How to Use Mink Oil on Leather Shoes

Mink oil can be a great way to protect your leather shoes from water and other elements. Its natural ingredients make it a good choice for those with allergies or sensitivities to other conditioners. It will help keep the leather soft and pliable, preventing it from cracking or becoming brittle.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to use mink oil on leather shoes. To use mink oil on your shoes, you will need to follow these simple steps. First, clean the shoes with a mild soap and water solution. Next, apply the mink oil to a cloth and rub it into the leather. Finally, let the shoes dry completely before wearing them.

How to Use Mink Oil on Leather Shoes

What Are the Benefits of Mink Oil?

Mink oil contains natural ingredients that moisturize and protect leather pores without leaving a greasy coating like petroleum-based products. The oil is designed to penetrate deep into the skin instead of sitting on top. It does not have to be washed away, so reapplication is simple. Mink oil also has a pleasant scent compared to many other leather conditioners.

If you shop for mink oil, you will find that the product comes in different grades and types. The grade specifies the quality of skin used to produce the oil, while the type specifies how the oil will be treated after it is sourced. Some versions are made with refined animal fat, but others are blended with plant oils or chemicals for specific purposes.

How to Use Mink Oil on Leather Shoes: The Proper Way

Step 1: Remove Any Excess Dirt with a Brush

Before applying mink oil, there are a few things you need to do. The first step is to brush off any dirt or dust on your shoes. Suppose dirt accumulates onto your shoes while mink oiling; it may cause stains.

A clean shoe will make it easier for the mink oil to soak into your leather. If possible, use a soft bristle brush with natural bristles to remove any dirt or dust on your shoes. You can also use a clean rag or cloth to wipe off excess dirt and grime.

Step 2: Clean Your Leather with Leather Conditioner

Once you have removed any surface dirt, it’s time to condition your leather using a leather conditioner or a mink oil conditioning cream. Leather conditioners are specifically made to clean and soften your leather, making it easier for the mink oil to penetrate into your shoes. The conditioner will also help restore any damage that the dirt has caused.

Step 3: Using Leather Conditioning Creams

While you can use a leather conditioner or mink oil conditioning cream to clean, moisturize, and restore your leather, you can also use mink oil as a leather conditioner. However, mink oil is thicker than traditional leather conditioners so that it won’t work as well on the surface of your shoes.

Use Conditioning Cream to Restore Leather

This is where using a conditioning cream or spray will come in handy. If you use mink oil as a substitute for leather conditioner, make sure to apply a very thin layer of mink oil evenly across the surface of your shoes. You can use a clean rag or cloth for this part.

Step 4: Wipe with a Damp Cloth to Clean Built-in Grease

After you’ve applied your conditioner or mink oil, let it sit on your shoes for five to ten minutes. Then, to remove any excess dirt brought to the surface of your shoes, wipe them with a damp cloth.

During this step, you can use warm water, but don’t soak your shoes in water because they will lose shape. As a general rule of thumb, wipe your shoes with a damp cloth before and after mink oil them. This will ensure that any dirt or grime is removed from your shoes before applying the mink oil treatment.

Step 5: Apply Mink Oil to Your Shoes

After letting your conditioner set into your leather for seven to ten minutes, it’s time to apply mink oil onto your shoes. The easiest way to do this is with a clean cloth or rag. When applying the mink oil with a cloth, make sure that the conditioner has been absorbed into your leather. This will ensure that none of the excess conditioners is transferred onto your shoes.

Step 6: Dry for 2-3 Hours or Until They’re Fully Dried

Once you’re done applying mink oil onto your shoes, let them dry for two to three hours or until the shoes are fully dry. Do not speed up the drying process because it can damage your leather. You may also want to place a couple of boot trees in the shoes while drying. This will help maintain their shape.

Step 7: Reapply Mink Oil if Necessary

If your leather shoes require multiple coats of mink oil, you can apply another coat once the first one has fully dried. The process for applying additional coats is pretty similar to applying mink oil for the first time.

Apply a thin layer with a clean cloth and let it soak in for approximately five to ten minutes. You can use a boot tree during this time as well. If you need to, wait 24 hours before reapplying another coat of mink oil.

Step 8: Apply Mink Oil in a Circular Motion with a Clean Rag

After applying a thin layer of mink oil to your shoes, it’s time to apply a second coat. This time, once the mink oil has been applied and allowed to sit for five to ten minutes, use a clean rag or cloth and wipe in circular motions. This technique will help ensure that the oil is spread evenly across your leather shoes.

Use a Clean Rag or Cloth and Wipe

Step 9: Buff Painted Soles and Clean Heels with a Clean Rag or Cloth

Before coating your shoes in mink oil, buff the painted soles and clean your heels with a clean rag. If you’re using a leather conditioner instead of mink oil, make sure that all excess conditioner has been absorbed into the leather before you apply another coat of mink oil.

Step 10: Wipe Away Excess Mink Oil with

Once you’ve applied mink oil and let it sit for five to ten minutes, wipe away the excess oil with a clean rag. Don’t soak your shoes in water because it will damage them. As an alternative, you can apply another coat of mink oil instead of wiping away the excess. After this step, you’re done!

Some Tips and Suggestions for Applying Mink Oil

Here are some tips and suggestions we have provided on how to use mink oil on leather shoes.

1. Do not use too much oil. This will reduce the effect, and you will need to keep reapplying.

2. Apply in a warm yet shady environment so that the oil penetrates well without drying too quickly.

Use It Sparingly on Rubber Soles

3. Use it sparingly on rubber soles and heels. Do not let it soak into these shoe parts as it will damage them. Instead, use it to maintain the surface of the rubber only.

4. Allow shoes to dry before polishing them with a soft cloth or shoe brush to achieve the best results. Once the oil has soaked into the leather for around 15 minutes, remove any excess oil on your shoes by gently brushing with a soft cloth.

5. Mink oil tends to darken light-colored leathers, so it’s advisable to apply it to shoes made from darker leathers only.

6. Do not use the oil on suede or nubuck leathers.

7. You can apply mink oil to your shoes before storage, but it’s advisable to clean and polish them first with a soft cloth; this will also help deter bugs.

How Long Will Mink Oil Last?

Mink oil is a traditional leather conditioner that has been used for centuries to soften and protect fine leathers. The oil penetrates below the surface to restore moisture while allowing the outer layer of the skin to remain flexible.

An application of mink oil may be sufficient for one or more full shoes, but it can also be reapplied regularly to extend the life of your shoes.

Mink oil is popular for conditioning boots and leather dress shoes, but it can also be used to soften cowboy boots, work/hiking boots, or other types of leather footwear.

Mink Oil Is Popular for Conditioning Boots

Some people even apply mink oil to household furniture with a leather upholstery surface. However, this treatment should not be recommended for suede, nubuck, or delicate leather types.


Mink oil is a natural product that can help remedy the effects of wear and tear on leather shoes. One way to use mink oil for this purpose would be by applying it in small amounts with your fingers, then working it into the shoe’s surface until you cover all areas.

It would help if you also tried wiping down any other surfaces in contact with the shoes, so they do not come in contact with dust or dirt while drying. Your boots will look like new!

We hope this blog post on how to use mink oil on leather shoes has helped guide you to use mink oil on leather shoes properly. If you have any questions or want to know more, then feel free to comment below!

Jennifer Branett
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