9 Problems That Cause Wet Leather Watch Bands (Plus Fix)

Leather watch bands are an accessory that people wear on a daily basis for functionality (to keep an eye on time) and also fashion sense.

We will be discussing the 9 factors in life that cause your leather band to get wet, with examples of water affecting your watch band on a daily basis, and ways you can waterproof your watch band.

Thanks for reading.

Can A Leather Strap Get Wet?

Your watch leather strap needs special care and attention to prevent damages caused by water and detergents. Typically, many situations can happen every day to make your watch strap get wet. You don’t have to take your watch on and off every day to keep it safe from water.

Yes, your leather watch strap can get wet, but you need to protect it using a conditioner to restore the lost moisture from its pores. When ocean water or chlorinated water comes into contact with your watch leather strap, it will break down the leather, and you need to rinse it off first before you recondition it.

The best thing you can do is pre-treat your watch leather strap with the best water-resistant cream to protect it from water damage.

The Consequences Of The Leather Getting Wet And What Water Does To Leather:

When water comes into contact with your leather watch strap and makes it wet, the oil particles deposited on the leather pores will bind to the water molecules.

Therefore, when the dries up and evaporate, it will draw the oil out. This experience of leather shedding of the natural oils has caused stains and can remove the leather dye, leaving spots and streaks on your watch straps.

When your watch strap gets wet, speed is everything. When you fail to remove the water quickly or when it fails to dry swiftly enough, it will affect your watch strap, and it could begin to rot.

Below are 9 Different Ways In Your Daily Life Where Water Can Affect Your Leather Watch Band:


When you have your hands in water (washing your dishes) it is not always convenient to take off your watch. This means the detergent and water can come in contact with your leather watch band. Detergent and water can stain any colour leather leaving marks on the band.


Showering with your watch band will affect the leather if it is not protected with any conditioner. Water marks the leather and so does soap. This can also dry out the leather and make it dry and in worse cases it can rot. Even if you take your leather watch band off before showering the condensation of inside the bathroom causes damage also which can even lead to mould or mildew over the leather.


Gardening normally consists of your hands being in dirt and water. Dirt and water can both stain or discolour a leather watch band without any protection.


Exercise is the most common form of sweating. When you sweat this can include your arms, and if you are wearing a watch the sweat can form over the watch band. The sweat can cause staining and also negative smells within the watch band.

Pet Washing:

Pet washing for most people can be a weekly occurrence. If you are wearing a watch, the watch band then can come in contact with detergent and water (and also any dirt that comes from the pet). Detergent can affect the leather colour and cause it to fade.

Hand Washing:

Handwashing is something everyone does everyday. Washing your hands with soap and hot water, the water can spash up and at times the water can reach a watch or a watch band. The soap or water can damage and stain the leather band.


Being out and about you never know when it is going to rain, and it can come un expectantly at times e.g exercising, work or socialising. Rain drops can stain the leather, and as a watch can be exposed to the elements.


Swimming is normally conducted in a chlorine or in the salt water (ocean). Both salt water and chlorine both dry out leather, which can lead to cracking.

Car Washing:

Car washing entails using detergent to clean your car and then water to spray off any excess. This method can cause water or detergent to spray on you, and if you are wearing a watch band, it has a chance of affecting the leather on the band. Detergent can cause drying out of leather, and water can stain.

Water and detergent can have removed the finish on the leather. The finish found on leather makes it have a pleasant appearance and protects the dyes or pigments.

Finishing agents used in leather include oils, waxes, or grease. These substances form a large part of leather decorative and protective cover. Therefore, they will keep moisture away and prevent stain development. Ensure that you observe caution regarding the type of detergent and water you use on your leather surface to maintain your leather appearance.

When the leather strap is not treated and gets wet, it will feel like a greased rubber. The fibers in the leather make it more flexible, and the leather will become less likely to rip. It would be best to nourish it with an excellent nourishing product to improve it.

How To Waterproof A Leather Watch Band?

If your watch doesn’t have a waterproof leather watch strap, waterproofing it is a great way to protect it from water damage and prolong its life. It is worth noting that even after waterproofing your leather watchband, the waterproof agent you use will wear off with time, and you need to apply another waterproof to your watch strap.

The process isn’t complicated, and you should make it a habit to waterproof your watch strap occasionally with these steps.

It would help if you had the best waterproofing recommended product and a microfiber piece of cloth for waterproofing exercise. The procedure can follow these simple six steps:

Step 1: Clean your leather watchband with warm water and a block of mild dish soap to remove the accumulated dirt and grime available on its surface.

The importance of performing this clean-up exercise is to ensure that your watch leather strap pores dirt’s get out for them to open up to absorb a large amount of waterproofing agent that will be applied on the surface.

Step 2: If you have a hairdryer, you can use it to warm up the surface of the cleaned leather watchband. This will ensure that the pores open up to allow the waterproof resistant agent you will be using ones applied will be absorbed into them.

Step 3: Apply your waterproofing products smoothly and generously on your watch leather strap. When applying, ensure that you cover the entire area of the leather watch strap. However, do not apply too much of the product to avoid over saturation.

Step 4: After applying waterproof agent, allow the application to sit on your watch leather strap surface for a minimum of 15 minutes. This will give the product enough time to penetrate the leather pores and find its way into the leather fibers.

Step 5: Once the waterproofing agent has penetrated the leather strap pores, use a microfiber piece of cloth or a dry towel to remove the excess waterproofing product that is remaining on the surface of the watch leather strap.

Step 6: Give your watch leather strap time to dry before you decide to use it again.

What Are The Benefits Of Waterproofing A Leather Watch Band?

When you waterproof your leather watchband, you will enjoy the following benefits:

(I)Increase product lifespan: The protective shield you apply on your leather watch band will ensure that the bands do not get dry and crack when waterproof. This helps it to be more durable for you to enjoy more wear.

(II)Breathing activity: When your leather watch band saps in water, it reduces its breathing activity. When your watch band becomes completely wet, it will no longer be breathable and may wear out faster.

(III)Reduce stain: Although leather does have natural water-resistance materials, it is an absorbent material that, when it comes into contact with water, will absorb the water molecules into the pores readily. When this happens, all problems will develop, including developing stains. You can reduce the strain sensitivity caused by water when you waterproof it with the best materials.

(IV)Reduces Stiffness: When water enters your leather watchband, the oil available in the leather pores will bind with the water molecules. Therefore, when water evaporates and dries up, it will come out with the oils. This shedding of the natural oil in the leather fiber leads to the supple quality of oil being lost, and it will stiffen up and be brittle.

Waterproofing your leather watch band will prevent the stiffening and bristling of the leather by controlling the soaking of water into the pores that store natural oil.

(V)Prevent your leather band from becoming heavy: When your watch leather band absorbs a large amount of water, it will become heavy after soaking it. Waterproofing will block water molecules from penetrating the leather to become heavy.

Best Leather Conditioner For A Leather Watch Strap?

When you have bought yourself or been gifted a nice watch with an excellent leather band, and you wonder how you will maintain the leather strap to keep t looking as good as new, a Leather Honey is a good one for watch collectors to buy for your watch.

Leather honey is a robust leather conditioner developed in the USA and made of non-toxic material. You can apply it to any leather item such as your leather watch strap, leather boots, or leather couch and they will become softer, more flexible, look much better and last longer.

This leather conditioner does not have silicone, animal products, or solvents. It also does not stick, and it is completely odorless. Leather honey is a water repellent. Therefore, it helps your watch strap to breathe. That’s why it’s the best.it does clogs on the leather pores

When you apply this conditioner to your watch strap, you need to leave it for at least two hours for it to dry. This product is so thick and goofy. Therefore, you need to apply it properly and not spray or wipe it off.

Another leather conditioner to consider is the Chemical Guys combo kit with a cream conditioner and a gentle cleaner that you can use to buck the spray on.

This conditioner has a proper pH balance, and it is scent-free. A few drop applications on your leather conditions your leather and protect it. Additionally, this kit can work on leather furniture and clothing and has a classic scent that will not overwhelm you.

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