Coconut Oil on Leather: Does It Help with Maintenance?
Leather may be a tough and durable material, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need some TLC. If you want to keep your leather looking good and lasting longer, then you do have to condition it.
In case you’ve been looking for a natural conditioner, you may be wondering if coconut oil on leather will do the trick.
Well, for the most part, this can depend on the leather good in question. After all, furniture, shoes, bags, etc. all have to be maintained differently.
So, if you are looking for some guidance on how to utilize coconut oil in this situation, here is what you need to know…
Is Coconut Oil Good for Leather?
There is quite a bit debate about whether or not coconut oil can be used on leather items. The general consensus, though, is that coconut oil is safe to use on leather. In fact, many people use it to condition their leather goods and to even improve its appearance.
Of course, when dealing with leather, there are some factors that you need to be aware of…
What You Should Know About Using Coconut Oil as Leather Conditioner
It is easy enough to assume that all leather is the same. In reality, there are different types of leather. The variation lies in how the leather has been treated. Thus, some may be more durable, while others are a bit more sensitive to various oils.
Due to this, it can be difficult to know precisely how the leather on your furniture, clothes, or accessories is going to react to coconut oil. To avoid ruining the material, always do a spot test first. Then, wait for a few days to determine how the leather is reacting to the oil. If you don’t notice any adverse issues, you can continue with the treatment.
A Note About Leather Clothes
In many cases, you can’t really afford to spot test coconut oil or any conditioner for that matter on your leather jacket or other clothing item. This is because a discolored patch can be rather noticeable. Thus, in this case, you may be better off having that item dry cleaned, particularly if it was a pretty expensive purchase.
The type of leather that is used in your furniture, jackets, or boots can vary in terms of absorbability. This means that in some cases, the material may absorb the coconut oil readily. In other instances, the oil may sit on the surface for a longer period of time.
A spot test will help you determine the rate of absorption for your leather goods. However, to be on the safe side, always use the least amount of coconut oil possible. Work that into the material and consider the results before adding any more. This is one of those situations where less really is more.
Most oils – coconut oil included – will darken leather. Now, if this is something that you are doing on purpose, that is great. However, if you aren't looking to change the color of your leather couch, fabric, or accessory, it is important to use the oil with caution.
Choosing the Right Coconut Oil for Leather Furniture, Shoes, and Clothes
Before you get down to actually using the coconut oil on your leather goods, you have to first choose the right kind. You should bear in mind that the leather will absorb or take on any components that are in the coconut oil. As a result, it is important to select a product that is pure and as gentle as possible.
Well, this is where the best organic coconut oil comes in. The coconuts used for this kind of oil are carefully grown to avoid the absorption of pesticides. Furthermore, these oils are carefully processed, filtering out any harmful ingredients. And, last but not least, they are more nourishing, resulting in better conditioned leather goods.
Cleaning Leather with Coconut Oil
Is there a stain, crease, or scratch on your leather furniture that you would like to get out? Then, coconut oil could do the trick. Now, if you are trying to work out a stain, faded patch, or scratch out of your couch or chair, you may only want to use coconut oil on that particular spot.
Bear in mind, though, that coconut oil could potentially darken the area. If this happens, then you will need to apply coconut oil to the rest of the furniture to even things out. This is something that you should consider before you get started.
If you do want to clean out your leather with the oil, here is what you should do:
Step 1: Wipe Down the Furniture
It is important to make sure that there is no dust or grime on your furniture. Use a dry, clean cloth to dust your couch or chair. If there is some grime, you can use a slightly damp cloth to wipe it down. Wait until the material is completely dry before proceeding to the next step.
Step 2: Rub Coconut Oil Into the Leather
Dip a dry, clean cloth into the coconut oil. Make sure to smear only a tiny amount of coconut oil onto the cloth. Then, slowly work the coconut oil into the leather using a circular motion. The oil should be spread evenly across the leather.
Once done, wait for ten minutes for the oil to be absorbed. Then, take another clean, dry cloth and go over where you applied the coconut oil with a buffing motion. This will help to get rid of any excess oil and prevent the coconut oil from transferring.
How to Condition Leather with Coconut Oil
For this purpose, you are going to need a homemade leather conditioner made with coconut oil. Here is what you will need:
- 2 tbs. of coconut oil
- 2 tbs. of beeswax
- ¼ cup of sweet almond oil
- ¼ cup of castor oil
Making the Conditioner
Step 1: Melt Coconut Oil and Beeswax
In a pan, melt the coconut oil and the beeswax together. Make sure to keep stirring to prevent the mix from boiling or burning.
Step 2: Add Sweet Almond Oil
While continuing to stir, add the almond oil. Make sure that it is fully combined with the contents.
Step 3: Add Castor Oil
Once the sweet almond oil has been fully mixed, add in the castor oil. Combine well and heat for up to 5 minutes. Don’t let the mix come to a boil.
Pour into a tin and allow to cool.
Using the Conditioner
Before using the conditioner on any leather goods, make sure that the leather is completely clean. If you need to use water or any product to clean the leather, check that the leather has dried fully before attempting to condition it.
Then, use a dry, clean cloth to take a swipe of the conditioner. Work the conditioner into the leather in a circular motion. Apply it evenly, systematically applying the conditioner to the material. When you are done, let the material dry for 10 minutes or longer. Then, use a dry, clean cloth to buff out the excess oil.
You can repeat the process every 2 to 6 months or as needed. However, don’t try to over-condition your leather goods or you could end up damaging them.
How to Darken Leather with Coconut Oil
If you are looking to darken leather, then here is what you should do:
Step 1: Clean the Leather Goods
Use a dry cloth for dust or damp cloth for grime to clean the material. Wait for the leather to completely dry before proceeding.
Step 2: Melt the Coconut Oil
Melt your desired amount of coconut oil in the microwave or in a pan. Shoes may only require several tablespoons while bags or furniture will require more.
Step 3: Apply the Coconut Oil
Dip the cloth in the coconut oil and apply to the material in swiping motions. Make sure that each section is covered evenly to avoid uneven darkening.
Then, use the same cloth to work the coconut oil into the leather with circular motions. Continue this until the entire surface is the same color.
Step 4: Rest and Apply Another Coat
Let the leather rest for up to 24 hours. If the leather hasn’t darkened enough, repeat the above step again. It is best to apply the coconut in thin, even layers rather than using too much at one time.
Once you are done, let the fabric rest for at least 24 hours before using.
This is all that you need to know about using coconut oil on leather. As you can see, there is quite a bit that you must be aware of. Now that you are well-informed, though, using this remedy will be a breeze for you!
Riya Borah is a nutritionist educator and her job involves guiding people towards a healthier lifestyle. Growing up in India, Riya was aware of just how much coconut was used on a daily basis. This encouraged her to research the properties of this versatile drupe. It opened her eyes to both the limitation and possibilities of coconut. Her aim is to now educate as many people as possible about the best ways to utilize coconut in their own lives.
An Important Disclaimer
The information on this page should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a doctor if you wish to consume any kind of tea regularly for the purpose of treating any condition or illness.