Leather Journal

Leather is a durable material that can be used to make products such as shoes, bags, clothing, and accessories. However, over time, the material of leather can become hard and stiff due to exposure to the elements or even just age. To counteract this, it is important to find ways to soften the leather and restore its softness. Fortunately, there are several ways you can soften your leather using clean cloth and conditioners so it regains its softness and looks as good as new! Try these products for the best results. In this blog post, we'll discuss how to understand how leather is made and how it hardens; choose the right products for softening your leather; prepare the surface before softening; apply conditioners or natural oils; allow time for absorption; use a damp cloth to remove excess products from the surface of your item; and buff with a dry cloth for an extra shine. Read on to learn how you can keep your favorite leather products looking great! Whether it's shoes or other items you wear, using a conditioner regularly is key.

Understand How Leather is Made and How it Hardens

Before you begin the process of softening leather products, it’s important to understand how leather is made and how it hardens. The leather products start out as animal hide that has been tanned and treated with chemicals, including conditioner, to prepare it for use. These products can wear well and are resistant to oils. During this process, the fibers of the hide start to form a flexible material known as "leather". Leather products deteriorate over time with wear and can be conditioned to maintain their quality. Over time, leather products can become hard and stiff due to age or exposure to the elements. Using a conditioner or oil can help restore the softness and flexibility of the leather.

Choose the Right Product for Softening your Leather

When it comes to softening your leather items, the first step is to choose a leather conditioner specifically designed for conditioning leather. You can find these leather items, leather goods, and leather shoes at most department stores or online stores like Amazon. Don't forget to also check out their selection of leather conditioners. Look for an oil-based product that is specifically designed to soften, condition, and protect the leather. This step is crucial in maintaining the longevity and quality of your leather goods. Make sure to apply the product after cleaning to ensure maximum effectiveness. Additionally, always check if the product you are using is compatible with your specific leather type and follow the instructions on the label. We like using Fiebing's Leather Balm with Atom Wax to soften and oil leather items, including Everyday Carry items like wallets and keychains. It's great for keeping your leather goods in top shape. For leather shoes and boots, you may want to consider using Mink Oil, a popular choice for leather care. Mink Oil is available in both liquid and paste form, making it suitable for various leather items and products. Other conditioners or balms you can try to soften your leather include Lexol leather conditioner, Lexol pH-Balanced Leather Conditioner and Protector v4, or Chamberlain’s Leather Milk. Don't forget to step up your leather care routine by using these products to keep your leather looking its best.

Prepare the Surface Before Softening

Before you begin softening your leather items, it’s important to properly prepare the surface. This is a crucial step in the process, as it sets the foundation for achieving optimal results. By following this step, you can ensure that your leather items will be ready for the next step in the softening process. Start by cleaning the leather item with a mild soap and water solution to remove any dirt or debris from the surface. This is an important step in leather care, as it prepares the leather for softening. Once the leather is clean, you can proceed with softening the leather using a leather conditioner. Once the leather item is clean and dry, use a soft cloth to buff away any loose particles or dirt that may have been left behind. To further care for your leather items, consider using a leather conditioner to soften the leather and maintain its quality.

Apply Conditioner or Oil

Once the surface of your leather item is prepped and ready, it’s time to apply a conditioner or oil to soften and protect it. This step is crucial in maintaining the quality and longevity of your leather item. Whether you're using a conditioner or oil, make sure to apply it evenly and gently with your thumb. Depending on the leather care product you choose, you may need to apply the conditioner or oil with a brush or soft cloth to soften stiff leather or maintain other leather items. Make sure to follow the instructions on the product's label to properly soften leather and remove stiffness. This step is crucial for achieving the desired results with v4 leather products.

Allow Time for Absorption

Once you have applied your conditioner or oil, it’s important to allow time for absorption. Soften leather by following this step. Use your thumb to gently massage the conditioner into the leather. This step can soften leather in minutes or hours, depending on the thickness of the product. Most conditioning products will indicate the recommended waiting time before moving on to the next step. 

Use a Damp Cloth to Remove Excess Product

Once your leather item has had ample time to soften and absorb the conditioner or oil, use a damp cloth to wipe away any excess from the surface as the final step. 

Buff with a Dry Cloth for an Extra Shine

Finally, take the next step and use a dry cloth to buff your leather item for an extra shine. This will help to soften the leather and enhance its appearance. This step will help soften leather, protect the surface, and keep it looking like new

How Often Should You Condition the Leather?

It’s recommended that you soften and condition your leather item once every six months to a year depending on how often it is used and how much exposure it has to the elements. This step will help maintain its quality and durability. If you live in an area with extreme climates or frequently expose your leather items to water, then softening and conditioning them regularly is a necessary step.

We hope this step-by-step guide on how to soften leather was helpful for you. If you have any questions about how to soften leather, please feel free to reach out to us!

We wish you the best of luck in taking the necessary step to soften and take care of your favorite leather items. With just a few simple steps, you’ll be able to soften leather and keep them looking like new for years to come. Good luck!

Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

Leather care

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

Our Mission

At Cheekoo's, we bring luxurious leather goods handmade using fine Italian and heritage American leather. Each item is carefully and lovingly made by expert craftsmen in beautiful Ann Arbor, MI.

Our mission is to ensure that every item you acquire from us is cherished for decades. If you are ever unsatisfied or need support for any of our items, we will be happy to make it right for you by every means possible.