Is Mink Oil Good For Suede?

Suede is a high-quality leather that is often used to make shoes, boots, jackets, bags, etc. If you have leather goods, you probably know that along with the amazing feel, they come with the responsibilities of cleaning and conditioning, which can be pretty expensive, especially when using leather-specific products. So, the question is, when maintenance is required, is mink oil good for suede?

The answer is yes. Some forms of suede will benefit from the application of mink oil.

You can replace shop-bought leather cleaning products with mild dishwashing soap and replaceconditioner with oils that are easily available in most stores.

Is mink oil the best for suede? Or are there any better substitutes?

With this article, we hope to remove any doubts you might have regarding this topic.

Applying Mink Oil To Suede


Suede leather goods can be conditioned with mink oil to prevent any cracks on their surfaces; the fibers are strengthened, and thus, longevity is increased.

Mink oil softens the leather, darkens it, and gives it a temporary water-resistant coating lost with time and use. However, the water-resistant coating lasts longer than when other oils, like coconut oil or baby oil, are used.Often, manufacturers also tend to use it in the production process itself.


Although it is a better conditioner than most other oils, using mink oil regularly can cause unrepairable damage to the leather.  It oxidizes after a while on the surface of leather, causing it to harden and form cracks.

How To Apply Mink Oil To Suede?

Things you will need:

  • A clean piece of cotton rag
  • Mink oil
  • Sponge
  • Suede brush (if not available, you can use a toothbrush)



Using the brush with light strokes, remove any dirt stuck between the fibers and pores. Remember not to apply too much pressure to avoid any scratches on the surface of your suede goods.


Dampen your sponge in mink oil. Do not be afraid to take a generous amount as we will be wiping off any excess remains.


Do a little patch test by applying a little oil on a tiny surface to ensure no bad reactions.


Using the sponge, slowly dab in the oil to the surface in a circular motion. Make sure to cover the entire surface as you wouldn’t want some parts to grow darker while other parts remain pale. Apply thoroughly to make sure your suede doesn’t remain under-conditioned.


Excess conditioning causes the surface to become a sticky mess. To avoid this, using the piece of clean rag, wipe away all of the excess remains of the mink oil.


Let the suede item air dry. Please do not use it for about 24 hours.

Alternative Treatment & Conditioner For Suede

Mink oil acts as a really good conditioner for your suede goods, nourishing the leather and softening while also being very affordable. However, you can replace it with other oils that are more common and regularly used, like:

  • Baby Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Neatsfoot Oil.
  • Olive Oil,
  • Tartar Cream
  • Vegetable Oil

Oils give suede items a glossy look while also giving them a waterproof coating. Although these features are appreciated (and we totally get the urge to use products that are already available at home!), using oil regularly is not a wise choice to make as at times it resurfaces or forms dark patches which tend to make your items look ugly. Hence, it is often advised by professionals to use oil only as a last resort or towards the end of your item’s life span.

So what other option do you have?

Sprays or conditioners are always available that are specifically made with the thought of your suede items kept in mind; these products usually do a better job and cause no side effects. However, many will argue that they are more on the expensive side.

With that being said, you need to keep in mind that suede items themselves are costly, and thus, you need to ensure good conditioning to make sure the money used to buy them doesn’t go to waste.

Checking the tags of your item or visiting company sites will also provide you with a list of cleaners and conditioners that are good for your suede goods.

Does Mink Oil Darken Suede?

Using mink oil does indeed darken your leather’s surface by 2 to 3 shades, which you need to keep in mind before usage.

As suede usually comes in lighter shades and gets paler with use, the darkening factor often acts as an advantage to users as it makes their shoes or belts, or bags look less worn out.

On the other hand, there might be some people who will not like this feature as it will ruin the look that their item initially had. Thus, doing a patch test to ensure you are okay with the color change is always a good idea. As they always say, better safe than sorry!


Is mink oil good for suede?

That’s the question we asked, and after taking some considerable time to look at the question from all angles, we found out that mink oil and suede are a well-suited combination.

You just need to be careful when using mink oil, as you do with any type of oil, not to oversaturate the suede, as this will cause lasting damage.

Additionally, as with any leather product, always test any substance or solution you will use on any leather, suede, or otherwise. This test will ensure there are no adverse effects when you condition or oil the whole leather product.

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