How to treat oily nubuck leather

Oiled nubuck leather is used in footwear, as well as on other surfaces. Shoes, such as work boots and clogs, are often made with this specially treated leather that has a soft texture, similar to suede. Taking care of the surface of oiled nubuck maintains the appearance of the item and protects the leather. Simple cleaning and maintenance after each use makes treating and caring for oiled nubuck leather a simple process.

Wipe off the surface of the oiled nubuck item to remove any loose dirt or stains.

Wash the oiled nubuck leather surface with a leather cleaning foam. Spray the foam on the leather and allow it to sit for a couple minutes to loosen and lift dirt and stains. Gently rub the foam into the surface of the leather and wipe clean.

Condition the oiled nubuck surface to replenish oil that is removed through normal wear and tear.

Protect the oiled nubuck with a waterproof and weather-resistant spray that keeps water from sitting on, or absorbing into the nubuck leather. Allow the nubuck leather item to sit overnight after spraying.

Brush the oiled nubuck leather to maintain the appearance of the leather. Do this after cleaning and conditioning and after each wear to keep the surface clean and dirt-free.


Clean and protect the oiled nubuck leather surface regularly, particularly during seasons with inclement weather. Even though oiled nubuck leather surfaces tend to be found on thicker, more durable leather surfaces, they still require special care to prevent the leather from drying out or absorbing moisture.

Things You'll Need

  • Cleaning cloths
  • Leather cleaning foam
  • Oiled nubuck conditioner
  • Protective spray
  • Suede brush
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.