Is Mink Oil Good For Leather? (Here’s All You Need to Know!)

Is Mink Oil good for Leather?

Leather care is one of the really important aspects of owning leather items. Whether it’s a bag, pair of boots, wallets, or what not, you wouldn’t want to put the wrong type of product on them. So in this article, I carried out research on whether mink oil is good for leather and I’m ready to share with you my findings.

So is mink oil good for leather? Yes, mink oil is good for leather. Why? Because it’s rich in unsaturated fats which are a lot stable and last long without going rancid. It offers a lot of protection for your leather items from water, dirt, salt, etc.

So there you go if you came for a really quick answer, but I figured out a lot of interesting information about mink oil that will further deepen your understanding and its use on leather. Keep reading to find out more!

What is Mink Oil?

Mink oil is obtained from fats from the pelts of minks and it’s generally used for medical and cosmetic products. Mink oils contain properties that make them ideal for treating, conditioning, and preserving almost all kinds of leather.

Mink oil from the pelts of minks has a lot of scientists researching about it mainly for its unique properties but also minks outstanding quality of being the only animal on the planet earth that never suffers from any form of skin diseases.

Amongst both plant and animal sources of natural oil, mink oil has really high unsaturated fatty acid content (more than 75%) but still retains great oxidation properties. This makes it highly resistant to rancidity although it can actually go bad when exposed to really poor conditions.

While you will find the common use of mink oil for conditioning leather, it’s often confused with a lot of the “leather conditioners” out there.

You can check out an article I wrote earlier that explains further what mink oil is and the differences between mink oil and leather conditioner.

What Does Mink Oil do to Leather?

Generally, mink oil can be used on all leather types such as synthetic or rubber but works great on smooth-finished leather materials. When mink oil is properly applied to leather items, there are a couple of things the mink oil will do for the leather. Here are a few things your mink oil does to leather:

  1. Conditions The Leather
  2. Preserves The Leather
  3. Gives it Solid Treatment to The Leather
  4. Waterproofs The Leather
  5. Softens The leather
  6. Weather-Guards the Leather
  7. Gives Leather a Solid Color

1. Conditions the Leather

When leather is used after some time, the natural oils the leather comes with is gradually lost. This especially happens when the leather item has seen some serious amounts of wear and cleaning which often results in a major loss in the leather of the natural oils has.

Applying mink oil is one sure way of restoring that natural oil. Leather is a highly permeable material and because of that, it soaks up the oil very deeply. When mink oil is applied, the leather soaks and nourishes the leather making it supple.

While other types of oil (for example olive oil) will give off a much quicker gratifying suppleness to leather, it may also quicken how the leather deteriorates when compared to mink oil.

2. Preserves the Leather

Over the years, mink oil has been tested and proven to be a great alternative for preserving finished and unfinished leather making it generally, great for leather.

The value high-quality mink oil will bring to your leather items can be compared with a very good moisturizer you would buy for healthy-looking skin.

Leather, just like our skin comes into contact with a lot of cosmetics, chemicals, dust, salt, etc and so what the mink oil does is to help keep the leather healthy, and preserve it so as to prevent it from becoming moldy, develop mildew, or having cracks or peels.

3. Gives it a Solid Treatment

Using mink oil on your leather will give it a very comprehensive oil treatment all at once. Leather comes from the skin of animals and when it’s obtained and used for goods, it still requires care and treatment that will allow it to have all the qualities we look out for in a good piece of leather.

The most common type of mink oil sold on the market comes in the form of paste. This makes it great because it makes such an important leather oiling process very simple and easy to do.

4. Waterproofs Leather

Waterproofing with mink oil simply means the mink oil will give the leather item high resistance to liquids. Instead of the leather just soaking up any form of liquids it comes into contact with, it becomes highly resistant to it.

When leather items are made waterproof, liquids form droplets on them, splash off them, or run right off of them. While many leather articles will come mostly waterproof, giving it a mink oil protection will further waterproof it and give it much more resistance.

This is not to say the mink oil you will be applying will completely seal off the leather totally to the extent that even if the leather item is completely submerged it is still protected.

5. Softens the Leather

With mink oil being a great source of palmitoleic acid, it renders leather very supple. You will find that using mink oil is one of the best ways to soften leather and cause it to return to its natural elasticity.

For example, mink oil works like magic on leather items like shoes, jackets, etc that need serious breaking in. Mink oil can make these items soft enough to fit you just about right.

6. Weather-Guards the Leather

Using mink oil will help make your leather items weather-resistant. Leather products are generally very good investments and so like every investment, it needs to be protected.

The effects the weather elements have on leather are absolutely significant especially with leather items that are for external use like shoes, bags, wallets, jackets, etc. Just like how we live through different seasons of the year, so will your leather items and as such need to be protected.

This will be to weather-guard leather items against external abrasions from water, snow, salts, sun, and many other negative effects Leather might have from the weather elements with a regular application of mink oil.

With this, you wouldn’t have to think of resting your favorite leather shoes, bags, or jackets, etc during different seasons of the year.

7. Gives Leather a Solid Color

In almost all cases, mink oil will darken the leather you apply it to. While this to many people will be seen as a huge disadvantage, it can, however, be a huge advantage if your leather is a bit old and has lost a bit of its color.

Related Questions

How often Should You Use Mink oil? On average, not more than 4 times a year. The frequency of how often you should use mink oil on your leather depends on a variety of factors including how often the leather item is used and how much wear it sees.

Does Mink Oil Wear Off? Yes, mink oil applied on leather will eventually wear out. While the oiled leather will remain supple and nourished over a period of 2-3 months or more, the darkened resulting color associated with using mink oil will wear out within a week or more.

Why is Mink Oil Bad? There are two major reasons why mink oil may be considered bad. The first is that mink oil is sourced from minks and secondly it turns can turn rancid regardless and will result in the leather having a bad odor when left in poor conditions.


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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