Waterproofing Nubuck Leather: (Good & Bad Products To Use)

Nubuck Leather is a fine fur type texture, that looks like a short suede. This type of leather does need to be waterproofed due to damage from snow or rain. The other way it helps is to stop stains over the leather.

Here Are Some Great Waterproofing Products To Be Used On Nubuck:

It is extremely important to use a product that is going to waterproof and protect your leather. It is best to use either a waterproofing spray or wax soap and we recommend using Snoseal. It is advised not to use Dubbin or Mink oil on Nubuck.

If you read below we will go through with steps how to treat your Nubuck leather, and what exactly to avoid to get you protected. I am sure you will find this informative and helpful.

Why Does Nubuck Need Waterproofing?

Nubuck, made from top-grain cowhide, is a high-end type of leather used for many fine products. It has a soft, suede-like texture and appearance – and like suede, it is highly susceptible to water damage. A quick spray of Leather Honey Leather Conditioner will protect nubuck from water damage before it begins.

Nubuck leather is trendy among furniture manufacturers because it is highly durable and aesthetically pleasing.

To protect your investment in outdoor or indoor nubuck furniture, such as sofas or loveseats, you want to save the leather against damage caused by rain or snow. Waterproofing nubuck with Leather Honey Leather Conditioner will ensure that the material on your furniture stays supple and attractive for years to come.

Leather Honey itself is not a waterproofing spray; rather, it prevents damage from water by keeping the leather hydrated and healthy.

Whether you use our product on nubuck shoes, bags, or couches, you’ll be able to enjoy your high-quality goods for a long time without worrying about spots or stains caused by water damage. Here are reasons why you need to waterproof your nubuck:

Waterproofing will protect against everyday stains: Unexpected stains are the worst. A waterproofing spray will help repel dirt and prevent watermarks and dyes that are hard to remove from coffee spills to grass stains.
Waterproofing protects against salt and snow: The cold weather means snow, rain, ice, and salt on the ground. Protect yourself against all these harsh elements with a high-quality waterproofing spray, making it easier to clean your shoes after exposure to these elements.
Waterproofing protects against mold and mildew: Water is the number one cause of mold and mildew on suede and nubuck shoes. The moisture in the air can cause damage to leather but, when combined with water, can cause irreparable damage to this delicate material.
It improves the product’s durability: When nubuck is not protected, it becomes brittle and prone to ripping. It also loses its softness and flexibility when it gets wet. Waterproofing prevents these damages and makes the product last longer. You’ll be able to wear your favorite pair of nubuck shoes for years because of waterproofing.
Nubuck has an open cell structure: Nubuck has an open cell structure that makes it more susceptible to water penetration than other types of leathers. This can make it more vulnerable to stains and discoloration caused by water. Hence waterproofing becomes an essential step for nubuck leathers.

Best Way to Waterproof Nubuck

Waterproofing is essential for any shoe made of nubuck leather. Without waterproofing, it’s not a matter of if the shoes will get wet, And once they get wet, it could not be easy to get water back out.

Nubuck is a type of leather sanded and buffed on the outside to create a suede-like surface. It can be more durable than suede, but it’s still porous so that it can soak up moisture quickly. That’s why waterproofing is essential: repel water before it can soak in. This is a type of leather that hasn’t been rubbed in on the grain side. Because it is unfinished, nubuck is susceptible to staining and water damage.

Before applying any waterproofing solution to your nubuck, remove any dirt or debris with a stiff brush. Don’t scrub too hard over any stains; you want to be as gentle as possible without compromising the leather’s integrity. Nubuck is a type of leather with a very suede texture. It’s made from the top grain of the leather, which consists of the most vital and most durable parts of the hide.

Nubuck is often used to make high-end shoes and boots, but it’s also trendy for upholstery and other furniture. Nubuck leather is sanded on its outside to create that velvety texture, making it especially prone to staining. It can be tough to remove if a stain gets through the finish on regular nubuck leather.

Waterproof nubuck solves this problem by treating the surface of the nubuck with a special coating that makes it resistant to stains. If a color does manage to form on Waterproof Nubuck shoes or furniture, it can be easily removed with soap and water before it sets in permanently. Here is the best way to waterproof nubuck:

Waterproofing Spray

Nubuck is a type of leather that’s sanded, buffed, and dyed to create a fuzzy surface. It has the look and feel of suede, but it’s much more durable. Like all leather, though, nubuck can be damaged by water and staining agents if it isn’t treated correctly. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to waterproof nubuck to protect the material from damage.

Before waterproofing your nubuck, clean and condition it first; use a brush or soft cloth to loosen any dirt or stuck-on debris from the leather.

Then use an all-purpose leather cleaner to wipe away stains and any remaining land. When the leather is dehydrated, apply a leather conditioner with your fingertips or a soft cloth and let it sit for an hour or two before moving on to any waterproofing treatments.

It is often used in shoes, furniture, and car interiors. It has a velvety texture like suede. However, unlike suede, it is made from the outside layer of the hide to be polished to a smooth finish with waterproofing spray. Here are steps to follow when Waterproofing with Spray:

• Use a stiff-bristled brush or a suede block to buff the nap of the nubuck leather and remove any dirt or dust accumulated on the surface.
• Dip your sponge into the bottle of nubuck cleaner and wipe it onto the leather surface in circular motions. Work with small sections at a time until all of the leather has been covered with cleaner. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before buffing it off with your sponge.
• Apply your nubuck conditioner into the leather in small sections with your sponge again. Please wait 10 minutes for it to be absorbed into the leather before buffing off any excess with your sponge.
• Spray your waterproofing sealant over your nubuck leather in short bursts from about 6 inches away from the surface. Allow it to dry in a cool, dry place.

Wax Soap

The best way to waterproof nubuck is the wax soap method. Nubuck is a leather similar to suede, but the difference is that nubuck has been buffed on the outside of the skin, and suede uses the inside.

You can use any wax soap, but a high-quality brand will get better results. There are many varieties available, some designed for different types of shoes. Here are some steps to follow when waterproof nubuck with Wax Soap:

• Rub the wax soap into your nubuck shoes using circular motions, working from left to right and from top to bottom. Rub onto the seams and creases with a cotton swab or a soft brush. Use more pressure when working on the seams, where dirt usually collects. If you have white shoes, use clear wax soap not to discolor them.
• Allow the wax soap to dry completely before wearing your shoes, or they may become scuffed or dirty.
• Apply another coat of wax soap if necessary. If water doesn’t bead up on your shoes after they’re dry, apply another coat of wax soap, allowing it to dry each time completely. You may need several applications before your shoes are adequately waterproofed.


The nubuck treatment makes it look similar to suede but thinner, softer, and pliable. Nubuck is susceptible to staining by liquids because they soak in quickly. Nubuck also tends to soil easily. When it becomes contaminated, cleaning should be done as soon as possible to prevent staining before it sets. Here are steps to follow when waterproofing with snoseal:

If you love your pair of Nubucks and want to keep them clean, then you will need two things:

Snoseal and a cloth or brush (optional)
• Take a small amount of Snoseal and rub it onto the leather using either your hands or a cloth/brush.
• Let the nubuck dry for 20-30 minutes.
• After 20-30 minutes, you can use a cloth or soft-bristled brush to apply pressure to the nubuck, giving it a clean, uniform finish.

Not to Use on Nubuck

Nubuck leather is a type of leather that is made for workboots to sofas (leather made from the outer layer of the hide) that has been sanded to make it feel like suede.

Since it is genuine leather, similar to suede, you can use an ordinary suede cleaner on nubuck if necessary. But because nubuck is much more delicate than suede, special care should be taken when cleaning. Always test whatever method you plan to use on a small area first, since some may discolor the leather. Use a special brush or soft cloth to rub the cleaner into the nubuck.

After the cleaner dries, use a soft brush or cloth to remove any residue and restore the nap of the material. Please avoid using any harsh cleaners on your nubuck, as they may damage or discolor the material’s surface. Please do not use any solvent-based cleaner on your nubuck, as they will soften and weaken the leather’s fibers and leave stains behind.

Additionally, do not use any abrasive cleaners that may scratch the surface of your nubuck. Never apply water directly onto nubuck leather, as this may cause irreversible damage to your item. Below are what is not to us on nubuck:

Mink Oil

Do not use mink oil on nubuck. Mink oil is used to treat leather, making it soft and pliable. It does this by softening the top layer of the leather and allowing for easier flexing.

However, when mink oil is used on nubuck, it does not have the same effect. Nubuck is an entirely different type of leather than cowhide, and mink oil has the opposite impact on nubuck of what you want-it makes the surface too soft, which allows dirt and liquid to seep into the material more readily.


One cause of damage to nubuck is the use of certain types of shoe polish.

Dubbin, for example, is an oil-based product that can cause staining if it seeps deep into the leather. Never use dubbin on nubuck. Lighter products should not be used on nubuck since it will remove some of the colors from the surface of the leather and leave spots where areas have been cleaned more heavily than others.

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