Does Coconut Oil Waterproof Leather?

does coconut oil waterproof leather

It’s common fact that oil repels water but does coconut oil waterproof when it comes to leather? In this article, I did research and did an experiment on whether coconut oil can waterproof leather and I’m happy to share with you all I have found.

So, does coconut oil waterproof leather? Coconut oil will not be to offer a solid waterproof quality on leather because coconut oil is not as fatty as the oils obtained from animals like mink oil. Oils obtained from animals are fatty so will offer a much better water resistance than coconut oil. One way coconut oil can be used to waterproof leather is when it’s combined with other ingredients.

There is obviously a lot more to this topic than what I have tried to summarize above. So in the rest of the article, I’m going to share with you a few more reasons why coconut oil on its own, may not be able to give your leather goods the very best waterproofing it may need. I will also show you the best ways coconut oil can be used together with other ingredients to waterproof leather.

Reasons Why Coconut Oil Will Not Waterproof Leather

Leather is such a precious and luxurious material but oftentimes people make mistakes when it comes to taking care and protecting their leather goods.

There’s no denying that coconut oil can be used on leather but it’s not going to give you the comprehensive treatment and protection specially formulated leather oils will offer leather goods.

Two primary things you would want a leather conditioner or oil to do for your leather goods is to nourish and protect them.

‘YES’, coconut oil will nourish your leather items, make them flexible and supple feeling but it will not be able to offer better protection against elements like UV rays, water, and other liquid stains – with the latter being the focus for this article.

Here are 3 main reasons why coconut oil will not be able to give your leather goods optimal waterproofing and water-resistance.

Related Article: Is Coconut Oil Good For Suede? (Answer Plus 7 Pros & Cons)

1. Coconut Oil Is Very Thin

The consistency of coconut oil is very light and thin and will quickly dry or will easily get absorbed immediately after it’s applied.

This means there will be no film of oil left behind on the surface of the leather to act as protection against water and other liquids.

Chances are you’re at this moment remembering the several times you saw your coconut oil thicken.

This is one thing that most people get wrong when it comes to coconut oil. Coconut oil may thicken sometimes and this will depend on the kind of temperature around where it’s kept.

At room temperature, coconut oil will typically be semi-soft or somewhat solid. However, if you live in a place where the climate is hot, coconut oil is likely to be softer.

Either way, the rate at which coconut oil will dry or get absorbed into your leather item will be just about the same. So because of this, coconut oil will still not be able to block water from getting into your leather.

Although oils will generally repel water, you can’t count on oils like coconut oil to keep water from penetrating your leather items.

2. Coconut Oil Is NOT Fatty Like Animal-Based Leather Oils

Oiling or conditioning leather is one of the biggest parts of owning a leather item.

While most experts will suggest using leather oil or conditioners with a lot of natural ingredients, those that are animal-based are often going to give you the best conditioning and protection.

So here we will be referring to animal oils like cod, neatsfoot oil, and animal fats like lanolin and tallow. These are going to offer your leather superior conditioning, protections, and waterproofing qualities.

You can also supercharge these animal oils by adding a bit of beeswax for hardcore waterproofing and also to make for its easy application to your leather goods.

You will be able to use all of the above-mentioned animal-based oils to not only condition your leather but also waterproof the leather.

So basically, the level of protection of leather against water will all come down to how fatty animal oils are when compared to coconut oil.

No matter how much coconut oil you use to impregnate your leather items because coconut oil is not fatty, it may only slightly make the leather resistant to stains and in most cases, it will not be able to waterproof leather like the way other animal-based oils will.

3. Leather Is Very Porous

Generally, leather is a very porous material, however, the level of porosity of a particular type of leather will vary. The difference will lie with the kind of finish a leather comes with.

Some leathers will come finished with a protective layer while others will not.

Just to be sure, you can do a quick test to find out how porous your leather is by putting a drop of water on an inconspicuous part of the leather item.

If the water drop sinks, soaks, or penetrate, or disappear into the leather, then this leather is porous. On the other hand, if the water droplet runs over the surface of the leather, then it can be concluded the leather is not porous.

In many cases, leather will still retain some amount of its original porosity and this makes leather very sensitive and very susceptible to all kinds of stains and liquids which can leather to permanent stains.

So when you put coconut oil on leather, its consistency will not be enough to seal off the gapping pores on leather that makes it porous.

Related Article: Can You Use Coconut Oil On Faux Leather? (Plus Pros & Cons)


In this post, I research whether coconut oil can be used to waterproof leather. There are three key reasons why you may not be able to use coconut oil alone to waterproof leather.

Not to burst your bubble, one of the ways you will be able to use coconut oil to waterproof your leather goods is by mixing the coconut oil with waxes like carnauba wax or beeswax before you apply it to your leather items.

I hope this article has been helpful to you just as it has been for me. Thanks for reading this article, see you in the next one!


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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