Is Baby Oil Good For Leather?

When it comes to conditioning or cleaning leather, many start with the presumption that the buying process will be a hassle since leather conditioners and cleaners aren’t available in most stores; the added expenses are another headache. But you can not stop conditioning, can you?

Well, lucky for you, oils can act as a substitute that can easily get rid of your conditioning problems. Is baby oil good for leather? Which is the best oil for leather?

Read to find out!

What is baby oil?

Used for moisturizing the skins of children, baby oil is a sweet-scented oil that can also be used for many other purposes, one of them being leather conditioning. It is mostly based on mineral or vegetable oils and is known for consisting of many nutrients that are healing for the human skin.

Can you use baby oil on leather?

The answer, thankfully, is yes!

Although it is not the best replacement out there, baby oil does a fairly good job at softening your leather and preventing it from cracking. Other than that, it forms a temporary water-resistant coating that fades away slowly upon use. The sweet scent of the baby oil may act as a plus point depending on whether or not you are a fan of fragrant things. However, you should keep in mind that after long-term usage, it will cause damage to your leather.

Tips for oiling and conditioning leather:

  • Cleaning is a necessary process as it prevents stickiness and helps in keeping the look intact.
  • Before oiling or conditioning, make sure to clean your leather using mild dishwashing soap or leather cleaner. 
  • Allow at least 24 hours for drying after cleaning.
  • Conditioning should not be avoided as it keeps your leather from forming cracks.
  • After the application of oil, remember to wipe off the excess with a microfiber cloth. 
  • Do some research and find out about your leather and its tanning process, etc. so that you can identify which oil is best suitable for it.
  • Check company websites or labels to find out which products are suggested by the company.
  • Do not apply excess oil. Over conditioning causes leather to become sticky.
  • Conditioning depends on the usage as well as the product. Some leather goods, like sofas and car upholstery, require conditioning only once or twice a year, whereas shoes might require weekly conditioning. 
  • Before using a certain type of oil to condition, make sure you are okay with its smell.
  • Cod oil, Neatsfoot oil, and mink oil are better conditioners in comparison to baby oil. If you have those in your house, better condition with them instead.

Tips before using baby oil on leather:

  • Make sure your oil isn’t hot. Applying anything that has a temperature above 100 degrees Celsius on your leather can ruin it.
  • Do a patch test on a small part to see how your oil reacts with the leather, i.e., whether it darkens your leather or not.
  • Baby oil is based on petroleum jelly. Apply only a little to avoid a tacky look.
  • The waterproof coating that baby oil gives is temporary. If you want something that is truly water-resistant, you should switch to using pure beeswax.

Is Baby Oil Good For Leather Boots/Shoes

Leather boots and shoes are subject to regular rough usage, which means they require more conditioning than other leather goods. Baby oil, usually containing petroleum jelly, ensures heavy conditioning of your leather boots, which helps in elongating their life spans and preventing them from getting cracks. It also acts as a polish, giving your shoes a glossy makeover.

For conditioning leather, you need to dampen a piece of cloth using baby oil and then slowly dab it onto your shoe. Afterward, using a clean piece of cloth, wipe off all excess to prevent over conditioning.

Is Baby Oil Good For Leather Bags?

Leather bags, unlike leather boots, require light conditioning. Thus, using baby oil to soften them can count as over conditioning.

When it comes to leather bags, it is usually better to stick to a leather conditioner that is specifically designed for conditioning such items. However, if one is not available, you can choose to use baby oil given that you apply very little using a cloth and wipe off any excess with a clean cloth.

Is Baby Oil Good For Leather Sofa?

Baby oil is likely to condition your leather sofa properly, given that it is made of protected leather upholstery (you can look at the company website to check this). Before applying, remember to do a patch test as you wouldn’t want to ruin your expensive leather goods.

Baby oil is also likely to leave a smell on your sofa. If you are not a fan of that, you should opt to use a scent-less conditioner.

Will baby oil soften leather?

Baby oil, like most other oils, does indeed soften the leather. Whenever you do not have your necessary conditioner, you can use leather, but it should be kept as a last resort since it does not work as properly as some other leather oils that are made with the thought of leather fibers kept in mind.

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