Removing Water Stains From Ostrich Leather

Posted by Administrator on 3/24/2014 to Leather Care
ostrich leather with water stains

You spent a lot of money on your ostrich leather accessories and you go to great lengths to take care of them.   However, sometimes accidents or mother nature happens and you may end up with water spots on the leather.  Because ostrich leather is very porous, water droplets, even the smallest, can soak into the leather very quickly leaving dark unsightly spots on the surface of your leather seemingly ruining your favorite leather piece. 

In this article we are going to discuss several ways in which you can restore the surface of your ostrich leather product so that waterspots are no longer as noticeable.

Preventive Care - The first thing you should always do with a new ostrich leather product is make sure you add a sealant to the exterior of the leather.   Most leather goods are already finished with a sealer or a wax, but, especially in the case of exotic leathers, you want to be extra cautious.  Adding a water resisting sealant can help slow down water penetration in any ostrich leather product.   It won't make the leather waterproof, but it will slow down water penetration into the leather giving you at least a bit of time to quickly brush off the water droplets with a clean dry cloth.   One of the best preventitive and protective sealers you can get for ostrich leather is made by the Bickmore company.  We recommend using their Bick 4 product as a conditioner and follow that up with their Gard-More Water & Stain Repellent.  We recommend these products, especially for leather goods made from ostrich leather, because they don't affect the tone, texture or color of the leather like other products do.   These two products should help deter water from seeping into the pores of your ostrich leather product.  

Corrective Care - So, despite having coated your ostrich leather with a sealer or perhaps having forgotten to do so before, you have somehow gotten some water on your ostrich leather item.  Here are several choices of treatment options for you to remove that ugly stain and make your leather look great again.

1.  Mild Heat - Sometimes you can use an indirect heat source, such as a hair dryer, held a few feet away from the surface of the leather.   Move the heat source around and work the leather by bending and stretching it in the area where the water spot(s) are.  Sometimes heat can break down waterspots and return the leather to it's normal color.   Note: DO NOT hold the heater in one place for too long.   You can and likely will damage the leather by doing so.   If this works and your waterspot has disappeared, please re-treat the leather with the recommended leather treatment and sealer noted above.

2.  Dampen the entire area - Yes, you read that right.  One way to get rid of the water spot is to take a clean cotton cloth, dampen it (damp, not wet) and gently rub the entire area of your leather item that includes the water spot(S).  You want to do the entire area (side of a wallet, or section of a shoe, or panel of a bag, etc) because this method will slightly darken the leather.  Once you have dampened the entire area, let it dry naturally, or with a remote heat source moving over the leather from a few feet away.  Once the leather is dry again, re-condition and re-seal the leather using the Bickmore products recommended above.

3.  Apply conditioner - An alternative to number 2 above is to apply a leather conditioner such as the Bickmore 4 mentioned above with a clean cotton, lint free cloth.  The conditioner will similarly slightly dampen the leather and this method in many cases will hide the water mark. 

4.  Professional Service - If you have any doubts about any of these treatment suggestions, you might take your item to a leather care specialist in your area.  They may actually use some of the same techinques mentioned here but it may give you peace of mind to consult with them before attempting to treat the leather yourself.

ALWAYS test any product that you apply to ostrich leather in a remote, preferably unseen area of the item.  Apply a little product to the sample area and let it completely dry to see the results before applying it in more visible areas of your leather item.

Many products will darken ostrich leather so you must use extreme caution and use only products recommended for use with exotic leathers.   These products have been tested and designed to work with exotic leathers so that the leather color or shade is not modified during the treatment.   The use of detergents or chemicals to clean ostrich leather may very likely ruin the leather and you may find that it dries with cracks and additional stains. 

Do you have any tips or tricks you have successfully used to remove water stains from your ostrich leather products?   Please tell us about them in the comments area below.

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