Does Leather Conditioner Go Bad? Signs And How To Prevent It

Is your leather conditioner past its expiration date? Has it been sitting in the back of your closet for too long? You might be wondering if this means that you need to throw out the entire bottle. In this article, I will be answering the question of “can leather conditioner go bad?

Yes, leather conditioner will go bad if the expiration date elapses. Leather conditioner can also go bad if it has been exposed to extreme heat and humid conditions for an extended period of time in which case the leather conditioner would change color, have a bad smell, and have a chunky consistency.

There is a lot more to this topic, so in the remaining parts of this article, I’m going to delve deep into how leather conditioners go bad, signs that indicate a leather conditioner has gone bad, and how to prevent your leather conditioners from going bad. Keep reading to find out more!

How Does A Leather Conditioner Go Bad

Leather conditioner is a product that needs to be used regularly in order for our leather goods to stay fresh. This is usually an application ranging between 3 to 4 times a year. If you don’t use it often enough, the leather will dry out and crack because of the natural wear that happens when it’s not conditioned.

There are a few ways your leather conditioner could go bad and these include;

1. Leather Conditioner Will Go Bad After Expiration

A leather conditioner will go bad after its expiration date. These are usually printed on the back of every bottle and you can typically find them with a shelf life between 24 months to 5 years after production – if the container is sealed.

If there is no printed expiration date on your bottle you could always contact the manufacturer or pull up the safety data sheet for the product and be on the lookout for the product’s shelf life for bacterial formation.

A good way to check if your leather conditioner has expired is by checking for any changes in smell, appearance, or consistency. More on this later in this article!

If you find a bottle that has gone past the expiration date, I will always recommend throwing it out just to take away the guesswork and fear of your expensive leather items getting damaged.

In most cases, you will be able to use a leather conditioner 6 months to 1 year after its expiration date. This will ofcourse depend on how the leather conditioner was kept and maintained.

2. Leather Conditioner Will Go Bad From Exposure to Extreme Heat And Humidity

Leather conditioner will go bad if it is kept outside or exposed to extreme heat and humidity. This will particularly happen if you live in a place where temperatures are consistently high and there is a lot of humidity in the air.

Too much heat can cause your leather conditioner to go bad even before its scheduled expiration date.

For example, leaving the leather conditioner outside or a place where it constantly has direct sunlight can even cause the leather conditioner to go bad even before its expiration date.

Also, putting the leather close to heat sources like the radiator or heat vents could greatly affect the lifespan of the leather conditioner. You should store your leather products in a cool and dry place to prevent them from going bad.

3. Having a Broken or Opened Seal For A Long Time

Another thing that could cause the leather conditioner to go bad is if the seal has been broken or left open for a long time. This is usually due to forgetfulness or having a very busy schedule.

Breaking and opening up seals can cause oxidation, contamination, and bacterial growth.

This means that if the seal is broken, there will usually be an increase in gas production from bacterial activity that could potentially cause the product to go bad as well as changes in smell. This will cause the leather conditioner to go bad before its scheduled expiration date.

So you do not want to let your leather conditioner sit around for a long time with the seal broken, you should also avoid storing an open container of leather conditioner in places where there is a lot of heat or humidity.

Never forget to replace the cover of your leather conditioner after use and try as much as possible not to lose the cover for your leather conditioner.

Plus storing leather conditioner without its cover could allow insects or rodents to crawl in and sometimes do number 1 or 2 in them.

For all of these reasons, it’s best to store your leather conditioner with its seal intact until you are ready to use them!

4. Leather Conditioner Could Go Bad From Exposure To Extreme Cold

Leather conditioner could also go bad if it is subjected to extreme cold. This can occur from leaving the bottle in your car or outside during winter.

Exposure to extreme cold can increase the viscosity of your leather conditioner and cause it not to be as effective when you use it. So your leather conditioners should never be exposed to extreme cold. Another reason for this is that the leather conditioner could freeze and become unusable even before its scheduled expiration date.

This will happen if you live in a place where temperatures are below -30 degrees Celsius or -22 Fahrenheit. You should always store your leather products away from cool places like drafty basements or garages. I have seen a leather conditioner that was kept in a freezer that turned watery and was not fun using it.

Some leather conditioners come with a temperature warning that should be taken seriously even if it is just for the sake of your leather products!

Do not use any leather conditioner on cold, damp, or frozen leather surfaces, as well as this, can cause damage to the leather and increase wear.

Do not forget to store your leather conditioner in a cool and dry place during winter so that the product does not turn into a watery liquid before its scheduled expiration date.

5. Mixing Leather Conditioner With Other Substances Or Chemicals Can Cause It To Go Bad

Leather conditioner should never be mixed with any other substance or chemical. This is because the leather conditioner may lose its effectiveness and could even become useless before its scheduled expiration date.

Mixing leather conditioner with other substances or chemicals often happens by mistake. For example, most people will have other chemicals mistakenly getting into their leather conditioners through spills.

Others will most commonly have this happen when transferring their leather conditioners from one container to another and end up getting other chemicals or products mixed up with it.

From my experience, this is how it usually happens. I seriously doubt that someone might think that mixing their leather conditioner with other chemical cleaners or other leather conditioners will help make them more effective, save money, or increase their lifespan.

Well, if this is your thinking then let me quickly say that this can actually decrease the effectiveness and more important the lifespan of your leather conditioner and cause it to go bad.

So you should never mix your leather conditioner with any other chemical or substance. Make sure any container you transfer your leather conditioner to is clean and void of any chemical.

Do not dip dirty rags into your leather conditioner as they could contain chemicals that could seep into your conditioner without you knowing. Also, make sure that the container is always tightly sealed after using it to prevent chemicals like oil and water spills – which can cause a reaction in the leather conditioner.

Signs That Your Leather Conditioner Has Gone Bad

There are a few ways you could tell if your leather conditioner has gone bad.

# Expiration Date

I do not mean to sound captain obvious but checking the expiration date is definitely one of the easy ways to know if your leather conditioner has gone bad.

All you do is take a look at your leather conditioner package and if the expiration date has already passed, then it is safe to say that your leather conditioner has gone bad.

The good news though is that you can still use leather conditioners that have expired up to a year. The only thing you will need to do next would be to check the viscosity of the leather conditioner – which can easily be done by pouring a small amount on an open surface like wood or glass. If the viscosity looks watery then your leather conditioner has gone bad and is not safe for use.

# Bad smell

Another way to tell if your leather conditioner has gone bad is by smelling it. If you notice that the smell of your leather conditioner product has changed for the worse, then this could also be a sign that your leather conditioner might have already gone bad.

Depending on what caused the change in the smell of your leather conditioner, there are a few things you can do to prevent your leather conditioner from going bad.

If the change in smell is due to exposure to sunlight then you should transfer it into a dark container such as an amber bottle or glass jar with a tightly capped lid right away and keep it that way until its scheduled use date.

# The Consistency Of Your Leather Conditioner

It is also easy to tell if your leather conditioner has gone bad by simply checking its consistency.

As mentioned before, if you notice that the viscosity of your leather conditioner has changed for the worse and it now looks watery, then this could be a sign that your leather conditioner might have already gone bad.

While this could be sad especially when it’s unexpected, you would definitely want to toss it.

# Change In Color

Another way to tell if your leather conditioner has gone bad is by taking a look at its color. If you notice that the color of your leather conditioner has drastically changed for the worse, then this could be an indication that it might have already gone bad or almost going bad and should not be used anymore.

Usually, you would see color change such as a white leather conditioner turning yellowish while other colored or oil conditioners will be darker in appearance.

While some people may say that discoloration of a leather conditioner is a natural thing to happen, this does not mean that your leather conditioner will be safe for use.

It could also be due to the fact that it has been exposed to sunlight or some other substance that may have affected its color change – leading you to think that it has gone bad when in reality; there are no signs of it gone bad yet.

So in this case simply lookout for other signs so that you do not make a hasty decision based on one sign alone.

# Has a Sticky Feel When Applied On Leather

Another way to tell if your leather conditioner has gone bad is by simply applying a small amount on an inconspicuous part of your leather and take note of its stickiness.

If you notice that it feels sticky then this could be an indication that your leather conditioner might have already gone bad or almost going bad and should not be used anymore.

Never do this test by putting the leather conditioner on the back of your hand as it could react to your skin.

# Particles Floating Around Inside The Leather Conditioner Bottle

Another way to tell if your leather conditioner has gone bad or is about to go bad would be by simply looking inside the bottle.

If you notice that there are particles floating around inside the bottle then this could be an indication that your leather conditioner might have already gone bad and should not be used anymore.

This sign will usually be present when your leather conditioner has been used for so long and its contents have separated into oil, additives, and water.

# Visible Bacterial Growth

You can also tell if your leather conditioner has gone bad is by looking for visible bacterial growths. If you notice that there are little white or greenish-colored spots growing in the bottle then this could be an indication that it might have already gone bad and should not be used anymore as these bacteria can cause harm to your skin.

# When Using It And There Is No Effect On The Leather

To determine if your leather conditioner has gone bad is by looking at the effect when you use it. Most of the time you will notice that there is simply nothing happening when you use certain leather conditioners that are expired or gone bad.

If you notice that after applying a small amount of your leather conditioner, nothing happens or that there are still obvious dry spots then this could be an indication that your product might have already gone bad.

How To Prevent Leather Conditioner From Going Bad

1. Store In A Cool Dark Place

One of the best ways to prevent your leather conditioner from going bad is by storing it in a cool dark place.

This will usually mean that you should keep it out of direct sunlight and away from other substances such as dust or humidity which can affect its quality over time.

2. Keep The Bottle Tightly Closed When Not In Use

When not in use, it is also best to keep the bottle of your leather conditioner tightly closed so that its contents will remain fresh. This way you can be sure that no one will accidentally contaminate it with their dirty hands, rags, or chemicals.

3. Buy Quality Leather Conditioners

It is also best to buy leather conditioner that has been verified by a trusted source or authority. This way you can be sure that the product will have no side effects and that it meets all standard requirements for shelf life and effectiveness.

4. Do Not Buy A Product That Has Already Expired

It is also best to not buy a product that has already expired. This way you can be sure that in the worst-case scenario, it will not harm your skin or leather. Always check the expiry date before purchasing a certain bottle of leather conditioner.

5. Do Not Store It In A Place Where There Are Many Rodents or Insects

One of the best ways to prevent your leather conditioner from going bad is by making sure that it does not come in contact with any rodents or insects.

This can be done by simply storing it away where there are no rodents, bugs, and other pests that might contaminate its contents over time.

To avoid this, store your leather conditioner in a place where there is no clutter or things that will attract rodents and insects.

6. Do Not Mix Your Leather Conditioner With Other Liquids

Another way to prevent your leather conditioner from going bad is by making sure that it does not come into contact with any other liquids. This can be done simply by storing it in containers that already have chemicals.

7. Do Not Buy If The Seal Is Broken

One of the last things you can do to prevent your leather conditioner from going bad is by making sure that it comes in a sealed container.

Macwilliam K. Appianing

Hi! I’m Macwilliam, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leatherwork 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!

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