What Does Neatsfoot Oil Do for Leather?

Written by monica sethi datta
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Leather is used in making clothes, upholstery and furniture because it can last a long time through proper care and maintenance. Well-maintained leather should feel soft. You can condition your leather with Neat's-foot oil to prevent your leather from drying and cracking.

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Neat's-foot oil is a lubricant used to preserve leather by keeping it soft and supple and restore stiffened or scratched leather to its original softness and flexibility. Neat's-foot oil also acts as a natural water repellent.


While Neat's-foot oil is effective in keeping leather soft, it darkens the leather. As the Neat's-foot oil soaks into your leather, the darkness will lighten somewhat. You can also expect the Neat's-foot oil to emit an odour lasting up to a week after application.


Do not use Neat's-foot oil for suede as it will stain.

Lacquered leather

Lacquered leather is identified by its shiny surface. On leather where the lacquer has worn off, Neat's-foot oil will work if the lacquer is a dark colour, but you will need repeated applications to penetrate any tiny wrinkles. For lacquered belts, apply Neat's-foot oil on the inside area and wait for the odour to disappear before wearing.


Use a clean paint brush to apply Neat's-foot oil over your leather good. Let the leather dry overnight and reapply Neat's-foot oil in any areas you missed. You can repeat applications up to 4 times to fully penetrate the leather. Your leather good should be soft and pliable in about a week or two.

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