Skip to Content

Can You Use Mineral Oil on Leather? (All You Need to Know)

Leather! From jackets to bags and from couches to car seats, leather is always known to be an elegant choice. However, like all the materials leather needs to be cared for too.

We use various types of oils and oil based products that can help our leather-based products or belongings stay healthy for longer. Additioanlly, some questions might be mind storming you that what oils can you use? Also, can you use mineral oil on leather?

Now, if you ar wondering these and you’re confused about what to use and what not to use, then you are at the right place.

Today, we are going to have a detailed discussion on, whether you can use mineral oil on leather or not. Therefore, to find all your answers stick with us till the end.

What is mineral oil?

Mineral oil is a element that is colorless, odorless and contains a higher mixture of alkanes from a mineral source, specifically a distillate of petroleum.

The most common example for mineral oils can be paraffin, and synthetic wax, petroleum, paraffinum liquidum etc. Mineral oil is mostly used in skincare and personal care products.

Apart from these, food grade mineral oil is also available. In medical conditions like constipation, oral consumption of mineral oil helps improve the patient’s condition.

Mineral oils are also used in infant products. Additionally, it is considered safe for both children and adults.    

Can you use mineral oil on leather?

You cannot use mineral oil on leather. Although it is a cheaper option than other oils, it is not good for your leather. If you are planning on using the leather for a longer duration, applying mineral oil on it will only dry it out and cause damage.  

Well, the vital point is that mineral oil shouldn’t be used on leather or leather-based products. Mineral oil can cause it to dry over time and dry it out. Moreover, it can also soften the leather and discolor the leather.

However, you can use natural oils on purpose to maintain the leather. Even food grade mineral oil can cause damage to your leather.

Although it’s safe to be consumed by humans, it’s not good for the leather. Petroleum based products such as mineral oil, can soften your leather and as a result you will notice the leather becoming floppy.

Instead, using mineral oil or any sorts of oil, you can use leather conditioner or treatment. These can help your leather look sleeker and keep them in shape for a longer duration. 

As they are specifically made for leather, they are ideal for the leather maintenance job.  

Is mineral oil safe for leather?

Mineral oil is not safe for leather.

As like other things leather needs to be maintained, there are various conditioners available. These are ideally made for leather.

Leather furniture:

Like every other sofa your leather sofa will need to be taken care of. However the direct application of mineral oil on leather furniture,such as; leather sofa and couches can damage the furniture.

Usage of mineral oil tends to soften the leather over time and form cracks in the furniture. As soon as you notice cracks , you will know that your leather has lost its longevity.

Leather boots:

Mineral oil is considered to be one of the most popular ingredients that can help your leather boots to become waterproof. However, using mineral oil on your boots will cause them to soften down.

Additionally, it’s great for boots that are made of rigid leather. It can be a great solution for the boots if they hurt your feet.

Leather strop:

Mineral oil tends to have a tendency of rotting leather. Personally, we wouldn’t recommend using mineral oil on a leather strop. However, mineral oil can help emulsify stropping compounds with high wax content.

This is done so that the leather does not get lumpy. Additionally, you can use neatsfoot oil on leather strops. 

Leather car seat:

Leather car seats are great-looking. However, its is quite impossible to keep it that good-looking with cleaning them on a regular basis.

There are many things that are used to clean these seats. Additionally, its not better to use products that do not contain mineral oil or distilled petroleum.

Over time, using mineral oil on your leather car seat can make it lose its durability. 

Leather gloves:

When you clean and wash leather gloves, there’s a chance that your leather gloves will become harsh and hard. You can mix some mineral oil with lukewarm water and soak your gloves in the mixture.

Mineral oil will help your leather gloves become softer. It almost works like bringing back your gloves to life. 

Can you clean or treat leather with mineral oil?

It is better not to use mineral oil to clean or treat leather. Using mineral oil on leather tends to soften and discolor it. Petroleum based products or mineral oils are known to dry out leather. However, you should use natural oils over leather.

You can use oils like mink oil, coconut oil, neatsfoot oil, almond oil etc. These oils can be used for leather conditioners. However, you must not over use it. Overusing can lead to something negative rather than helping you maintain your leather’s health.    

Natural oils and conditioners protect your leather belongings from cracking and drying out.

Why is mineral oil bad for leather?

Mineral oil is basically distilled petroleum. However, food grade mineral oil can be consumed by humans. Additionally, it should not be used on leather. Here are a few reasons why mineral oil is bad for leather: 

Dries leather out:

Using mineral oil on leather tends to dry out the leather. As the leather dries out due to over use of mineral oil you can notice cracks in your leather.

A consistent use of mineral oil or any other petroleum based oils will cause dryness in your leather belongings. Whether it’s your furniture or a jacket you enjoy wearing, the usage of mineral oil over a long time will dry out these.

And once the leather dries out it will crumble and form cracks.     

Softens leather:

A common and known cause that happens in the effect of mineral oil is the leather becoming floppy. As the leather becomes floppy it can also cause the leather to become unstable.

Mineral oil is obviously a cheaper option however, the usage in long term will cause the leather to soften down. Additionally, as the leather softens down, the leather may get rugged and get cracks. 

Rots leather:

Leathers sometimes need to be conditioned. Therefore, to condition leather you can use different natural oil.

However, in some leather conditioners, mineral oil is used in different forms. The usage of such products or direct use of mineral oil in some cases can cause the leather to rot.

And as a result rotten leather becomes softer then usual. Therefore, the durability of the leather is hampered.

Discolors leather:

A lot of us are into leather products due to their extraordinary color and texture. The use of mineral oil on leather can cause the leather to lose its original color and get discolored.

Apart from being discolored they also lose their stiff texture and becomes softer. And as the leather loses its texture, it can get cracked easily.

What happens if you use mineral oil to condition and soften leather?

If you use mineral oil to soften and condition leather there’s a higher chance that the oil will be soaked by the leather and lose its texture.

Whereas, we can only use natural oil to condition and soften leather. Using mineral oil to condition your leather or leather furniture would be a bad decision. Mineral oil can make your leather lose its color.

It can end up being discolored. As the oil will rot the leather, it will get cracks easily. And, more or less we all know, we cannot use leather as soon as it starts cracking up.     

Therefore, its good to use natural oils like almond, mink and coconut. Additionally, its never recommended to use mineral oil directly on your leather belongings.  

Can you use mineral oil on faux leather?

Faux leather can be cleaned and conditioned with all sorts of oil. You can use mineral oil on faux leather.

Usually, it is suggested to use baby oil on faux leather. However, baby oil also contains some amount of mineral oil.

Therefore, you can either directly use mineral oil or use baby oil to take care of your faux leather. As faux leather does not absorb any oil you can use mineral oil.

Final thoughts

Mineral oil cannot be used on leather. Leather tends to lose its constructio and absorbs the oil. As a result multiple things can happen. The leather can soften down, lose its color, crumble and get cracks easily. However, you can use natural oils to maintain your leather.