Can You Use Leather Conditioner On Patent Leather?

Do you have a pair of patent leather shoes that are not looking as shiny and new as they once were? Do you want to know if it is safe to use leather conditioners on them? Read this article for answers.

Patent leather is natural leather so although it may have a shiny or glossy finish on its surface, it is still porous. So you can apply leather conditioner to its surface and the leather conditioner will be absorbed into the fibers of the patent leather and make it supple, soft, with a nice beautiful shine.

Before we can delve into the details of the answer to the question above, let’s first take a look at the nature of patent leather, what is contained in leather conditioners, and what leather conditioners do for them.

What Is The Nature Of Patent Leather?

Patent leather is a type of coated leather that uses an acrylic coating to give it its shiny, hard finish. It takes on the appearance of polished plastic.

In essence, patent leather is made up of natural leather but the key difference between patent leather and regular leather is the shiny, lacquered finish.

This is what makes patent leather so popular and why it has been used to make shoes, garments, and accessories.

You will often notice that patent leather items such as bags, shoes, or boots have a waxy texture to them and may feel quite stiff when you try them on.

The shiny finish of patent leather is also what makes it so prone to scratches, scuffs, and other forms of blemishes. This coating must be maintained in order to keep the patent leather looking new.

What Is In A Leather Conditioner?

Leather conditioners are used to nourish and maintain the appearance of leather. They can contain oils, fats, or waxes that create a protective coating on the surface of the leather to prevent it from drying out.

The main role of the oil in the leather conditioner is to nourish the leather and bring it back to its original soft, supple state.

Some types of leather conditioners also contain waxes that help to protect the leather from cracks, scuffs, and scratches.

Leather conditioners are generally safe for use on patent leather but always check the label and test a small, unobtrusive area before applying it to any larger areas of patent leather.

This is because some types of leather conditioners may contain waxes that are too heavy for patent leather or they can have a waxy texture themselves.

If you do not want to take any chances, it is best that you use a specific leather conditioner for patent leather.

Pros Of Using Leather Conditioner On Patent Leather

It is important to weigh the pros and cons of using a leather conditioner on patent leather before you make the final decision.

So let’s begin with the advantages of using a leather conditioner on your patent leather.

1. Leather Conditioner Restores The Shine Of The Patent Leather

This is probably one of the main benefits of using a leather conditioner on your patent leather.

As mentioned above, the main role of the oil in the leather conditioner is to bring back the shine to the patent leather.

Therefore, if your patent leather has lost its sheen over time or it is looking dull and dry, this is an excellent way to bring back the shine.

Simply do a spot test and see if the leather conditioner you want to use has no adverse effect on the patent leather before going ahead and using it.

If you want to restore the shine of your patent leather, choose a conditioner that contains oils and natural fats such as neatsfoot oil.

2. Leather Conditioner Can Make Patent Leather Soft And Supple

Patent leather is generally very stiff and rigid so it can take a while for many people to break them in. Breaking in patent leather means softening it up and making the leather more flexible.

This can be done by applying a conditioner or lubricant to the patent leather but using a conditioner can be slightly less time-consuming than using lubricants.

There is a huge misconception about patent leather being non-porous due to its glossy or glassy surface. However, patent leather still maintains a good amount of porosity so it is able to absorb moisture and other liquids.

With this in mind, it is important to choose a leather conditioner that has moisturizing properties so you can restore the suppleness of the patent leather and make it more comfortable to wear.

Applying a leather conditioner on patent leather can help to ease the stiffness of your patent leather.

A conditioner can help to absorb moisture, soften it up, and make it more flexible so that it contours to your feet or body more easily- making it more comfortable.

This is a good reason why you should use the leather conditioner on patent leather if it feels too stiff.

3. Leather Conditioner Nourishes And Prevents Cracking

Like other types of leather, patent leather can start to crack and peel if it is not nourished.

Nourishment here simply means restoring the suppleness of the patent leather by impregnating it with essential oils and moisture that lubricates the patent leather fibers.

Let me hasten to add that it is very important to keep the fibers of your patent leather lubricated.

By doing this, your patent leather will not crack or peel when you bend it or use it no matter how hardwearing your patent leather items are.

In case you are wondering, when your patent leather cracks and peels, it is can be near impossible to repair unless the entire surface of the leather is stripped off and then replaced or refinished.

Therefore, a good leather conditioner does the double duty of nourishing and preventing your patent leather from cracking so you save time and money in the long run.

Once you’ve chosen a conditioner, make sure to use it regularly so your patent leather items will last you a lot longer.

4. Leather Conditioner Can Be Used To Clean Patent Leather As Well

Some leather conditioners contain cleaning agents in them in addition to moisturizing and nourishing oils.

This means that you can use a leather conditioner as a standalone product for cleaning and nourishing your patent leather items.

However, if you need a deeper clean, make sure to check the label of your conditioner and see if it has cleaning agents suitable for deep-cleaning it.

If not, you can use a brush to remove any grime or dirt from the leather before applying the conditioner.

This is another reason why you should use a leather conditioner on patent leather if it becomes dirty or stained.

5. Leather Conditioner Prevents And Repairs Scratches

Scratches are another common problem that can affect patent leather. Due to the shiny surface of patent leather, it is easy to get scratches and scuffs on them.

It is important to use a leather conditioner on your patent leather regularly to prevent scratches from happening.

In case you accidentally scratch your patent leather, use a soft cloth to gently rub the area where it has been scratched until you can feel the scratch being softened.

Once the scratch is no longer visible, apply a leather conditioner directly to it and rub until it is absorbed.

Then, wipe off any excess conditioner with a clean cloth to make sure your patent leather item is not too greasy and oily.

This is another reason why you should use a leather conditioner on patent leather if it gets scratched or scuffed.

6. Adds A Nice Smell To The Patent Leather

Leather conditioners are also available in a variety of different scents, from unscented to lemongrass and lavender scents.

If you want to add a nice smell to your patent leather, choose one that has an added scent and apply it to your patent leather.

This is another good reason why you should use a leather conditioner on patent leather if it smells stale or unpleasant.

If you also want to neutralize the waxy or chemical smell of your patent leather item, you can mix a few drops of essential oil with the leather conditioner and then apply it to the patent leather.

These oils will also help nourish and moisturize your patent leather faster while adding a nice smell to them.

If you don’t like the scent of your leather conditioner, then choose unscented ones instead.

7. Leather Conditioners Are Easy To Use

Finally, another important benefit of using a leather conditioner on patent leather is that it is very easy to use.

You don’t need to mix any space-grade concoctions. Leather conditioners come ready for use. No need to heat them up or mix them with any other substances.

Leather conditioners are also available in various textures, from creams and ointments to sprays. All of these give you application alternatives to choose from so that you can use them as comfortably as possible.

For example, if you’re comfortable using leather conditioners that come in the form of creams, there are a lot available on the market.

In the same way, if you’re interested in leather conditioners that you can spray, there are a lot of options to choose from.

That being said, most leather conditioners have similar ingredients that aim at moisturizing and nourishing your patent leather.

Just make sure to follow the directions on your leather conditioner’s label carefully so you don’t use too much product and waste it

Cons Of Using Leather Conditioner On Patent Leather 

1. Some Leather Conditioners May Contain Waxes That Can Make Patent Leather Dull

Some leather conditioners may contain waxes that can make patent leather look dull or feel heavy. This is why it is important to test the leather conditioner on a small area before applying it all over your patent leather item.

If your patent leather tends to dull when you use the leather conditioner on it, then you should choose a leather conditioner that is wax-free.

This will ensure that your patent leather doesn’t end up looking heavy or dull after you use a leather conditioner on it.

In the same way, if your patent leather is already too dull or looks cloudy, then it may not be a good idea to use a leather conditioner on it because the ingredients in your chosen product could make this worse.

In such cases, you’ll need to clean patent leather thoroughly before deciding to use a leather conditioner on it.

2. Avoid Silicone Based Leather Conditioners On Patent Leather

It is also worth noting that some leather conditioners may contain silicone additives which can damage the look of your patent leather.

The reason why silicone-based leather conditioners tend to be harmful to patent leather is that they can damage the outermost layer of your patent leather.

This will make it look dull and scuffed.

In the same way, if you want to use a silicone-based leather conditioner on patent leather, it is best to apply it with a cloth so you don’t have to rub it hard on your patent leather.

In general, if you want a conditioner that is safe for patent leather, look for products that are non-toxic or have natural ingredients.

This will ensure your patent leather doesn’t suffer any damage after you use a leather conditioner on it.

How To Apply Leather Conditioner On Patent Leather

Applying leather conditioner on patent leather is a very simple process. You just need to follow the steps below:

Things Needed:

  • Dish Soap
  • Water
  • Leather Conditioner
  • Microfiber Cloth


Step 1:

  • Start by using a dry clean cloth to wipe away any sort of dust, debris, dirt from the surface of the leather.

Step 2:

  • Put a drop of dish soap into a bowl of water.
  • Use the solution to dampen your microfiber cloth and wring it out. Make sure the microfiber cloth is damp, not wet.

Step 3:

  • Begin to wipe the outside surface of the patent leather with the damp cloth.
  • Wipe using small circular motions until the surface of the patent leather is clean.

Step 4:

  • Wet another microfiber cloth with plain water and wipe off your patent leather to reveal a clean surface.

Step 5:

  • Use the damp microfiber cloth to distribute an even layer of leather conditioner all over your patent leather.

Step 6:

  • Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe away any excess conditioner and reveal your patent leather’s clean surface.

Important Tips On Using Leather Conditioner On Patent Leather

  • Always clean your patent leather with mild dish soap solution first before applying the leather conditioner to it.
  • The most important thing to remember when using a leather conditioner on patent leather is that you should test it first.
  • You can do this by applying a small amount to an inconspicuous area and checking to see if there is any damage.
  • Also, it may take some time for leather conditioners to work on patent leather. You should wait for at least 30 minutes before you decide whether or not it works well with your item.
  • In the same way, you should always follow a leather conditioner’s instructions exactly because they will tell you how much product to use and what kind of application method to use.
  • This is important because you don’t want to apply a leather conditioner too much or it may end up saturating the patent leather surface.

Final Thoughts

I had fun sharing all that I know about using leather conditioners on patent leather. While there may be a lot of benefits to using a leather conditioner on patent leather, it is also important to know its cons before proceeding with using one.

But generally speaking, there is more to gain from using a leather conditioner on patent leather than there is to lose.

So if you have been looking for ways to protect your patent leather from the elements, then this is the right article for you.

I hope you found this article useful and it helped answer your questions about using leather conditioners on patent leather.

Thank You For Reading My Blog Post! I hope that it was helpful as always!

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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