Mink oil is an excellent leather conditioner, and I love how it keeps my leather pieces supple and moisturized. But is this oil suitable for all leather types? There are some conflicting opinions regarding applying this mink oil on certain leather types, especially suede.
While using mink oil for suede can restore this material’s lost moisture and keep it resistant to moisture, it could cause certain damages if not used appropriately. It could darken and harden leather and leave a sticky feel, which is not aesthetically pleasing.
So, before applying mink oil on your treasured suede items, it would help to explore the pros and cons you may likely encounter.
Can You Use Milk Oil on Suede?
You can apply mink on the suede to replenish the leather’s oil and make it moisture-resistant. However, this conditioning oil could darken light-colored suede, and its residue could leave a sticky feel and harden the leather.
Mink oil remains an age-long solution for conditioning leather. It is derived from the fat of minks and is constituted by fatty acids and triglycerides. While it is an excellent leather conditioner, I have received complaints about this solution ruining leather boots, bags, and similar items. And some of these grievances are from suede leather owners.
You should know that genuine suede is a delicate type of leather sourced from the underside of an animal’s hide, mostly cowhide. This material is soft and velvety since it has been buffed and brushed to create a smooth feel.
Thus, this soft texture of suede makes it sensitive to dust, moisture, and other harsh elements. And when not cared for, this piece could become heavily damaged. So, it is essential to clean and condition this leather by employing special techniques to maintain it for an extended period.
If you want to apply mink oil on suede shoes, bags, and accessories, you should take care in doing so to prevent likely damage.
How to Use Mink Oil on Suede
Using mink oil for leather requires a critical technique to ensure little or no damage at the end of this conditioning process. Here is a tested and trusted method that you can try.
Step 1: Cleaning
Begin by cleaning the suede to get rid of dirt and debris. Such an action would help prepare the material for conditioning, ensuring it absorbs the oil effectively. I often employ a suitable suede brush and remove dust from the top area of this material downwards; this would get the cleaning done without ruining the item’s velvety texture.
If there are stains on the item, you can use a suede eraser to get them out – these tools are also helpful in restoring or reviving the flattened naps of suede. However, you must conduct the back-and-forth movement carefully to prevent tears.
Step 2: Applying the Oil
If you use a mink oil spray for suede, hold the leather item about 6-8 inches away and apply a light coating evenly. Alternatively, you could dip a clean microfiber cloth into the oil to get it damp (not soggy) and rub gently across the suede surface to achieve a light layer of this conditioning product.
Step 3: Drying
Upon achieving an even coat of mink oil across the suede item, you should get a dry cloth to wipe off the excess on the leather surface. Then, let the conditioned shoe, bag, or jacket sit overnight or for a few days in an airy area to absorb the oil and dry. This action would prevent the likely stickiness that may occur.
Pros of Using Mink Oil for Suede
The versatility of mink oil is tremendous, and aside from its use in maintaining equestrian goods, it can also help condition different leather clothing, shoes, and bags. Is mink oil good for suede? This leather conditioning oil works well for suede items when applied properly. With that in mind, here are some benefits of applying mink oil on suede:
Excellent Conditioning Properties: I have tried mink oil on suede several times and often love its moisturizing effects. This product helps replenish dry and faded suede goods. If done correctly, the leather goods would remain soft and supple without losing touch with its texture.
Fair Moisture-Resisting Effects: The porosity of suede makes this material prone to moisture damage; thus, it is beneficial to waterproof such items that may likely get exposed to certain wet conditions. Nevertheless, mink oil can offer some moisture resistance, as a light coating of this conditioner leaves a protective layer that prevents the suede from getting soaked.
Such protection also prevents this material from getting stained quickly, as it keeps dirt from penetrating through the fibers of your treasured suede pieces.
Gives Suede a Richer Color: Does mink oil darken leather? I, for one, have successfully restored my faded suede items using this technique. Mink oil can darken leather, which is suitable for folks who want their suede pieces to have a darker and richer color.
Cons of Using Mink Oil for Suede
Here are a few reasons you may not find mink oil as a good suede conditioner.
Greasy Residue: The first and most prominent reason is the sticky feel it leaves– usually when there are excess oil residues after application. Such a greasy feel could also accumulate dust all over the suede, causing it to appear unsightly.
Alters Suede Texture: An extended application of this oil on suede could leave it hardened; this is more visible in lightweight goods. Mink oil also darkens and leaves dark splotches on light-colored suede pieces.
Does Not Offer Total Moisture Resistance: Finally, if you hope that using mink oil for suede sneakers, boots, or other outdoor items would keep them completely free from moisture damage, then you are wrong. The moisture-proofing abilities of this conditioning oil are low, and your leather pieces would get damaged if you subject them to extended moisture exposure.
Tips for Applying Mink Oil on Suede
- Before you condition the entire leather surface, spot-test an inconspicuous area to ascertain if this conditioning oil is suitable.
- Apply mink oil sparingly across the suede surface to maintain the material’s texture and prevent a greasy residue.
- Upon applying mink oil on suede items, don’t expose them to overly wet conditions.
- Avoid applying mink oil on a dirty or stained suede surface to prevent buildups that could ruin this treasured piece.
- If, after a spot test, you find mink oil inappropriate for your suede, you can try other mink oil alternatives or invest in a suitable suede conditioner.
Can you use mink oil for suede? Mink oil is an efficacious leather conditioning product that replenishes suede items. However, the delicate nature of suede material makes this conditioning process tricky.
If not appropriately applied, mink oil could harden and darken suede, especially for lightweight and light-colored items. Nevertheless, you can employ a few tips and tricks to apply mink oil safely on suede without ruining this precious leather piece.