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

is coconut oil good for suede

Just like you, I love treating my leather items naturally and one of my go-to is coconut oil. It’s no brainer that coconut oil is fantastic for smooth leathers but is coconut oil good for suede – a highly porous and nap material?

Just like the way most oils will be used to treat suede for certain specific reasons, coconut oil can also be used to treat suede if you want to darken the suede or want to give the suede a rugged look or give the suede a patina. However, using coconut oil on suede can come with some serious downside to its use like ruining its nap. So coconut oil shouldn’t be your first alternative when it comes to suede.

For the remaining parts of this article, I’m going to share with you the pros and the cons of using coconut oil on suede and a couple of other helpful tips. Keep reading this article to find out more!

Using Coconut Oil on Suede

Coconut oil is such a convenient thing to have around and can be used for so many DIYing around the house.

Generally, coconut oil is known to be very helpful when it comes to leather. Coconut oil can be used to condition leather, restore the look of old leather that has faded, and even buff off minor scratches from leather.

Using coconut oil is one of the most natural treatments you can give to your leather articles if you do not want to deal with chemicals.

So, if coconut oil is such a good thing to apply on leather, then why not on suede too?

The fact is suede leather is also technically leather but comes with a massive alteration to its structure. The structure of suede differentiates it from regular smooth leathers.

Most regular leathers will have their grain layer intact while on the other hand, suede will come with its grain surface completely removed by splitting.

Related Article: What is the Difference Between Leather and Suede?

The grain surface of suede leather is removed basically to achieve the nap look of suede.

But by splitting the grain layer of the once highly resistant material, suede becomes less durable, very porous, and highly susceptible to both temporary and permanent stains from almost anything liquid.

This is why when compared to (smooth) leather, applying coconut oil on suede leather is going to be a bit tricky. But it’s not all doom and gloom!

Let’s now take a look at some of the pros and cons of applying coconut oil on leather.

Related Article: 5 Reasons Why Suede Is Less Expensive Than Leather?

Pros Of Using Coconut Oil On Suede

1. Coconut Oil is Easily Accessible

One of the biggest advantages, when you have to use coconut oil, is ofcourse the fact that it’s easily accessible.

Chances are you might have coconut oil sitting on your kitchen shelves as you read this article!

This is why we instinctively find it as one of the first things to try when we have something that requires DIYing like cleaning, conditioning, and protecting leather (both synthetic and natural) and other materials.

2. Can Be Used To Darken Suede

Coconut oil can be used to tan the overall appearance of suede. Coconut oil is one of the natural ways to darken leather without dyes.

The tone you’re going to get will usually range from 2-5 tones darker its original.

There are certain circumstances where darkening suede leather will be such a great idea.

For example, when suede is new, the color it might come with can sometimes be a bit lighter and pale than what you would expect.

In other instances, suede leather that has seen a lot of wear will sometimes lighten and this can also call for the suede to be darkened.

In both instances, you will be able to use coconut oil to carefully tone down the color of the suede.

When this happens, you will usually have about three alternatives; either to use dyes to restore the color of the suede, specially formulated suede leather restorers and sprays, or a home remedy like coconut oil.

Related Article: 5 Best Ways To Darken Leather Without Dyes: Ultimate Guide

3. Coconut Oil Can Be Used To Patina Suede

Patina is a way anything leather, wood, or metal ages. This means leather or suede are going to take a bit of time to develop patina since it’s part of the leather aging process.

The reason why patina is so important to most leather users is the fact that the patina leather or suede develops portrays a special character the leather builds up.

This character will generally be peculiar and will be unique and different from a particular leather or suede item.

In the case of suede leather, you can use coconut oil to give suede a rich rugged look otherwise known as patina.

Personally, I sometimes hate the look of new suede leather goods. They may often look too pale when they are new.

This is usually the case when I buy suede shoes online. So what I will do is to always darken my new suede leather goods before wearing them.

While I do not personally use coconut oil, coconut oil can be used to age or give your suede an old rugged look. Coconut oil will put patches or blotches of oil and a bit of distortion on the nap of the suede to give it the appearance of an aged suede.

Doing this very well will make your leather look as if it’s has been around and has been used for years.

4. Coconut Oil Can Be Used To Give Suede A New Look

If you use coconut oil is very well on your suede leather goods, you will be able to turn your pale looking and old suede goods into a new looking item.

But this will take a lot of skill and time to be able to nail this without messing up the nap of your suede leather.

Cons Of Using Coconut Oil On Suede

1. Suede Is Very Porous

Suede is a very porous material so any liquid that comes into contact with it will sink in very quickly.

This is what is going to happen when you put coconut oil on suede – it will soak up easily. Because of how porous coconut oil is it can easily oversaturate the suede and may not result in an even application.

Also, due to the porous nature of suede, coconut oil can easily disrupt the nap on the surface of the suede.

You will also need a lot of coconut oil even for the smallest suede items. This can also be attributed to the porous nature of the suede leather material.

2. Coconut Oil Will Disrupt The Nap On Suede

The main characteristic of suede is how fuzzy feeling its finish is and how soft it also is. The fuzzy finish of suede is often referred to as “napped leather.”

While regular or normal leathers are smooth, suede feels like cotton and in appearance, suede has a rich matte matter look.

So the one thing you wouldn’t want to ruin on suede is its nap. Coconut oil will easily ruin the nap on suede.

3. Coconut Oil Will Not Make Suede Water Resistant

One of the main reasons why I have heard people wanting to use coconut oil on suede is to waterproof it.

Chances are this will not work. You will need to clog the pores of the suede to be able to make it water-resistant enough.

In an attempt to do this you’re likely to leave your suede very soggy with and very vulnerable to further damages.

There are special suede protectant sprays that you can use to give your suede protection against water stains and other kinds of liquids.

Helpful Tips For Suede Leather Care

There is a reason why most people avoid getting suede items. Because it’s actually very tricky when it comes to its care.

So while using coconut oil on suede may be an alternative here is a video on a couple of best practices to help you maintain the look of your suede leather goods.


In this article, I set out to find out whether it’s a good thing to apply coconut oil on suede. When it comes down to it, coconut oil wouldn’t be my personal first alternative as far as suede leather goes.

However, there are certain circumstances where using coconut oil on suede will make some sense. This will mainly be when you would want to give your suede a rugged old look, or patina. I hope this article was helpful!


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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