Have your leather jackets, shoes, or belts gotten stiff, and you are looking for how to soften old leather? If yes, then keep reading as in this article we will tell you about some efficient ways to soften old leather. If you do not take proper care of leather products at your home, then within a certain period, it becomes stiff and dry. Because of the dryness, the leather loses its original color and look. It becomes uncomfortable and loses its beauty.
Indeed it is the most versatile and stylish fabric on earth, which is made from animal hide. This is smooth, supple, and has more natural grain as compared to other materials. Stiffening of leather does not occur overnight; instead, it takes months and years. If you are searching for how to soften old leather, then keep reading.
Causes of Leather Shrinkage
Before discussing tips about how to soften old leather, let’s first review what factors contribute to leather stuffing. Let’s discuss the causes in detail: The quality of leather has a significant effect on the stiffing of leather. Not every product is made from the same variety of lather, and Materials made from full-grain leather are the best in quality.
In contrast, products in which corrected grain and stiff leather are used have low quality. In brief, we know that what we get for what you pay. Leather, which has quality, is more resistant to damage and has a greater life span.
Environmental conditions in which you store the leather products have a significant effect on leather longevity or damage. High or extreme low humidity is not good. Dry air absorbs the moisture from leather leading towards its stiffness.
Body grease and sweat or oils penetrate the leather surface due to regular contact within a more significant period. As a result of this oil penetration and ph factor, the fiber in leather loses structure and becomes stiff.
High temperature and direct exposure to the sun are dangerous for leather. It causes cracked and damages in leather products within a specific period. Keep the item at room temperature, away from sunlight.
Softening Stiff Leather
Leather is obtained from animal skin. If we do not lubricate the leather regularly with stain repellents and lather lubricants, it becomes stiff after some time.
As a result, this leather begins to crack or break with time if you do not take action to soften it. Indeed throwing away goods made from leather is not a good option as they are expensive. In this case, the best thing you can do is to soften it with home remedies or commercial products.
The methods we are going to mention are simple, and you can apply them without worrying about the quality of leather. But before using these methods, first clean and try the leather with a cleaner or soft brush.
Softening it Manually
You can manually soften leather with strikes and a moderate amount of force by compression. Use a baseball mat or rubber mallet for tenderizing the stiff piece of leather. Take care of the sensitive areas of products like buttons, straps, and pockets. Because you may damage them by applying brutal force instead of softening.
Any leather can be softened with hands treatment irrespective of size, shape, and texture. You can also knead the leather for decompressing it. Pull and twist a piece of leather in a fist. Through this way, the product will be stretched and become less stiff.
Additionally, you can roll it like a ball for softening a belt, and then releasing it will have a softening effect. Some leather products become soft by themselves by regular use.
Rubbing Vaseline and Alcohol
Take cotton and apply alcohol to the leather surface. Alcohol evaporates, so it may take you several times to absorb if complete into leather. After completing this step, apply a generous layer of petroleum jelly with figures on the product.
Using Coconut Oil
You can use coconut oil for conditioning the leather products like your boots or any other item. Before starting the procedure, put the item in sunlight for some time. It will make the item absorb oil easily. Gently apply the oil layer with figures or brush on the leather surface.
Furthermore, complete the procedure by applying it to small areas and coated the item entirely. It is one of the best ways to soften leather but first, check it on a small part. If you are happy with the final color of the testing patch, then continue this procedure for the whole product.
You can also soften the stiff leather without chemicals by using water spray. Take a spray bottle filled with water. Your goals are to give the leather a little moisture. Try not to wet the leather product with more water without saturation.
Remove excess liquid with cotton fabric from the item and allow the product to natural for drying. After this producer applies a quality conditioner, remember that this will not work on the waterproof product.
With The Help of Mink Oil
One of the best tips to soften leather goods is the use of mink oil. It is a soft thick waxy liquid. Using mink oil increase the life span and durability of the product. It is mostly used by manufacturing companies to increase product flexibility.
Take cotton or soft fabric and clean the dust or dirt from the surface of the product. Warm the leather a little bit by placing it in the sun or with the help of a hairdryer. Now heat the mink oil a bit, and with the help of cotton or sponge, rub the leather gently.
It will lubricate the stiff fibers in leather, and flexibility will increase. Mink oil replies water and moisture as they contribute to leather stiffing. The item becomes soft by getting the lost oils back. You can use this procedure for shoes, jackets, and furniture.
Using Commercial Products
Sometimes home remedies do not work for some leather items, so you need something stronger in this case. Buy appropriate commercial products from the store. Before applying the product, read instructions and apply in accordance with recommendations. Follow the same procedure for some time to prevent the leather from cracking.
Prevention Tips after Softening
After achieving the desire softening level of leather, take few steps to keep the leather strong for a longer time. Keep the following points in mind:
- Maintain suitable airflow and do not store the leather items in sealed plastic bags.
- Use a damp cloth to avoid leather staining.
- Before proper application, always test the commercial product on a small patch for testing.
- Do not put the item in direct sun exposure or high heat.
Conclusion on How To Soften Old Leather
We have discussed some best ways to soften leather so you can apply these ideas to soften old leather products. Leather products are the best choice whether you are buying an item for yourself or a gift for loved ones. You can still restore it with the methods described above without throwing them.
Although, keep in mind that these procedures are not suitable for faux leather products. Follow the manufactures guidelines and precautions to take care of your leather garments and goods.