How To Moisturize Patent Leather (3 DIY & Proven Methods)

how to moisturize patent leather

We have all seen or heard from professionals and DIYers emphasize the need to moisturize and condition our leather items from time to time. But how do you do this when it comes to patent leather?

In this article, I’m going to show you how to moisturize your patent leather items such as bags, shoes, boots, etc using a few different methods.

What Is Patent Leather?

Patent leather is a type of highly polished, glossy leather. It has a clear plastic coating on top that gives it the shiny look and feel as well as protection against wear and tear.

As a result of the coating, patent leather is not as breathable as other types of leather and it requires very little to no care and maintenance.

However, patent leather will still benefit from being moisturized every once in a while to keep it looking as good as new – if you know how to do it properly.

With such a coating or finishing, it can be very tricky when it comes to moisturizing or conditioning patent leather as you don’t want to mess up the finish or make it look too shiny.

But be rest assured that it is possible to moisturize patent leather without damaging its finish or look.

Does Patent Leather Need To Be Moisturized?

Before you even think about moisturizing your patent leather items, you need to know whether it needs to be moisturized in the first place.

So does patent leather need to be moisturized? Yes, even though patent leather has a coating on top of it that protects against wear and tear, over time this protective coating can crack or get damaged which makes your items prone to premature aging – becomes brittle and cracks.

Therefore, it is important to moisturize patent leather items such as shoes, bags, and even furniture to keep them looking good as new for a long time.

While patent leather can be moisturized it usually takes a few days to a week for the moisturizer to be fully absorbed into the leather.

On top of this, you will have to repeat the process every few months to maintain the color and sheen of the patent leather. When it comes to moisturizing patent leather, you have three main options. Let’s get into it.

How To Moisturize Patent Leather

There are many different ways that you can use to moisturize patent leather. Here are 3 main methods you can use to do it:

1. Using Patent Leather Conditioner Or Moisturizer

These are the most common types of products that you will find used to moisturize and condition patent leather.

They come in the form of sprays, creams, lotions, or balms and are applied directly onto the surface of the patent leather.

The best part about using a conditioner or moisturizer is that it’s very easy to use:

Step 1:

  • All you need to do is spray, apply or rub it on the patent leather.

Step 2:

  • Wait a few minutes for the product to seep in.

Step 3:

  • Then use a soft cloth such as a microfiber cloth to remove any excess.

Step 4:

  • And finally, you can buff the patent leather to give it a shine.
  • It’s as easy as that!

The downside is that some of these products can be quite expensive, and you might not have patent leather conditioners lying around your house.

But if you do own a product specifically made for patent leather, then I would definitely recommend using it as it will help keep your leather looking in top condition.

Note: You need to be careful when using this method because not all patent leather moisturizers are created equal. Some products may leave ugly stains on the surface of your patent leather if they are made of very cheap ingredients

Also, when using such a product, always follow the instructions given by the manufacturer. There are very few patent leather conditioners out there with varying instructions for use so make sure you read them first before applying them.

One of my go-to patent leather moisturizers is the Tarrago Patent Leather Shoe Cream. It is a natural patent leather cleaner and moisturizer that also enhances the shine of patent leather. It is enriched with avocado oil and carnauba wax to nourish and protect the patent leather from cracking, scratches, and fingerprints.

2. Using Baby Oil Or Mineral Oil To Moisturize Patent Leather

Another way to moisturize patent leather is by using baby oil or mineral oil. Both of these oils are known for their hydrating and conditioning properties so they make for great moisturizers for patent leather.

Just like the conditioner or moisturizer, you can either apply it directly to the surface of the patent leather or put it in a spray bottle and spritz it on the surface of the patent leather.

Baby oil is preferred for its non-greasy finish but if you don’t have any, mineral oil would be your next best bet.

Be careful not to use too much of either baby or mineral oils as they can leave oily marks all over the patent leather.

If you use any of these oils to moisturize the patent leather, make sure that you wipe off any excess oil from the surface with a clean cotton cloth.

The most important thing when using baby or mineral oils is to remember to test them on a small inconspicuous part of your patent leather item before applying it all over.

To use this method;

Step 1:

  • Start by making sure the surface of your patent leather is clean without any dirt, dust, or debris.

Step 2:

  • Pour a small amount of baby oil into your palms or microfiber cloth and rub it in circular motions over the surface of the leather.

Step 3:

  • Leave the application on the patent leather for 5-10 minutes.

Step 4:

  • Using a clean, dry cloth, buff the surface of the patent leather until it has a shine.
  • If you’re using mineral oil, follow the same instructions as baby oil but remember to shake the bottle well before use as the oil.

Step 5:

  • After you’re satisfied with the shine, leave the patent leather item to air-dry. et voila!

You can also use coconut oil and olive oil to moisturize patent leather if you do not have baby oil or mineral oil.

3. Using Petroleum Jelly To Moisturize Patent Leather

Last but not least, you can also use petroleum jelly to moisturize patent leather. Petroleum jelly is a thick, sticky, and greasy substance that is made from refined crude oil.

It has been used for many years as a skin protectant and moisturizer. When it comes to patent leather, petroleum jelly does a great job of protecting and moisturizing the surface.

You can use it directly on your patent leather or you can mix it with mineral oil for an even better effect.

To use petroleum jelly to moisturize patent leather;

Step 1:

  • Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to your palms or a microfiber cloth. You don’t need a lot.

Step 2:

  • Rub the jelly into your palms to create heat and help it spread easier.

Step 3:

  • Massage the jelly into your patent leather using circular motions. Be sure to focus on any cracks or dry areas.

Step 4:

  • Let the jelly set for about 5-10 minutes, then buff off any excess with a clean microfiber cloth.

Step 5:

  • Leave to air-dry overnight!

Tips On How To Keep Your Patent Leather Moisturized

  • Patent leather is prone to drying out and cracking if not properly moisturized.
  • Using a quality conditioner or polish can help to prevent this from happening.
  • Applying a light layer of oil every few months will also help to keep your patent leather looking its best.
  • Be sure to test any new products in an inconspicuous area before applying them liberally.
  • A leather conditioner can help protect your patent leather from drying out and cracking, but it won’t restore its original shine or color.
  • The best way to keep patent leather shiny is with regular polishing using a chamois cloth.
  • Always make sure your patent leather is clean before applying any products.
  • Always store your patent leather goods in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.
  • Never leave them inside any type of bag or container for extended periods as this will cause condensation to build up on the surface and may lead to mildew growth if left unchecked.
  • You can also apply an oil-based product every few months in order to keep your patent leather looking its best.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! three different ways to moisturize patent leather. Whichever method you choose, be sure to test it on a small area first to make sure there is no adverse reaction.

And most importantly, have fun with it! Patent leather can be a great way to add some personality and pizazz to any outfit. Enjoy!


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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