How to Use Vaseline for Waterproofing Leather

Written by john woloch
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How to Use Vaseline for Waterproofing Leather
Soaked shoes and wet feet are never comfortable. (Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Perhaps, you're walking uptown in leather shoes under an umbrella as the rain comes down in buckets. Before you get three blocks, the toes of your right foot and then left foot get that familiar, uncomfortable coldness. The rain has soaked through your shoes; your feet are wet. Soaked shoes and wet feet are an annoyance and a distraction and, though no porous and stitched material like shoe or clothing leather can be completely waterproof, vaseline can help you delay the moment when you feel that familiar, uncomfortable coldness.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Vaseline (petroleum jelly)
  • Bristle brush (optional)
  • Soft cotton cloths or paper towels

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  1. 1

    Buy a jar of vaseline, also called petroleum jelly, at any drugstore or supermarket.

  2. 2

    Clean shoes or boots with a soft, bristle brush to remove any clinging dirt, especially around the seams.

  3. 3

    Rub 1 tbsp of vaseline into the leather of the shoe, boot or article of clothing using your fingers or a soft cotton rag or paper towel. Use a circular motion as you rub.

  4. 4

    Wipe excess vaseline from the shoe or boot or article of clothing with a clean cotton cloth or paper towel.

  5. 5

    Buff the leather to a shine, if you wish, by rubbing with a clean cotton cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • Test the vaseline on an unobtrusive corner of your shoe, boot or article of closing before treatment. Vaseline will darken leather. Do not use vaseline on suede leather.

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