Stains are a common problem and, as we’ve said time and again, prevention is always better than cure. If you are outside and it’s raining then moisture is going to be difficult to avoid, but if you are likely to come into contact with any dyes or heavy water contact then try to protect your camera bag from exposure. Fabsil Universal Protector is a water-repellent spray for all breathable surfaces, including leather, it is great as it covers your bag in a silicone layer making it more difficult for water to penetrate and the drips literally roll off the surface.
However, accidents happen, and if you do end up with a severe water mark or stain then start by blotting the area as soon as possible to remove any excess. The quicker you do this the better and once you’ve done this you can blot the area with a cloth and warm water. Be careful not to douse the leather as too much water will just make the stain worse. Start at the outside of the area affected and work inwards, working harder at the edge of the stain to prevent a ring. Leave your bag to dry in a warm room, never apply heat directly to the leather and don’t be tempted to leave it on a hot radiator.
If it is an old stain or something you couldn’t get to straight away then the above process is still worth a try, it is important to work a bit harder at the outside of the stain as this is where it will be most obvious. You are basically trying to blend out the stain as much as possible. This may take a couple of treatments, but persevere as it will eventually start to look better. Once you are happy with the result it is time to nourish your leather again, this is particularly important if it was badly stained and it needed a lot of attention.
Bees wax is our go-to leather treatment because it is natural and the leather will love it, particularly if it is a little dry and in need of some care. Bees wax not only nourishes and keeps leather soft and supple it will also effectively repel water to hopefully prevent any future accidents. To apply, simply rub on the surface in a circular motion, slowly working the wax into the skin. Lightly buff any excess residue with a soft brush or clean cloth, being careful not to remove all the wax you’ve just applied. Try to avoid clumps of wax on the surface or a build up around the edges as this may dull the leather and can also transfer onto clothing.