For this reason, it is necessary to take care of leather items and keep them away from excessive moisture. One thing is for sure, with proper care, leather will last for many years providing a stylish and practical touch to your wardrobe.

How To Test If Leather Is Waterproof?

If you’re looking to test the water resistant features of your particular leather item, identify the type of leather first. Since different types have different properties, the testing results may vary. Once you’ve identified the type of leather, the next step is to perform what is known as a water resistance test. 

One way is to pour water onto the leather and see if it beads up. If the water droplets disperse quickly, then the leather is likely not waterproof. Another way to test is to take a damp cloth and try to wipe away any dirt or stains on the leather; if the cloth doesn't absorb any of the moisture, then the leather is likely waterproof.

Finally, you can also try submerging the leather in water and seeing how long it takes for it to become wet. If it takes a while for the water to soak through, then the leather is likely water-resistant. Keep in mind that none of these tests are 100% accurate, but they can give you a general idea of whether or not your leather is waterproof.

How To Waterproof Leather Backpacks and Bags?

In case, your leather bag isn’t water-resistant as you’d like it to be,  there is still a way out. There are a number of techniques to waterproof your leather goods. For example, you can treat the surface with a waterproofing agent, either in the form of a spray, lotion, or cream. It works fine for short periods.

Another way to make your leather items more water-resistant is applying a thin layer of wax. You can prepeare this wax at home or can take it from the market. First, clean the surface of the leather bag and then apply it equally on the surface and let it dry. After some time, clean it with damp towel. Depending on how often you use your bag and how much wear it accumulates over time, you will need to repeat this process periodically.

For best results, you may also want to consider using conditioning method that is specifically for leather waterproofing. With proper care and maintenance, your leather backpack or bag should last you for many years and continue to offer excellent protection against the elements.

How To Clean Leatout If It Gets Wet?

In the leather maintenance guide, the number one thing that you ahould follow is to never let it get wet. Water can saturate the surface of leather, causing it to become discolored or even warp and crack.

However, it's not always possible to avoid getting the leather wet, especially if you live in a rainy climate or regularly walk through puddles or mud. In these cases, it's essential to take steps to dry and clean your leather as soon as possible.

Dry Naturally

The first step is to let your leather dry naturally. Avoid using any sources of heat like hair dryers or radiators, as high temperatures will only further damage the material. 

Wipe the Dirt

Once your leather is fully dry, you can use a damp towel to gently wipe away any dirt or debris that may have gotten on the material's surface during your exposure to water. For tougher stains or dirt deposits, use a specialized stain eraser or very mild soap and water to remove them completely.

Odor-Eliminating Spray

Finally, if the odor remains after drying and cleaning your leather, consider applying an odor-eliminating spray or serum that is specifically formulated for this purpose. Taking these precautions will protect your prized leather items from any damage due to water exposure.

Why Should You Waterproof Your Leather?

No doubt, leather is durable and mildly water-resistant. But at the same time, it is susceptible to water damage too as moisture can cause the leather to warp, crack, and discolor. In addition, mold and mildew can grow on damp leather, causing it to deteriorate. Waterproofing your leather will help to protect it from these dangers. 

You can use various products to provide a barrier against water and other liquids. They can be applied to both new and old leather, and they will help extend the leather's lifespan. In addition, waterproofing products can also help to repel dirt and stains. As a result, they are an essential part of leather care.


  1. Can you reverse water damage from leather??

Yes, you can reverse water damage from leather, but it depends on the severity of the damage and how proactive you are in taking care of the item. If the water damage is caught early enough, you may be able to reverse it by drying out the leather properly.

  1. Is water harmful for leather?

Water can damage leather easily regardless of short or long exposure to it. If the leather gets wet and isn't allowed to dry completely, damage is inevitable. However, with proper maintenance, including using a waterproofing treatment, water is less likely to ruin the leather.

  1. Does water permanently stain leather?

If the leather becomes wet accidently and is not treated immediately, water cause a permanent stain. However, waterproofing leather helps to protect it from staining.


Summing-up our discussion, we can safely conclude that leather is not waterproof, rather water-resistant. It means that it will repel water to a certain degree, but it will eventually become wet. For this reason, it is not recommended to wear leather in extreme weather conditions. However, if you are looking for a durable and stylish material to protect you from the occasional rain shower, leather is a great option.

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