Can You Use Leather Conditioner On Suede? (7 Pros & Cons)

Can You Use Leather Conditioner On Suede

Every natural leather, whether suede or smooth leather needs to be nourished and conditioned to keep them healthy. But, is it possible to use leather conditioner on suede?

Unlike smooth leather, you CAN NOT use a leather conditioner on your suede leather items as it could ruin the nap. However, you can use special suede conditioners that come in spray cans. Suede conditioners provide a very fine mist of conditioning agents and oils that is easily absorbed into the suede without saturating it.

Suede conditioners do a great job of protecting the suede leather and keeping the leather underneath the nap hydrated for a long time.

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For you to get a better understanding of why you do not need to use your regular leather conditioner on suede, and the best alternatives for conditioning your suede.

Three Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Leather Conditioner On Suede

Every natural leather, whether suede or smooth leather needs to be nourished and conditioned to keep them healthy.

However, as we have learned earlier, you shouldn’t use leather conditioner on suede items, and here’s why;

1. Using Leather Conditioner On Suede Will Ruin The Nap

One thing that makes suede leather unique is its nap. The nap is the raised or velvet surface of the leather that gives it its fuzzy look and feel.

When you use a regular leather conditioner on suede, the conditioner will work to flatten the nap, which in turn will make your suede item look dull and lifeless.

In order to properly take care of your suede items, you will need to use a suede conditioner that comes in a spray can so that you can properly protect and nourish your suede without ruining the nap.

2. Using Leather Conditioner On Suede Will Make It Stiff And Brittle

Although regular moisturization is essential for keeping your natural or synthetic suedes, and nubucks soft and supple over time, over-moisturizing can have an adverse effect.

When you apply a leather conditioner to your suede items, you are essentially saturating the leather with oil.

This will cause the leather to become stiff and brittle over time, which can lead to cracking and tearing.

In order to avoid this, you should only use a suede conditioner when your suede starts to feel dry and stiff.

3. Using Leather Conditioner On Your Suede Can Leave Blotches

I’m sure we all love the clean smooth nap of suede leather products such as shoes, jackets, to mention a few.

One of the problems with using a leather conditioner on suede is that it can leave blotchy spots all over your suede item.

These spots will be very noticeable and will ruin the overall appearance of your suede product. It also gives the suede a dirty appearance.

Once this damage is done, there isn’t much you can do other than to wait for the leather conditioner you applied to gradually fade away.

What Should You Use To Condition Your Suede Leather?

Unlike regular leather goods, there is just about one main type of conditioner you can use for your suede leather goods.

When it comes down to it, the best conditioner you can use for your suede items is basically a Suede Conditioner which usually comes in a spray can.

What most people, including experts, do to maintain suede items is to clean them with a good suede shampoo and then apply a suede protector.

I for one did this routine for years before discovering all the good qualities suede conditioners had to offer.

As mentioned before suede conditioners provide a very fine mist of conditioning agents and oils that is easily absorbed into the suede without saturating it.

The best part about suede conditioners is that they not only protect your suede but also make it soft and supple.

While some suede conditioners come in different colors as they contain pigments that can restore a faded suede item, others contain cleaning and waterproofing agents.

Just make sure to steer clear of silicone-based suede conditioners and make sure the one suede conditioner you go for is easy to use.

All you do is spray it on your suede before your first wear and then reapply it to your suede before each wear after that.

There are many suede conditioners to choose from but I find the one from Saphir Medaille d’Or Suede Renovator to be one of the best on the market.

Benefits Of Using Special Suede Conditioners On Suede Leather

Just like with other leather items, suede needs to be conditioned every once in a while if you want it to stay looking and feeling good.

Regular leather conditioners can be used on suede, but they have the potential of ruining the nap or making your suede item stiff and unnatural.

Suede conditioners, on the other hand, come in a spray can and are made with special ingredients to give your suede the nourishment and protection it deserves.

Below are a few of the important benefits to keep in mind when you use suede conditioners on your leather goods;

1. Suede Conditioners Can Help Restore The Color Of Your Suede Item

Suede often loses its color pretty quickly especially when exposed to the weather elements.

As suede conditioners contain pigments, they can help restore the color of your faded suede items.

Just make sure to get a conditioner that is closest to the original color of your suede leather product.

If you’re not sure of the color match, you can never go wrong with a neutral suede conditioner because it is suitable for all types of suede.

2. Suede Conditioners Make Suede Soft And Supple

Regular leather conditioners can leave your suede item with a greasy or oily finish which in turn makes it stiff and unnatural.

On the other hand, suede conditioners contain a fine mist of conditioning agents that penetrates deep into the fibers to make them soft and supple once again.

So even if you don’t want to restore the color of your suede leather goods, you’ll still want to use it for its conditioning properties.

This is essential because suede is made from the skin or hides of real animals and if not conditioned with a suede conditioner from time to time, it will eventually crack and fade.

Just like with other leather items, suede needs to be conditioned every once in a while if you want it to stay looking and feeling good.

3. Prevents Suede From Water Stains

Another important benefit to suede conditioners is that they help protect your suede from water stains.

In fact, even if you get caught in the rain or spill a drink on them, it will dry without leaving any noticeable marks and/or spots.

This makes using a suede conditioner all the more important. Suede as a material is highly porous so it needs to be conditioned more often than other types of leather.

Just make sure you apply the suede conditioner as thorough as possible so that it forms a protective layer on the surface of the suede.

4. Cleans Dirt From The Suede

Some suede conditioners contain cleaning agents that can help remove any dirt or dust particles that may have accumulated on the suede surface.

This is a great benefit if you want to clean your suede leather product without having to take it to a professional cleaner.

Just make sure to look for a conditioner that specifically mentions “cleaning” in its list of benefits.

So there you have it, four compelling reasons why you should start using a suede conditioner on your suede leather goods today instead of using a regular leather conditioner.

Not only will it help restore the color and make them soft and supple again, but it will also protect them from water stains and dirt buildup.

Before you go, let’s take a look at when you should use a suede conditioner.

When Should You Use A Suede Conditioner?

Unlike other leather items, suede should be conditioned every time you use it.

This is because the fibers in suede are more prone to drying out and becoming brittle over time due to their porous nature – which can lead to cracking and tearing.

In order to avoid this, it’s important to spray your suede item with a suede conditioner before wearing it and then reapply it every time you wear it – just like I stated early.

If you live in a particularly dry or hot climate, then you should apply the suede conditioner more often.

As a rule of thumb though, I would say that once a month should be sufficient.

A suede conditioner is a must-have if you own any suede leather items – whether it’s a jacket, boots, or even a bag.

Just make sure to read the instructions carefully before using it so that you don’t end up ruining your beloved suede leather product.

Final Thoughts

Suede is a delicate type of leather and should be treated as such. Although it is possible to use a regular leather conditioner on suede items, it’s not recommended, as doing so can ruin the nap, make the suede stiff and brittle, and leave blotchy spots all over your item.

In order to keep your suede items looking their best, it’s recommended to use a suede conditioner that is specifically formulated for this type of leather.

Using a spray-on suede conditioner will help you avoid ruining the nap and blotchiness, but make sure you only apply it when needed as overdoing it can cause stiffness and brittleness.

Kwabena

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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