Uh Oh! A Water Spill on Leather…
So, it’s never a good moment when you discover your beloved leather item has been attacked by a bit of H2O, perhaps with a nasty tide mark settling itself in, leaving you thinking that your favourite thing is ruined forever. Whilst it is rarely possible to wind back the clock completely, some swift action can make a huge difference to the outcome of the apparent disaster, and you might be surprised to find out the best way of dealing with a water spill on leather.
We do occasionally get cries of help from owners of Tusting bags where bottles of water have leaked all over the bag, or a severe rain shower has soaked a briefcase, and even where puddles mysteriously jump up and grab a wallet just as it’s trying to help its owner on to a bus….
One such example led to Linda Garratt emailing one evening with a plea for advice on how to rescue her lovely calf leather tote from a serious water spill. We just did what we do – give experienced advice and help – and Linda’s bag was soon back to normal. Linda was sufficiently impressed she wrote to The Times to tell the world how pleased she was.
So, what did we say?
Well, when half your bag (or purse, or wallet) gets wet, but the other half doesn’t, you will typically end up with an obvious tide mark showing exactly what happened, and which stays long after the water has dried. However, if you add a little MORE water, especially if you can do it before the item dries, so that the tide mark edge is softened and the wet is graduated into the dry area, then you can greatly lessen the strength of the eventual tide mark, and sometimes, prevent it altogether.
Progressively wiping the edge of the wet area with a damp sponge is the way to go – we are not talking about running the item under the tap or leaving it in a bucket of water, but the idea is to soften the edge of the tide mark so that the leather gets progressively less wet, rather than having a distinct edge between the wet and dry.
So now the tide mark has been spread out so that it is more diffuse and irregular. It probably looks worse that it did at the outset, but this is actually progress!
Then you must be patient and allow the item to dry naturally, at room temperature, and away from any direct heat. If possible, it is a good idea to reshape the item by stuffing it with paper or some such, just in the same way as we stuff our wet shoes with newspaper to stop them shrinking as they dry. Finally, a little feed of Hide Cream will help to restore the feel of the leather when the trauma is all over.
When exactly this problem occurred when one of our own Kitty beauty bags came to rest in a basin of water, it was a perfect opportunity to practise our preaching and record the results of dealing with a water spill on leather. It was found with a very soggy bottom and a nasty tide mark developing, so extra wetting was the immediate action. The finish on the leather was quite resistant to that, however, this is not a problem as the trick is to work on the graduation of the wet edge – going for a wet to damp to dry result. Then a slow drying was in order.
As this last image shows, the quality of the leather shines through in its total recovery with virtually no sign of the drama. Just need to treat it to a little Hide Cream now.
Would you like to know more? Why not sign up for our emails – you’ll be the first to hear about our news and special offers, plus more good knowledge about how to look after your favourite leather products.
You may also like to read…
… some of our repair stories.
Somewhat unconventionally, we like to help our customers make their Tusting bags last as long as possible. So, when a hard life delivers a bit more wear and tear than can be ignored, or the puppy couldn’t resist giving the corner a good chew, we’ll do our very best to fix it up and get it back on the road.