Should You Use Coconut Oil On Leather?

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You have a leather coat or couch and want to condition the material. Maybe you have heard that coconut oil is a good use for leather and faux leather conditioning. You wonder if it will take out the cracks and help the leather look smooth for a long time. We’ve researched whether coconut oil is good to use on leather and faux leather to answer these questions and more.

Coconut oil is an excellent conditioner for leather and faux leather material. Use a clean, dry cloth to buff the oil onto the leather or faux leather surface. When the temperature is cold, coconut oil hardens. You may need to warm up the coconut oil and be sure to apply only one thin coat, so it does not harden on the material.

The good part about using coconut oil for leather conditioning is that you may already have it in your house. It doesn’t require you to purchase special leather conditioning products that don’t have multiple uses like coconut oil does. You probably wonder if coconut oil is the best oil to use on leather. You may wonder about using baby oil or vaseline. You also want to know whether coconut oil darkens or waterproofs leather. Keep reading to find the answers to all of these questions!

An up close photo of coconut oil and sliced coconut on a wooden table

Should You Use Coconut Oil On Leather And Faux Leather?

If you want to soften your leather, protect it from cracking, and restore the shine, then coconut oil might be a good choice. Coconut oil is not the best oil for leather, but it is convenient if you already have some in your kitchen. There are some important considerations to make before you decide to use coconut oil on your leather clothing or furniture. 

Coconut oil hardens when the temperature is below 76 degrees. This creates a possible problem when you try to apply the oil to your leather because most people keep their room temperatures cooler than 76 degrees. You will need to heat the oil to the melting point and make sure it is not too hot when you begin to apply it. You can apply the oil with a cloth by dipping it into the melted oil and rubbing it into clean leather with a circular pattern. 

A man brushing his black leather shoes

It is important that you only put a small amount of oil on the cloth. It can be difficult to apply coconut oil evenly on the leather surface, which can give the appearance of spottiness. If you apply too much coconut oil, then it will create a residue once it cools and hardens. You can place the leather near a heating vent or other warm air source to allow the oil to absorb before it hardens. 

Will Coconut Oil Darken Leather?

Coconut oil will darken leather, as will other oils like mink oil and neatsfoot oil. Leather will also darken naturally over time as it is exposed to light. If you want to condition your leather without darkening, then you should not use coconut oil. It will make the leather darker. You want to look for a product or oil that is labeled as a non-darkening leather conditioner. Check out this product below.

Bickmore Non-Darkening Leather Conditioner

Click here to buy Bickmore Non-Darkening Leather Conditioner from Amazon.

Does Coconut Oil Waterproof Leather?

Coconut oil provides a thin layer of waterproof protection, but that does not last for very long on most surfaces. You can expect some waterproof protection from a pair of leather boots, but only for a day or two. All oil repels water, but the thin layer of coconut oil does not provide lasting waterproof protection. The best option to waterproof your leather will be mink oil or a waterproof leather wax.

Nikwax Waterproofing Wax For Leather

Click here to see Nikwax Waterproofing Wax on Amazon.

Which Oil Is Best For Leather?

Natural oils are more superior to petroleum based oils. Neatsfoot and mink oil are the most common oils used to condition leather. They are natural fats and are most similar to leather fibers. Neatsfoot oil is the best option to restore the leather shine, while mink oil looks more dull than shiny. Neatsfoot oil is more likely to darken the leather and can be harmful if absorbed near the couch’s stitching. Mink oil is the best oil to provide waterproofing and softening of your leather material. 

Sof Sole Mink Oil For Leather Conditioning

Click here to buy Sof Sole Mink Oil from Amazon.

How To Apply Oil To Leather

No matter what type of oil you use to condition your leather, you can use the same application process. Place a small amount of oil into a container. Use a cloth or sponge to dab the oil and rub onto the leather with a circular motion. When you start applying the oil, it will look spotty and temporarily darken the leather. This is only temporary. 

A woman wiping the leather couch with a yellow cloth

How To Clean Leather

Before you condition your leather couch or clothing, you should clean it. If you are cleaning a couch, then the first step is to vacuum and remove all debris. Then you can use a leather cleaner to rub out any stains. A homemade leather cleaner can be 50 percent vinegar and 50 percent water. After you clean any stains, the final step is to dry the couch. You can and should condition the leather after completing these steps. For more information on how to clean your leather furniture, check out “How To Clean A Leather Couch [3 Steps].”

Leather Conditioning Based on Type of Leather

How you care for your leather should depend on what kind of leather you have. Not all leather is made equally, and there are many different potential sources for leather. There are also synthetic materials that are known as faux leather. These materials can vary based on how soft or shiny they are. The leather type may also determine how often it needs to be conditioned and what the total lifespan will be. For more information on the different kinds of leather, check out “9 Types of Leather Couches by Leather Type.”

Is Vaseline Good For Leather Sofa?

Vaseline is a petroleum based oil and will degrade the leather fibers more quickly. It will add a residue on the couch that will make it more difficult or nearly impossible to condition the couch again. Many people like to use Vaseline to soften the leather fibers and prevent cracks. It can do both of those things, but the couch will have a shorter lifespan. It is best to buy a high-quality conditioner that is made specifically for leather. 

Can You Use Baby Oil On Leather?

You can use baby oil on leather, but it will degrade the leather fibers more quickly than other oil options. Baby oil is a petroleum based mineral oil and is very thin. It can achieve your goal of making the leather shinier and softer. Stick with natural oils like neatsfoot, mink, and coconut oils. 

In Closing

Any oil can be applied to leather and provide some desired effects. You may want to restore the shine to your leather boots or couch. You may also want to soften the leather. Petroleum based oils like baby oil or Vaseline will soften and shine the leather, but they will not protect the leather fibers in the long-term. The leather will degrade more quickly with petroleum based oils. The best option for conditioning leather is to use natural fat oils like neatsfoot, mink, and coconut. 

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