Uses for Neatsfoot Oil

Updated July 19, 2017

Neat's-foot oil is a lubricant, moisturiser and preservative used for leather working. It also has household and industrial applications.


Neat's-foot oil is obtained by boiling cattle bones and hooves. The oil, which comes from the bone marrow and is yellow and fatty, is skimmed off, filtered, run through a vat where organic impurities coagulate, and then refiltered.


Neat's-foot oil is used to preserve, shine and waterproof leather products such as baseball gloves and saddles. It is the main ingredient in many leather polishes.


Neat's-foot oil can soften just about everything it touches and can be used as a moisturiser for human skin.


Neat's-foot oil includes tannic acids that are essential in the processing of a raw animal hide into usable leather and other products. Neat's-foot oil is a natural tanning agent but has mostly been replaced in the market by chemical tanning agents.


The oil also conditions, shines and preserves wood and is applied to cutting boards, countertops and wooden utensils.

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Mike Ludwig is a freelance writer and journalist in the United States. He has worked as a freelance newspaper reporter, section editor and magazine feature writer. Ludwig has three years of freelance writing experience, and has been published in "Southeast Ohio Magazine," and the alternative bi-weekly paper "The Athens NEWS."