Leather is a durable and long lasting material but in some circumstances when it comes to it getting wet it can be hard to know how to dry the leather out. Without damaging the leather!
Here Is How You Can Dry Your Leather Fast:
The two best methods of drying your leather (without damaging it or drying it out) is to air dry it outdoors, or near a heater but not anywhere close to it. Any close contact to any heat could dry out your leather and potentially shrink it (or lead to cracking).
Below we will discuss five bad methods you should avoid when drying your leather, even if it is tempting to do so e.g using a hairdryer for instance. Then we will give you some excellent tips and tricks to dry your leather and keep it free from shrinkage or cracking from heat. Thanks for reading.
Can You Dry Leather Quickly?
When leather gets wet, it is imperative that you dry it as soon as you can because if the water molecules seep into the material, they will combine with leather’s natural oils and then evaporate them.
If the natural oils, which are responsible for keeping leather smooth and supple, evaporate, the leather will completely dry out and start to crack. Excessive water can even cause leather to visibly start to rot.
The amount of time that it takes for leather to dry depends on the type of leather it is, how wet it has become and what the item is. For example, a leather bag will take longer to dry than a leather bracelet because the bag is bigger and likely made of much thicker leather.
However, you can speed up the time it takes for leather to dry by gently soaking up as much of the water as you can with a soft cloth before leaving the leather to dry out.
You can dry leather quickly if you accelerate the process in some way, but you have to be careful not to damage your leather at the same time. There are a few correct methods that will help dry your leather quicker without destroying it, but there are far more incorrect methods that will end up doing more harm than good.
Protecting the quality of your leather should always be your first priority, even if that means not being able to use some methods that seem sure to dry your leather out in minutes.
Incorrect Methods of Drying Your Leather Quickly
A hairdryer might seem like a fast and convenient way to dry out leather instantly; however, the intense and constant heat produced by a hairdryer will actually be very detrimental to the quality and construction of your leather possessions.
Heat will dry out the natural moisture that leather has, pulling out integral nutrients and cracking the surface layer of the material. As soon as leather starts to dry out, crack or peel, it is a lot of work to try and restore it.
Just as you need to use heat protection products on your hair when blow-drying it due to the risk of damage, the extreme heat concentrated on one area can also damage leather.
Prolonged exposure to the fast-blowing hot air produced by a hairdryer might make leather become moist as well, which will cause moisture to seep below the surface and affect the oils within the material. If you completely dry leather out, it will look and feel much drier, just as your hair does if you focus too much heat from a hairdryer on it for a long time.
You should never put precious items in the oven to dry, but especially not items made of expensive materials like leather! As well as exposing the essential nutrients and oils inside the leather to unnecessary levels of heat, you could also be creating a potential fire hazard.
Though leather is usually a very non-flammable material, any embellishments on a leather items, such as fabric sections, pose a risk that is not worth taking, even if leather is remarkably fire-resistant on its own.
Lots of leather products are also glued together in some way and putting them in an oven to dry would completely ruin the adhesiveness of the glue and cause the product to start falling apart.
You might be able to control the heat of your oven by using the external controls, but exposing leather to the compact internal environment that becomes very hot very fast is always a bad idea. Other damage that an oven might cause is curling or cracking of the leather.
Heaters are a great way to circulate heat around your house and warm it up, but you should never place leather directly in front of a heater to dry it off because, as with the hairdryer, that much fast-blowing heat concentrated on one area will cause it to dry out entirely.
If you sit in front of a heater for a minute or two, you’ll notice that your skin quickly becomes red, so imagine the damage that even more time directly in front of a heater will cause to leather. The heat will completely stiffen the leather and sap away its suppleness.
Small leather products can start to shrink very quickly when exposed to high heat for a prolonged period of time, and the edges of several leather items may start to curl up and warp.
Gentle heat is more than enough to encourage leather to dry more quickly, so placing it in the immediate path of high heat is not the way to go. As soon as you dry out the nutrients below the surface of leather, its external appearance will be drastically reduced.
Attempting to dry leather in a microwave poses similar problems to attempting to dry it in an oven.
Though you can set microwaves to only cook for very short periods of time, you should still refrain from using them as a quick and easy way to dry damp leather because of the risks associated with leather warping due to concentrated heat in a compact environment.
Microwaves can also be unpredictable, especially if you try to use high heat to dry leather very quickly, so it simply isn’t worth the risk.
The heat produced inside a microwave will work to dry out your leather, or, at the very least, cause the material to stiffen or curl, changing its structure and texture.
Leather is remarkably non-flammable, but the radiation used in microwaves could end up targeting the material in unpredictable ways. Microwaves are small but powerful, so entrusting an expensive leather product to them for drying purposes could end up marking, warping or cracking the material, reducing its quality.
We are always advised to store leather in a cool, dry place out of the path of direct sunlight, and for good reason. Both the light and heat energy from the sun can damage leather, especially if leather is left exposed for a long time.
Sunlight can cause the colour of leather to fade over time, even if the material has a strong finish protecting it. The fading effects of the light coupled with the drying and cracking effects of the heat make direct sunlight a bad mode of attempting to dry leather.
If you want your leather to remain, soft, flexible and unbleached, shade it from direct sunlight wherever possible. You can still utilise the warming effects of the sun without leaving leather exposed to direct sunlight.
Think of all the bad things that leather can do to your delicate skin when you expose it to sunlight without protection and allow them to dissuade you from attempting to use direct sunlight as a quick cure for wet leather.
Correct Methods of Drying Your Leather Quickly
Keep it Close to a Heater
Although placing leather in the direct path of a heater’s airflow should be avoided because it will quickly dry out and stiffen the material from the inside out, you can keep leather close to a heater to encourage it to dry.
Heaters are designed to circulate hot air around as much of an area as possible, so hanging leather to dry on the other side of the room will still have it drying quicker thanks to the work of the heater.
You might have to wait longer for leather to dry when it is placed at a distance from a heater, but it will still dry at an accelerated pace without being cracked or otherwise damaged by the intensity of the heater.
Ensuring that leather dries with as little direct heat as possible is the perfect way to dry out any dampness without risking the oils inside the material being evaporated too. If the material still feels soft and smooth after being placed close to a heater to dry, you can keep using the same tactic without worrying about any damage.
The majority of people leave clothes hung up outdoors to dry when the weather is nice, so why shouldn’t the same be done with wet leather?
A fresh breeze and heat from the sun is the perfect combination to help leather dry out faster than it would indoors, though you’ll have to keep it out of direct sunlight. A shaded area of your garden is ideal for drying leather, especially if you can lay the leather item out on a garden table, chair or outdoor laundry rack to completely air it.
So long as your leather isn’t exposed to direct sunlight, you can leave it outdoors for hours to completely dry.
The warmth of non-direct sunlight is more than enough to speed up the drying process without leading to your leather drying out. You might also notice a fresh airy scent coming from the leather once you bring it back inside, which is an added bonus.