Is Mink Oil Good for Suede?

Have you noticed how sensitive your suede leather items are? They pick up dirt, stains, and scuffs so easily and so requires a lot more tender loving care to protect them than your regular leather items.

There are several ways you can care for suedes, but in this article, I did an in-depth research into whether mink oil is good for suede.

So, is Mink Oil good for Suede? Yes! although mink oil can be applied appropriately on dark colored suedes, you wouldn’t want to use mink oils as the first alternative of conditioning your suede leather items because it can go into the porous suede and disrupt the fibers and nap.

While using mink oil is not my most preferred alternative for suede items, I will walk you through how to do it to get the best results and also throw some light on my preferred way of conditioning or treating suede items. Keep reading to find out more!

How Do You Apply Mink Oil to Suede?

Mink oil can be used to give suede items such as belts, shoes, jackets, etc treatment to breath new life into it. The end result will be nothing like when the leather article was new but will look very good.

It’s important to know that whatever the color of the suede leather item is, the mink oil will mike it a shade or two darker than how it initially was. This can be an advantage especially if your suede has aged very pale.

The other upside is, the mink oil will waterproof the suede and generally make it more weather resistant. Here’s a complete step by step guide on how you will use mink oil on suede for the best result, but first, you will need a few things to get you started.

Materials Needed:

  1. A Suede Item: This is the item you intend to clean. It can be anything such as suede belts, suede shoes, suede gloves, etc.
  2. Mink oil: Mink oil comes in different forms but the most common and type that works well with leather generally is the Mink oil paste.
  3. Suede Brush: There are 2 basic types of suede brushes you can used to clean suedes namely the crepe brush and the suede wire brush. You can get this complete set of all suede brushes on Amazon!
  4. Sponge: Although you can apply mink oil with your hand but the sponge is best suited especially if you’re covering a large suede area.
  5. Clean Rag: The rag will be used to clean any excess oils on the suede.

How to Apply Mink Oil to Suede?

1. Cleaning the Suede

To begin, you must clean all forms of dirt from your suede. Cleaning the suede is important before heading over to apply the mink oil. Suede is very porous and fibrous so it tends to trap a lot of dirt and debris.

You can use the suede wire brush or if you don’t have a brush an old tooth brush to deep clean the suede. The suede wire brushes are bristle brushes very effective at getting deep into the fibers of the suede to clean out dirt and dust. You can also use a bristle brush especially if the fibers on your suede are relatively short.

To clean your suede with a suede wire brush, you must use quick light strokes and ensure you don’t apply too much pressure or force as this can damage the suede.

The crepe brush will come in handy if you need not make any kind of deep cleaning especially on suede that hasn’t seen a lot of wear. The is because the crepe brush is much gentle on the suede compared to the suede wire brush.

You can also use a suede eraser on the suede especially when you have marks and stains. The suede eraser is great for cleaning suede because no matter how rough you get with it, it won’t damage the suede fibers.

2. Apply Mink oil

Now the suede is ready to be oiled. Get your clean sponge and take a generous amount of mink oil and smear it over the suede and evenly spread it by rubbing it in circular motion.

For suede jackets, shoes, or any suede item with seams, laces, etc, do well to work the mink oil into the tight corners of the items. Once it’s completely and thoroughly oiled, you can now move on to the next step of the oiling process which is removing excess oil from the suede.

3. Removed Excess mink Oil

Now heres a very important step in the process. Use a clean cotton rag to remove all excess mink oil from the suede. You would want to do this in a very gentle manner. The main aim of this is to removed as much excess mink oil as possible and to get the suede nap back to its original position.

4. Dry

After applying mink oil to your suede, it will be tacky and so it’s essential you dry it thoroughly before using it. Simply air-drying for at least 24hours is all you will need to do after oiling.

Alternative Treatment & Conditioner For Suede

The most common alternative to mink oil treatment on suede is using suede protector sprays. Suede protector sprays act as water and dirt repellant and the best kinds I’v found to be helpful will have a combination of being waterproof, silicone-based spray with a neutral color similar to this Suede Spray on Amazon!

After you’ve got the spray and it’s ready for use, here are a couple of tips on how to apply the suede spray to your suede items:

  1. Clean the suede item using the suede brushes or suede eraser to remove all forms of dirt, scuff, and stains.
  2. Test out the suede spray on a small unseen part of the suede item to see the color effect of the suede spray on your item.
  3. Evenly Spray the suede and make sure you don’t oversaturate.
  4. With your crepe brush, do one final quick brush in a single direction over the suede.
  5. Let the sprayed item air-dry for 24 hours in a well-ventilated place.

Related Questions

Does Mink Oil Darken Suede?

Yes! generally, when mink oil is applied to any kind of leather it will darken and suede leather is no exception. Suede leather will darken substantially when mink oil is used to condition it. So it’s great idea to condition using mink oil on darker colored suedes.

Does Mink Oil Permanently Darken Leather?

No! leather darkened as a result of the application of mink oil will stay darkened for a short period of time and oxidize or in some cases gradually return to a shade of color similar to its original color over a period of time. It will however be more apparent in some leathers than others.

Does Mink Oil Soften Leather?

Yes, mink oil when used on leather acts as an emulsified oil and so it’s a perfect leather softener. Using mink oil is an effective way of breathing a breath of new life into leather that has dried up or lost a lot of its natural oils.

How Often Should I Use Mink Oil?

Generally, 2-3 times a year for general leather goods and 3-4 times a year for leather shoes, bags, or goods that see a lot of wear! How often you treat your leather items with mink oil depends on the type of leather product, how often the leather item is worn, and the environmental conditions in-which the leather item is used.

Is Mink Oil Toxic?

Mink oil is naturally sourced from minks and only natural fats is rendered and so it’s not toxic. It’s however, known to cause stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite. As natural as it is, it’s not supposed to be allowed close to children or pets especially on freshly oiled items.


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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