Mink oil is a versatile product that can be used for a variety of tasks, including waterproofing and conditioning leather. But can you use mink oil on suede?
If you own any suede products, you know how difficult they can be to care for. Suede is a type of leather that is made from the inner split of a hide so it tends to be quite soft with a unique napped and velvety texture.
This however makes it more delicate than other types of leather. So, it is important to be careful when using mink oil on it.
In this article, we will look at whether or not mink oil is good for suede and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to use it effectively.
Can you use mink oil on suede?
Yes, you can use mink oil on the suede to condition it when dry and to protect it from water. However, mink oil is known to darken suede so it is not recommended for light-colored suede. To apply it, use a clean cloth to gently rub the oil in a circular motion onto the suede and then allow it to air dry.
Benefits of using mink oil on suede
Mink oil is a natural oil that is derived from the fur of minks and presents several benefits to your suede garments, bags, or shoes. Some of these benefits include the following;
1. Mink oil conditions suede
The best way to restore faded and dry suede is by conditioning it with mink oil.
When applied to suede, mink oil hydrates it by replenishing the lost moisture and oil. This leaves your suede soft and supple and brings back its shine.
2. It makes suede water resistant
Mink oil will also make your suede items water-resistant. Suede is naturally porous and easily absorbs water so it needs to be treated to make it water-resistant.
Mink oil adds a protective layer on the surface of the suede that allows it to resist water and prevent dirt from penetrating through.
However, this does not mean that suede will become 100% waterproof. Even with the protective layer, suede can still get soaked if exposed to too much water.
If you use your suede items like shoes and boots outdoors, you might want to get a mink oil repellant spray that you can use on the go.
3. Mink oil darkens suede
The ability of mink oil to darken suede might be a good thing if your suede items have faded or lost their color over time.
Mink oil will dramatically darken the suede giving it a richer and darker color than it had before. However, avoid using mink oil on light-colored suede if getting your items is not your intended outcome.
How to apply mink oil to suede
You will need to gather a few items for this project, which include mink oil, a soft cloth, and a suede brush.
Step 1: Clean your suede item
Start by cleaning your suede using a suede brush to remove trapped dust and dirt.
Step 2: Apply mink oil
Take a clean cloth or sponge, dip it into the oil, and then gently rub it against the suede in a circular motion.
Make sure to spread the oil evenly so that you can avoid having dark patches after the oil dries. Also, remember to remove shoe laces if you are oiling suede shoes.
Step 3: Brush the suede
Oiling tends to flatten the napped finish on the suede. So once you are done oiling, use a suede brush to brush over the suede to raise the nap gently.
Step 4: Air dry
If you are satisfied with the results, let your suede items air dry for about 30 minutes before wearing them.
Will mink oil ruin suede?
In a previous article, we saw that mink oil can ruin leather if not used carefully.
Similarly, mink oil might not always give you the results you want when used on suede. For instance, you might experience unintended darkening of your suede or the suede might become extremely soft and pliable.
Unintended darkening of suede
As you already know, mink oil is obtained from the fatty tissue under the skin of minks so it contains a high amount of unsaturated fatty acids and oils.
Thus, when mink oil is applied to suede, the fats and oils get deep into the fibers resulting in darkening.
This might a good outcome for someone looking for ways to darken their suede items. It is actually easier and cheaper than dyeing or staining.
However, if this is not what you were hoping for, then mink oil will have ruined your suede item. This is why you should avoid using mink oil on light-colored suede because it is impossible to restore it once it darkens.
Mink oil can make suede extremely soft
Suede is very soft since it is obtained from the inner layer of animal hide. It is also very thin compared to leather, which makes it very flexible.
Using too much mink oil can therefore make suede extremely soft and pliable. This can affect its durability as suede will become prone to wear and tear and is likely to get scratched and punctured easily.
Might affect the breathability of suede
As earlier mentioned, mink oil adds a protective layer to the surface of the suede. While this helps to make the suede water-repellent, it might clog the pores and affect its breathability.
This can happen if you use too much of any oil including neatsfoot oil, coconut oil, or olive oil on leather, or if you apply it too often on suede.
Suede shoes and clothing need to breathe or allow ventilation so that they can feel comfortable against the skin or feet.
So, it is important that you do not overdo it when using mink oil.
Alternative oils for conditioning suede
While mink oil is a popular choice for conditioning suede, there are other products that can be used as well such as the suede protector spray.
Suede protector spray is designed to protect the suede from stains, water damage, and other types of damage.
It is typically made of a water-repellent solution that contains silicone, fluoropolymer, or other water-resistant chemicals.
This spray works by creating a protective barrier on the surface of the suede, which helps repel water and prevent stains from penetrating the material.
You can use it on a wide range of suede items, such as shoes, jackets, and bags.
FAQs about is Mink oil good for suede
Can you oil suede shoes or boots?
Yes, you can oil suede shoes or boots. Mink oil is a great option as it hydrates and conditions the suede, making it soft, supple, and water-resistant. Just make sure to avoid using it on light-colored suede as it can darken the material. To apply, use a clean cloth to rub the oil onto the suede in a circular motion, then let it air dry
What does mink oil do to suede?
Mink oil conditions suede by replenishing lost moisture and oil making it soft and supple with a restored shine. It also makes suede water-resistant by adding a protective layer to the surface thereby preventing dirt from penetrating through.
Does mink oil darken suede?
Yes, mink oil can darken suede. When mink oil is applied to suede, the fats and oils get deep into the fibers resulting in darkening. This might be a good outcome for someone looking for ways to darken their suede items, but it’s important to avoid using mink oil on light-colored suede because it’s impossible to restore it once it darkens
Is there a mink oil spray for suede?
Yes, there are mink oil sprays available specifically designed for use on suede such as Angelus Mink Oil Waterproof Conditioner Suede Leather. This spray is formulated to condition and protect suede leather while also providing waterproofing properties. It also helps to prevent stains and water damage to your suede shoes or boots, keeping them looking newer for longer.
Is oiled suede waterproof?
Oiled suede is more water-resistant than untreated suede, but it is not completely waterproof. The oil treatment can help repel water and prevent stains, but prolonged exposure to water can still damage the suede.
To conclude, mink oil is definitely a good option to keep your suede items well-conditioned and hydrated. It is also a good way to darken suede instead of using dyes and stains.
And if you are not into mink oil because minks are slaughtered so as to get fat, you can try these alternatives that work just as well.