Home remedy for conditioning old cracked leather

Updated February 21, 2017

Over time, leather jackets, furniture or bags can all fall victim to drying out and cracking if not properly conditioned. Leather material requires regular oil applications to keep the material soft and pliable. Without that conditioning, the leather dries and withers, creating cracks and creases on its surface. Applying water to dried leather only further damages the material. Using a soft touch and the right emollients, you can restore old cracked leather.

Wipe dust and dirt from the cracked leather with a clean rag.

Scoop 1 tbsp of petroleum jelly onto a clean cloth. Apply the petroleum jelly to the cracked leather. Rub gently and slowly, using circular motions as you apply the jelly. You want to work the jelly into the leather without damaging the cracked surface. Use additional jelly as needed to cover the entire surface of the leather.

Pour 2 tbsp of olive oil onto a clean cloth. Wipe the cloth over the leather. The olive oil helps to further condition and seal the leather, while also leaving a shine to the material.


Avoid using products with alcohol or turpentine on leather items as they can dry out the material.

Things You'll Need

  • Rag
  • Cloths
  • 1 tbsp petroleum jelly
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
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About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.