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How To Waterproof Leather in 4 Steps

BY Buffalo Jackson Insight
BY Amanda Uher

Revised 9/25

Keep in mind, real leather is a natural material, incredibly porous, and will never be completely waterproof. But there are a few ways to protect leather from water, which is the closest you’ll get to leather waterproofing. One option is to use a spray protectant or other commercial waterproofing product designed specifically for leather. Another option is beeswax cream. Beeswax is a natural waterproofing solution and has been found to be very effective at leather waterproofing. Be sure to spot test your leather messenger bagleather shoes, or leather duffle bag with whatever product you choose, as many will have a darkening effect.

Interested in learning how to make this natural blend for leather waterproofing? Beeswax cream can be made at home if you’re feeling resourceful. Here’s how:

Supplies:

- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

- 2 ounces beeswax

- Glass Jar

- Medium pan of cold water

- Clean, soft buffing cloth

1. Combine ingredients

Pour the extra virgin olive oil into the glass jar. Break the beeswax into pieces and add to jar. Place jar into a pan of cold water.

2. Heat

Warm the pan over the stove. Stir the mixture in the jar until the beeswax has completely melted into the olive oil.

3. Cool

Remove pan from heat. Carefully remove the hot jar from the pan. Continue to stir the wax/oil mixture until it cools and stiffens. Get comfortable; this will take anywhere from 10-20 minutes.

4. Apply

After the mixture has cooled and stiffened, spot test the cream on an inconspicuous area of the leather. Then, be sure to begin with clean leather, apply the cream, gently buffing the leather surface. Repeat to build up the waterproof protective coating—this is key to leather waterproofing. 

Once you get intoleather waterproofing,it’s important to explore other ways that you can protect your leather pieces. Discover our full suite of leather care products for all-natural cleaner and conditioner. For example, if you're looking to maintain your leather briefcase's slick appearance, start by using our leather cleaner, specifically formulated to remove dirt and grime buildup using a gentle formula that’s great for all leather types. Then, refresh your piece with our leather conditioner, a semi-thick wax that offers maximum protection and restoration. In essence, there’s so much more that goes into caring for your leather pieces besides leather waterproofing, but starting to build these upkeep items into your routine is the first step to preserving an heirloom. 

 


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