How to Soften Leather With Olive Oil

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Things You'll Need

  • Olive oil

  • Rags

  • Castile soap

  • Essential oil

  • Grapefruit seed extract

  • Water

  • Gallon jug

  • Spray bottle


Some commercial leather dressings on the market tend to oxidize over time and cause the leather to become brittle, and the oily residue left behind can attract dust.


If you don’t wipe off all the excess oil from an item, it can stain your clothing.

Soften leather with olive oil.

Due to its durability and flexibility, there are countless products made with leather on the market. Leather products range from wallets to furniture, clothes, car seats and tools. Despite its durability, if leather is not conditioned, it can harden, become brittle and crack.

The good news is that you can use olive oil to soften leather and protect your investment without the use of harsh chemicals. If you own a leather item that needs reconditioning, you want to use olive oil correctly to soften the leather.

Step 1

Pour a generous amount of olive oil on the area that needs conditioning.

Step 2

Work the oil into the leather with your fingers. If it’s a large area, use a rag, but you need to use a more generous amount of oil since the rag will absorb some of the oil. If possible, bend the piece of leather to open up the pores and allow the oil to penetrate.

Step 3

Allow the oil set for about 45 minutes.

Step 4

Wipe off all excess oil with a clean rag.

Step 5

Make your own leather cleaning solution. Fill a gallon jug half way with water, add 3 and 1/3 cups of olive oil, 50 drops of your favorite essential oil for fragrance, 1/3 cup castile soap and 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract. Shake well and fill a small spray bottle with the solution. Save the rest for future use.

Step 6

Maintain your leather items to keep them looking new. Spray your homemade solution on the leather item. Rub in the solution with a clean rag and then wipe it off. The leather will remain supple and soft. Clean your leather furniture or other items once a month with the spray solution.

references & resources

Ana Jackson

Based in Houston, Ana Jackson has been writing content for leading-industry Web sites since 2006. She specializes in money and personal finance as well as in health and alternative treatment-related topics. Other areas of expertise include crafts and interior decorating.