Is Neatsfoot Oil Bad For Leather?

What Is Neatsfoot Oil?

Neatsfoot oil is a conditioning oil that conditions and preserves the follow-come quality of leather to last long. When applied, it moisturizes, nourishes, and keeps the leather from drying, cracking, or breaking apart. However, Neatsfoot oil isn’t bad for leather; it restores the supple feel of the leather and helps it maintain its flexibility and durability over time. They are produced from the bones and feet of cattle and other hoofed animals.

As good as it sounds, they have a common disadvantage of causing decomposition of the leather with time. They can cause the leather to become darkened and brittle in the long run.

Can You Use Neatsfoot Oil For Leather?

Neatsfoot oil is a general name. There are different brands under the name Neatsfoot oil. They can all be used to lubricate fibers, waterproof the leather, and keep the leather from drying up. 

If you have leather, sooner or later it will need to be conditioned. As you make use of it, it is exposed to sunlight, heat, rain, and grime. Over time, it begins to lose moisture, which leads to dryness, color lightening, and cracks in the leather material. 

Pure Neatsfoot oil penetrates the surface of the leather and supplies natural oil to the hide. Therefore, you can use Neatsfoot oil for leather. Most leather workers would prefer to use pure Neatsfoot oil to condition their work when working.

Pros Of Neatsfoot Oil 

Water-Proof Quality:

The Neatsfoot oil has a liquid repellant quality. When applied to your leather, they settle and, after some time, they penetrate the leather. Then they air-dry in a few minutes. The oil clogs the little spores on the leather’s surface, preventing water from penetrating the surface of the leather to some extent.

With the liquid repelling property of the Neatsfoot oil, you don’t have to worry about liquid stains on your leather material.

Neatsfoot Oil Is A Natural Oil:

Neatsfoot oil is an all-natural oil that is safe and suitable for leather materials. They are used to perform a precise process of softening, conditioning, and preserving leather. They are made from the foot bones and shins of cattle and horses. 

They are not refined with any artificial lubricants, so, they will not damage your leather material. Also, though, they are made naturally from animals, they are not made from animal fats, so they cannot break down your leather material.

Health Benefits:

Truly, the primary use of Neatsfoot oil is to condition and preserve the quality of leather. However, the pure Neatsfoot oil provides many skin and health benefits as well. The pure Neatsfoot oil is a powerful skin moisturizer and insulator, which helps it moisturize and protect the skin from unusual temperatures resulting in dryness. 

They are unrefined, thicker and slightly greasier with essential fats and fat-soluble antioxidants that protect fat molecules in a layer under the skin. Due to its viscosity, it is a great remedy for ankle and elbow problems. Sometimes, it might cause irritation or redness for people with sensitive skin or oily skin.

Neatsfoot oil is capable of providing you with many health benefits for your skin if applied properly and purchased from the right source.

Clears Cracks And Scuffs:

Every leather material, after a while, begins to lose its beauty and quality due to dryness. They begin to crack and develop scuff marks due to usage or ways of maintenance. Neatsfoot oil can be used to clear cracks and scuff marks in any leather material, mostly without any side effects.

Gives Natural Shines To Leather Materials:

Preservation and conditioning are the most effective ways to keep a leather’s beauty and quality. Neatsfoot oil is a natural oil that softens, conditions, and also preserves leather fibers. It lubricates and moisturizes the leather’s surface, thereby maintaining the fresh look and quality of the leather regardless of how long you’ve been using it.

Can Be Used In Numerous Application:

The use of Neatsfoot oil does not stop with the application to leather materials. It can be applied to the skin because of its health benefits on the skin. It can also be applied to leather products like shoes, bags, leather car seats, and so on. 

It supplies these leather products with the strength and durability required to last long. It is compatible with all leather products, both light and dark-colored leathers that have faded or have cracks or scuff marks. It enhances their look. The Neatsfoot oil can be used by anyone, not necessarily professionals.

Cons Of Neatsfoot Oil 

Apart from having so many notable qualities, Neatsfoot oil has a few shortcomings as well:

Causes Leather’s Color To Fade Out:

Neatsfoot oil can cause your leather to get darker than its original color. Yes, they help in conditioning and preserving the quality of your leather material. But they also cause the spots where they are applied to get darker and darker over time in shades. In some cases, they can cause this side effect to occur on your material on a single application. 

Some would advise you not to apply the Neatsfoot oil to your material due to the darkening effect. But it is safer that you consistently use pure Neatsfoot oil and not refined Neatsfoot oil and apply very little to a scrap of leather or a hidden part of the material to test its effect before deciding. 

Adversely Affect Stitching On Leathers:

Neatsfoot oil is acidic in nature. They do not go well with all types of thread. Leather products are mostly stitched with waxed threads, but products stitched with cotton thread might have a problem with the Neatsfoot oil. 

On application of the Neatsfoot oil on the leather surface, it enters into the pores of the leather and begins its moisturizing effect. It begins to soften and weaken the stitches on the leather material. This happens if the Neatsfoot oil is applied in excess. It should be applied moderately at the interval.

Attracts Dust Easily:

The Neatsfoot oil contains natural lubricants which open up the pores of the leather that block debris, especially dust. The lubricant penetrates the surface of the leather through the pores, softens it, opening it up to debris. Also, Neatsfoot oil does not penetrate leather recently treated with other chemicals. It stays on the surface, allowing dust to easily attach to the leather material.

Oxidizes With Oxygen:

When Neatsfoot oil is applied to the surface of leather, sometimes the leather pores get clogged, making the oil unable to get absorbed into the leather. This exposes the Neatsfoot oil to oxygen and it undergoes oxidation with oxygen, causing the leather to crack and flake into dust.

Now that you know how Neatsfoot oil works, it is important that you know its application. Most of the time, the downside of Neatsfoot oil is tied to inappropriate application of the Neatsfoot oil. 

Here’s How To Apply Appropriately:

  1. Make sure that your leather material is thoroughly cleaned with a proper leather cleaner.
  2. Apply a small amount of the Neatsfoot oil to a scrap of leather or non-visible part of the leather to see its effect and if it is compatible or not.
  3. If it is compatible, apply a small amount of Neatsfoot oil to a microfiber cloth 
  4. Carefully rub the microfiber cloth evenly on your leather material. It is important that you apply the Neatsfoot oil in sections until the entire surface is covered.
  5. If oil is applied in excess, use a towel to buff off the excess off the surface.
  6. Leave it to air dry.

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