How to Restore Dry Leather Safely

Leather is one of the most highly used materials. It’s used in making bags, car seats, furniture, jackets, etc. Sometimes, from prolonged use, it gets dried, cracked, or loses its color. In most cases, when leather furniture gets cracked, it loses its beauty. If it isn’t fixed, it’ll give the home a different look.

However, to a large extent, the durability depends on regular care also. If your leather goods have cracked, faded, or deteriorated somehow; the techniques on how to restore dry leather presented here may come to your rescue. Read through!

How to Restore Dry Leather Safely

If you’re looking to restore dry leather safely, you don’t need to reach out to a professional. These DIY techniques will save you the stress on your wallet.

how to restore dry leather couch

Clean the leather

  • First of all, you have to keep all your cleaning supplies in place. Leather restoration begins with cleaning the leather. Moreso, cleaning the leather before conditioning prevents dirt from staying on it while you’re moisturizing.
  • Apply any leather cleaning solution thinly on the leather surface and clean in a circular motion. Also, you’ll need to soften the leather if it’s stiff.

Moisturize the leather

  • Mix your dishwashing soap and warm water in a bucket. Otherwise, you can buy saddle soap.
  • Dip a clean towel into the solution and use it to rub on the damaged surface of the leather in a circular motion. This process is called lathering.
  • Then, rinse and repeat the process until the leather is thoroughly cleaned. To get rid of deep stains on pigmented leather, dilute a small quantity of alcohol and rub it into the leather with a lint-free cloth. Most importantly, ensure you do a patch test on an invisible area of the leather to be sure it won’t stain the leather.
  • When rinsing, first rinse the towel used and dip it into clean water. Squeeze the cloth and use it to wipe the leather surface again. Ensure you rinse all soap off the leather.
  • Allow the leather to dry. Do not use a heater or blow dryer to hasten the drying process.

Fix the Leather’s Surface

  • Purchase a leather repair kit. A complete leather kit contains all the substances and tools needed to restore leather surfaces. You can buy them from online stores, hardware shops, etc.
  • To avoid creating a mess from the ingredients that’ll be used for the leather treatment, place an old newspaper or towel under the leather. Make sure to wear protective gloves while working.
  • Use a sponge to apply the leather binder (a liquid solution that soaks into the leather and binds them together) on the surface of the damaged leather. Allow it to dry. Then, repeat the process till you get your desired result.

Restore the leather color

  • Apply a small quantity of the water-based leather colorant on a sponge. Then, rub it on the areas with seams, cracks, and creases. Allow for 20 to 30 minutes to dry the colorant.
  • Fill an airbrush or spray gun with more colorant. Spray the colorant in fine coats on the leather surface. Repeat the process until the whole surface looks evenly colored.

Reduce dryness of the leather

  • After the leather dries up, use a clean towel to evenly apply a leather conditioner (Trinova leather conditioner or leather honey) to its entire surface.
  • When you’re done, gently polish the leather to make it shiny. This will prevent the leather from looking cracked.

how to restore leather


Q: How do you revive dried leather?

Leather materials are prone to dry out from prolonged usage. Most times, it could be due to improper leather care or environmental hazards such as water, dust, and more. However, the good news is that you can revive dried leather.

So, if you’ve been asking: “Can you restore dried-out leather?” Here are five tips you should use:

  • Clean the leather
  • Moisturize the leather
  • Repair the cracked areas, if any
  • Air-dry the leather
  • Condition the leather

Most importantly, always ensure you test the solution on an inconspicuous area of the leather to confirm whether or not it’ll damage the leather.

Q: Can old dry leather be restored?

It doesn’t matter whether you last used your leather bag a year ago. You can restore old dry leather. The major problem most old dry leathers have is faded color. That, of course, can be fixed.

Here’s how to restore old leather tack; first, clean the leather, then, moisturize it and air dry it. Once it dries, use a spray gun, airbrush, or sponge to evenly apply (spray) the water-based colorant on the surface of the leather. Make sure to wear your protective gloves while carrying out this process.

Q: What household items can restore dry leather?

Interestingly, if your leather wears or tears off, you can restore it with some easy-to-find household items. You can restore dry leather with household oils like coconut oil, eucalyptus oil, and flaxseed. Here’s how to restore leather purse when removing stains; use lemon juice or baking soda. They are perfect for removing stains from leather. If you’re looking for the best household item to use for cleaning the leather, vinegar works perfectly.

There’s no need to try to contact a professional leather repairer, you can fix your leather anytime at home.

Q: Is Vaseline good for leather?

Definitely. Vaseline makes the leather surfaces shiny and supple. Take note that before you apply Vaseline on your leather surface, you must first rub a small quantity of diluted alcohol on the leather. Thereafter, you can apply as much Vaseline as the leather can absorb. Then, allow it to dry.

It is advisable not to apply excess Vaseline on the leather so it doesn’t seep into the leather, thereby causing a bad smell.

Q: Is olive oil good for leather?

Even though applying olive oil on leather will make it shiny, it isn’t good for leather. Olive oil is neither good for leather dryness nor scratches. This oil will cause your leather to deteriorate faster instead of increasing its durability.

Additionally, leather easily soaks up oil. This will cause the oil to spread throughout the leather. In some cases, you’ll begin to notice oil spots on the leather surface. Therefore, if you’re looking for how to restore leather car seats, for instance, look out for better materials. However, if your leather has oil stains already, you could use a dishwashing detergent and warm water to get rid of the stain.

Q: How do you condition leather at home?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to restore dry leather at home by conditioning:

  • Take off the accessories or straps attached to the leather.
  • Use a clean cloth (microfiber cloth, most preferably) and then, apply a leather cleaner (like saddle soap) to the leather. Cleaning the leather will help get rid of the specks of dirt on the leather.
  • Air-dry the leather. It must be completely dry before you apply the conditioner.
  • Condition the leather. To ensure the conditioning agent won’t discolor the leather, test it on an inconspicuous area of the leather. Then, use a soft cloth to apply the conditioner (for example; mink oil) to the leather surface in circular motions.
  • Allow the leather to dry after conditioning. When it’s dried, wipe off the excess conditioning residue using a clean dry towel.

Q: Can you polish leather with olive oil?

There’s no doubt that polishing leather with olive oil will make it shinier. But, olive oil reduces the health of leather. It’s not the best oil (or substance) to use for leather polishing. You can use a conditioner instead. Conditioners like Trinova leather conditioner or leather honey will keep the surface of the leather shiny and supple.

If you want to make it more attractive, use a colorant. For instance, if you’re looking for how to restore a leather couch, try using a colorant and conditioner to make it shinier. If you’d love to change the leather color, do that without making the old leather color visible.

Q: What is a leather moisturizer?

Leather moisturizer is a solution containing a natural blend of waxes and oils specifically made to nourish and soften leather, prevent the surface from drying out or cracking. It’s normal for leathers to crack when they lose their moisture and natural oils.

Also, most leather moisturizers are used to prevent color change and enhance durability. They are necessities for the restoration of leathers. If you don’t apply a leather moisturizer or leather restoration cream to your leather during the restoration process, there’s a high tendency that it’ll remain dry.

Wrap Up

There’s no need to get fussy just because your old leather is worn out. Follow the techniques on how to restore dry leather highlighted above.

Most of the materials you’ll need for the process are household items. Get your old leather bag or furniture fixed safely and sooner!

Evina Naomi

Ewofere, Evina Naomi is a biotechnologist and passionate content writer. As a great lover of leather and various leather crafts, she broadly addresses leather-related issues. She is a writer of many excellent articles on leather. With great knowledge and enthusiasm, readers can access researched pieces on various leather types and the best techniques that work on them. Naomi is here to lead you through the journey of choosing excellent leather products and ensure you handle them rightly. So you can embark on your leather sewing and crafting journey with her and have an incredible experience.

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