How to Dry Wet Leather Boots

Do you have wet leather boots that need to be dried? Whether you accidentally stepped in a puddle or were caught out in the rain, there is no doubt your boots got soaked. Wet leather not only looks unattractive but can also cause irreparable damage if it’s not addressed as soon as possible.

How to Dry Wet Leather Boots

Fortunately, with a few simple steps, you can make them look as good as new by drying them properly and expediting the process using some useful tricks. Read on to learn how to dry wet leather boots quickly and effectively!

Step by Step Guidelines on How to Dry Wet Leather Boots

Step 1: Wipe Off the Excess Water

As soon as you take off your wet leather boots, use a dry cloth to remove any standing puddles of water on the surface. This will prevent them from getting further damage and will help speed up the drying process in general. Wiping off the excess water will also help prevent stains from forming.

Step 2: Stuff the Wet Boots With Newspaper

Once you have wiped off the standing water, stuff each boot with several sheets of crumpled-up newspaper. The newspaper will absorb the remaining moisture and assist in drying your leather boots faster. Make sure to keep replacing the paper as soon as it gets too wet.

Step 3: Place the Boots Near a Heat Source

Now, place your leather boots near a warm space such as close to a heater or in front of an open window. The heat will help evaporate the remaining moisture and get them dry in no time. Do make sure not to place them directly above the heat source as it could cause them to dry out too quickly and end up cracking, breaking, or warping.

Step 4: Apply Leather Conditioner

Once your leather boots have dried completely, apply a leather conditioner to nourish them and keep them looking like new. Use a soft cloth or brush to rub it in, then buff it off with a separate cloth. This will help your boots retain the original color and feel soft and supple for many years to come.

Apply a Leather Conditioner

Following these simple steps will help you dry wet leather boots quickly and easily, so they look as good as new in no time! Just make sure not to overdo it with heat or leather conditioner to avoid any potential damage. With a bit of care and maintenance, your boots can last for years to come.

Additional Tips and Tricks to Dry Wet Leather Boots

1. Use a blow dryer to speed up the drying process. It is important to remember to keep the heat setting low and move the dryer around continuously so as not to damage the leather.

2. If you don’t have a blow dryer, stuffing newspaper into your boots can help absorb moisture and speed up drying time.

3. Apply a light layer of leather conditioner when the boots are dry to help prevent cracking and maintain their shape.

4. For tough stains, use a damp cloth with a small amount of detergent or leather cleaner to remove them without damaging the leather.

5. To keep your boots dry in the future, spray them with a waterproofing product before wearing them. This will help repel water and reduce the chances of your boots getting wet again.

6. If you live in a rainy climate, store your boots in a cool, dry place when not in use to prevent mold from growing on the leather.

7. Finally, remember to clean and dry your boots after every use. This will help maintain their appearance and prolong their life.

Use a Damp Cloth

By following these tips and tricks, you can keep your leather boots looking great and in optimum condition for years to come.

Precautions Need to Follow for Drying Wet Leather Boots

1. Check for any signs of damage, discoloration, or staining on the leather boots before attempting to dry them. If there is any visible damage, it should be taken care of before drying. This could mean taking the boots to a cobbler who specializes in leather goods or using a leather conditioner and cleaner.

2. Avoid direct heat sources such as radiators, blow dryers, or other hot surfaces when drying leather boots. Heat will cause the leather to stretch and may even result in cracking.

3. Stuff the inside of the wet leather boots with newspaper or paper towels to absorb moisture from the inside out. This will also help retain the shape of your boots.

4. Place the leather boots in a dry, well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight but where air can circulate freely around them.

5. If possible, stuff the boots with shoe forms or something similar to maintain their shape while they are drying and allow them to dry naturally over several days.

6. When the leather boots are fully dry, use a leather conditioner to protect them from damage and cracking in the future. This should be done regularly as part of your normal care routine for leather boots.

7. Store wet leather boots in zip-top plastic bags until they can be properly dried or treated by a cobbler or leather specialist. This will help reduce the chance of mold and mildew buildup on the boots.

Avoid Direct Heat Sources

Following these precautions can help prevent further damage to your leather boots from wet conditions and ensure they last for as long as possible. By taking proper care of your leather boots, you can enjoy them for many years to come.

Common Mistake to Dry Wet Leather Boots

1. Using a Hairdryer: 

While it may seem like an obvious solution to use a hairdryer, this can actually damage the leather and cause cracks or other serious issues. The heat from a hairdryer can dry the leather too quickly which will cause it to become brittle, leading to cracking or breakage in the future.

2. Placing them in Direct Sunlight:

Leather does best when dried slowly, so placing wet leather boots directly into the sun is not recommended. The sunlight will also dry out the natural oils from leather, causing it to become dry and brittle over time. It’s best to avoid putting your boots in direct sunlight to dry them.

3. Using Rubbing Alcohol: 

Using rubbing alcohol on wet leather boots is not recommended as it can cause the leather to become brittle and discolored. It’s best to avoid using any type of alcohol or harsh chemicals when drying wet leather boots, as this can damage them over time.

4. Wearing the Boots While Wet: 

It’s a common mistake to wear wet boots, as this can cause them to become misshapen and cracked. Leather is quite delicate when wet, so it’s best to avoid wearing them until they have been properly dried. This can help prevent any serious damage or issues in the future.

5. Stuffing with Newspaper: 

Another common mistake when drying wet leather boots is stuffing them with newspaper. The ink from the newspaper can rub off and stain the leather, causing discoloration or fading over time. It’s best to avoid stuffing boots with any type of paper as it can damage the leather.

Stuffing Them With Newspaper

By avoiding the common mistake of drying wet leather boots, you can help ensure that your footwear will remain in perfect condition for years to come. With proper care and maintenance, you can keep your boots looking great and lasting longer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use a Hair Dryer to Dry My Leather Boots? 

Yes, you can use a hair dryer to help speed up the drying process. Make sure the heat setting is on the lowest possible setting and move the hairdryer constantly around your boots in order to avoid overheating them. Additionally, you can use a towel to help remove some of the moisture before using the hairdryer.

How Can I Soften Leather Boots That Have Dried Out?

Boots that have become dry and stiff should be treated with a leather conditioner or cream. This will help restore the leather and make it more pliable. Additionally, try to avoid wearing your boots in wet conditions as much as possible in order to help preserve their softness and flexibility.

Can I Use a Dehumidifier to Help Dry My Boots?

Yes, using a dehumidifier is an effective way to speed up the drying process for leather boots. Make sure it is set to the lowest possible temperature setting in order to avoid damaging your boots. Additionally, you can use a towel to soak up some of the moisture before using the dehumidifier.

Do I Need to Treat My Boots After Drying Them?

Yes, it is important to treat your boots with a leather conditioner or cream after drying them. This will help restore the natural oils in the leather and keep them soft and pliable. Additionally, regular treatments with leather protectants will help to prevent wear and tear in the future.

What Are Some Tips for Helping My Boots Retain Their Shape?

One of the best ways to retain the shape of your boots after drying is to stuff them with a shoe tree or rolled-up newspaper. This will help the leather to keep its shape and prevent it from becoming misshapen over time. Additionally, avoid using a hair dryer on high heat settings as this can cause the leather to become brittle and hard.

Avoid Using a Hair Dryer


Taking steps on how to dry wet leather boots quickly and appropriately can help you preserve them and keep them in great condition. This can involve adding a little bit of shoe polish, removing moisture from the inside out, allowing them to dry in an area free of direct sunlight, or rubbing dubbin on the exterior part of the shoes. Once you have taken all these precautions, you will have extended your leather boots’ life span and have them back in serviceable working order.

Furthermore, if you take extra time and care with your wet leather boots, it could potentially save you money as there won’t be a need to replace them as frequently. You should also consider investing in shoe trees or foot warmers as preventative measures against moisture that might ruin your wonderful footwear.

Lastly, remember to always do regular checks on the wear-and-tear of your boots, checking for cracks or splits as many leather materials such as leather generally require more upkeep than synthetic ones. With some tender loving care, your leather boots should remain durable despite times when water gets into contact with them.

Photo of author

Matt Clark

Hi, this is Matt, and I am a leathercraft hobbyist. I have been working with leather for quite a bit of time. When I was a teenager, my father taught me the basics of leathercraft. Along the way I have learned a lot of things about leather work leather items, restoring leather, and creating leather accessories. I started this blog to share my knowledge of leatherworking with others and help people learn about this amazing craft. I also wanted to create a community of like-minded people who could share ideas and support each other in their leatherworking journey.

Leave a Comment