Legend has it that Native Americans were the first to discover the benefits of mink oil. Indigenous populations used this oil as a skin moisturizer because they found that it absorbed quickly and left their skin amazingly soft. In the 1950s, mink oil became more popular, and people started using it primarily to condition their leather shoes.
Using mink oil for your leather boots has many impressive benefits. If used correctly, mink oil can make your dull, cracked, and lifeless leather boots look shiny, smooth, and new again.
People have been using mink oil for many decades as a treatment for their leather goods, and for a good reason. Here is a quick rundown of what this type of oil is, what it can do, how it works, and how to use it for your leather boots. Let’s dive in.
What Is Mink Oil?
Mink oil is a by-product of fur farming that comes from the fat on a mink’s abdomen. It was once used in skincare and cosmetics, but today it is mainly used as leather conditioners or bio-fuel.
Mink Oil Boots Benefits
There are many benefits of using mink oil. It works as a conditioner for your leather shoes, it restores lost natural oil in leather boots, it makes your shoes waterproof, and the mink oil has a long shelf life. Read about these benefits in more detail below.
Mink oil works as a conditioner for boots
After constantly wearing your leather boots, they inevitably become dry and even develop cracks on the surface, giving the leather a poor appearance. Fortunately, you can restore your leather boots’ lost oils, increase their durability, and bring back their shine by using mink oil. Applying mink oil to your leather shoes is an easy way to make hardened leather soft, supple, and flexible again.
Mink oil restores natural oil in leather boots
Due to age, exposure to harsh conditions, and wear, leather boots lose their natural oils and become dry and hard. The good news is that you can restore your leather work boots to life by applying mink oil to them. This is an essential aspect of leather care; it will replenish lost oil and increase the lifespan of your leather shoes.
Mink oil makes boots water-resistant
Another significant characteristic of mink oil is its water-resistant properties. It is not rocket science; oil and water do not mix, so applying mink oil to your leather boots will create a water-resistant barrier that keeps the water, rain, snow, and other liquids out, keeping your feet dry and warm. The bad news is that it will provide only temporary protection from the water.
Mink oil has a long shelf life
Mink oil has high oxidative stability; thus, it has a pretty long shelf life. It should remain usable for several years. But remember to keep it in a cool place, away from the heat, and the oil will not go rancid for a long time.
How To Apply Mink Oil To Boots?
We have already discussed the benefits of applying mink oil to your leather boots. Now let’s talk about the correct way to do that. It is an easy five steps process that will make your boots feel new again.
Step 1: Clean your boots
You should never apply mink oil or any other products to dirty shoes. So, start off by carefully cleaning your boots.
Take a dry cloth, wipe the leather boots clean, and ensure no dust or dirt is left. If you need to, you can use soap and water with a soft cloth to remove any excess dirt or grease. After completing this step, dry your boots thoroughly.
Step 2: Warm your boots
The second step is to warm your boots. This will help them in absorbing the mink oil better. You can use a hairdryer to blow warm air on the shoes. Be careful not to directly blow hot air on your boots because it can damage the leather.
Step 3: Warm mink oil
You should store mink oil in cool places away from the heat; this can cause it to harden, so heat it too to make the process of application easier.
Step 4: Apply mink oil to your boots
Now it is time for the fun part: applying mink oil to your boots.
For this step, you will need a clean piece of cloth or sponge to dab the oil gently on your shoes in layers. Wipe down all the corners of your boots, and make sure that the oil melts and absorbs into the leather. You can do it one section at a time until you cover every area of your boots. And after you finish applying the mink oil, wipe off any extra oil on the soles or laces of your shoes.
You can leave the mink oil on your leather shoes for about twelve hours, or even more if your boots are very dried up or cracked.
Step 5: Wipe excess mink oil
The final thing you need to do is wipe out the excess mink oil using a clean, dry cloth. Work carefully in circular motions to bring the shine back to the leather.
The mink oil will take about an hour to dry thoroughly on the leather. Do not neglect this step; not wiping the excess mink oil out can damage the leather of your boots.
How often can you use mink oil for boots?
When it comes to mink oil, less is more. It is best to apply mink oil to leather boots no more than once after every two weeks. Using it more often than that or applying an excessive amount of mink oil will cause the leather to oxidize, become floppy and lose its shape.
So, mink oil is definitely one of the essential maintenance treatments for your leather boots. Its benefits are noteworthy; it will make your shoes last much longer, feel soft and flexible as well as look shiny and new.
But, be aware that if you misuse it, it can do more harm than good.