How to Care for Oiled Full Grain Leather

Written by corey m. mackenzie | 13/05/2017
How to Care for Oiled Full Grain Leather
Oiled, full grain leather is used for products where durability is highly desired. (pocket of leather image by Indigo Fish from

Full grain leather is very durable, high-quality leather that has not been split (as opposed to top-grain leather or suede), nor has it been sanded or buffed. Any scars or other blemishes that were natural to the hide will still be noticeable on this leather, giving it a natural, rugged appearance. According to Irving Tanning only the hair is removed from this kind of leather. Because of the durability of full grain leather, it is often used for furniture and footwear. Full grain may also be oiled leather, giving it remarkable water resistance compared to other leathers.

Remove minor scuffs and scratches on oiled, full grain leather simply by moistening your thumb or finger (in water) and rubbing it over the area. According to Urad this is often all that is necessary to cover minor marks on oiled leather.

Use a damp cloth for more intensive cleaning of oiled, full grain leather. If a damp cloth isn’t enough, you can also apply some leather cleaner to a cloth and wipe the leather item with it. Choose one that states it is suitable for oiled leathers.

Dry the leather, using another clean cloth, after cleaning. Now, apply a leather conditioner to a cloth. Urad suggests using a lanolin-based leather conditioner/moisturiser on oiled leathers.

Rub the conditioner into the leather. When you have rubbed it into all leather areas, follow with a dry cloth to remove excess. You can use a conditioner any time the leather starts looking or feeling like it is drying out too much.

Allow full grain, oiled leather that is wet (shoes caught in a rainstorm, for example) to dry slowly just as any other leather. Do not set the leather item close to a fire or other heat source. Rapid drying can causes leather to crack. Treat the leather with conditioner the next day.

Things you need

  • Cloths
  • Leather cleaner
  • Conditioner for oiled leather

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