How To Use Mink Oil on Boots?

Have you noticed that your leather boots are brittle and stiff? It is essential to use mink oil to restore their natural oils and suppleness. Read on below to learn how to use mink oil.

I have tried a lot of different boots over the years, and one thing that really bothers me is when they lose their sheen over time. I also noticed that some leather boots become stiff and rigid, which can lead to discomfort throughout the day.

Fortunately, there are different ways to restore your boots to their natural elasticity and sheen. One of the most effective methods is to apply mink oil to your shoes. This is a type of leather conditioner that uses abdomen fat from a mink.

In this article, I will discuss mink oil in detail, including its benefits and suggested intervals of use. I will also walk you through the steps on how to use mink oil on boots.

Finally, I will answer your questions about mink oil in general. These include how often you should treat boots, does mink oil goes bad, and what are some alternatives to this leather care product. 

So if you want to learn more about these, continue reading on!

What Is Mink Oil?

Mink Oil

Mink oil is a popular cosmetic and medical product as well as a type of leather conditioner. As its name suggests, it is obtained from the mink. These animals do not experience any skin diseases throughout their life, which makes their oil popular.

Mink oil is also super-absorbent and makes the boot exterior moisturized and supple. The secret behind these moisturizing properties lies within the layers of white fat found in the mink.

This fat is full of sebum, which is similar to that found in humans. The soft thick waxy substance allows the oil to be absorbed quickly through the pores of the boots, making them soft and moisturized after being applied.

However, only around 10 grams of sebum can be extracted from a mink. Hence, mink oil for leather boots is considered a rare resource. 

What Are the Benefits of Mink Oil?

Mink oil is a safe and natural option to condition leather boots, leather jackets, and other leather goods. It offers several benefits, which I will discuss in detail below.

It Conditions the Leather

Leather boots gradually lose their natural oils if you constantly wear them. When they no longer have these, they lose their natural shine, which makes them appear lackluster. The loss of oil also makes the leather material more susceptible to cracking and deterioration over time. 

Fortunately, the best mink oil can easily restore the natural oils in your leather boots. This type of leather conditioner can soak into the leather fibers deeply because it is a highly permeable material. Once fully absorbed, mink oil can lubricate the fibers. Hence, it enhances the durability and flexibility of leather boots.

It Preserves Leather Boots

If you often use your leather boots, you can expect them to become brittle over time. You might also notice the leather material cracking, especially if you do not regularly clean your shoes.

Luckily, you can apply mink oil to your boots to preserve them. You can use it on both finished and unfinished leather shoes to make them longer lasting.

It Protects Leather from Water

In general, leather boots can effectively resist water and moisture. However, they lose this property when they become dry and stiff. It is also essential to note that real leather is a natural material that is incredibly porous. That simply means the leather boots will never be completely waterproof.

So if you want to protect your shoes from water damage, you can apply mink oil on the boot exterior. This popular cosmetic and medical product can make the leather material highly resistant to liquids instead of just soaking them up. 

It Softens the Leather

Leather boots can become hard and stiff if you use them daily. Fortunately, mink oil contains a high amount of palmitoleic acid. This particular substance can make leather extremely supple.

Overall, mink oil is a great choice for softening leather boots and restoring their natural elasticity. You do not have to endure tough boots that can only lead to discomfort over time.

It Ensures Weather-Proofing

Leather boots and other goods are durable enough to withstand outdoor conditions and day-to-day use. However, they can still get damaged if you use them when there is rough weather. 

So if you want to protect your boots like every other investment, you can consider applying mink oil. It offers effective weather resistance. Hence, you can feel more at ease when you wear leather boots next time.

It Darkens Leather Boots

When you own an old pair of leather boots, it is likely that they already have lost some of their colors. Some boots will also appear faded.

Fortunately, there is an effective way to restore their old color and appearance. You can use mink oil to darken leather boots. This way, you can enjoy good-looking shoes again that make you feel confident when you wear them.

How To Use Mink Oil on Boots?

Now that you are aware of the benefits of mink oil, you probably could not wait to use them. However, before applying them to your boots, it is essential that you are aware of the proper application steps. 

Fortunately, the process is relatively straightforward. Read on below to learn how to apply mink oil on boots.

Step 1

First things first, prepare the items that you will need. These include a hand glove, microfiber cloth, mink oil, and of course, your leather boots.

Step 2

The second step in using mink oil is to ensure that your leather boots are clean and dry.

Wash your shoes with a soap solution. Then, use a dry cloth or rag to wipe away any muck stuck on the boot exterior. 

If you apply mink oil on dirty boots, you are just wasting the product because it could not soak into the leather fibers effectively. 

Hence, it is essential that there is no sign of any dirt or debris in the leather boots before using mink oil.

Step 3

Once you ensure that your boots are clean, you can proceed in opening the mink oil container. Make sure to put on your gloves to protect your hands.

And before applying the mink oil, it is best that you already have a plan of where you will start and finish the application process.

Step 4

After you have mapped out the areas of the boots where you will focus, it is time to apply the mink oil.

Take the paste in your hand and start applying it to the leather. You should concentrate the mink oil on the seams first since they are susceptible to damage from dirt and moisture. Then, spread the leather conditioner across the other parts of the boots.

As you rub the mink oil over the boots, you will notice the leather material takes on a darker shade. That is normal because the oil can make leather boots darker. 

Step 5

By now, you have probably applied the mink oil all over the leather boots. The next step to do is to wait for the product to dry. It will only take around five minutes.

After that, you can start spreading the mink oil on the second leather boot. It is best to start from the bottom of the shoes and work your way towards the ankle area for an even application of the product.

Step 6

Once the second leather boot is dry, you can now use a microfiber cloth to rub the whole boot exterior. Make sure to work the cloth on areas where there is a concentration of mink oil. Doing so can help the leather fibers fully absorb the product. At the same time, you can effectively wipe off any excess oil.

If you are still not satisfied with the results, you can apply another coat of mink oil the next day.

How Often Should I Treat My Shoes With Mink Oil?

Unless your leather boots are dry and worn out, it is best to treat them only a number of times. I recommend applying mink oil on leather shoes a maximum of two times a week.

If you continuously use this product on leather boots, you can expect a build-up of moisture. This wetness can lead to rot in the leather, which eventually causes other problems down the line.  

Does Mink Oil Go Bad?

A tub of mink oil will not go bad as long as you store it in a cool and well-ventilated place. It can also last you for years to come if you keep it away from heat.

The reason behind its longevity lies in its fatty acids. Although mink oil is high in unsaturated fats, they are not as reactive to oxygen, unlike other animal fat or vegetable oil. In short, this product has greater oxidative stability to reduce the chance of getting rancid, especially when stored properly.

What Are Alternatives to Mink Oil?

Despite the effectiveness and popularity of mink oil, it is no longer the first choice of other individuals. That is because people are becoming more aware and conscious of the environmental impact of using animal-based products. Some might also feel uncomfortable buying mink oil because many countries have already banned outlaw fur farming.

Fortunately, there are several alternatives to mink oil.

Fiebing's 100% Pure Neatsfoot Oil

The first product is called neatsfoot oil. It comes from the rendered shin and feet bones of cattle. It is not free from its own environmental problems, but the cattle industry exists to meet the needs of the growing population. This is unlike the mink industry, which prevails to satisfy our own vanity. Overall, this all-natural oil conditioner can replenish the lost oils in leather boots.

Another great alternative to mink oil is a leather balm. Depending on the manufacturer, this product uses various ingredients. Make sure to use one that is free of petroleum, animal fats, and potentially toxic chemicals. It is also best to invest in a leather balm that is easy to apply by hand.

Finally, you can use leather conditioners that contain beeswax. This ingredient can effectively hydrate leather to heal cracks and restore elasticity. 


When you take proper care of your leather boots, they can protect your feet and ensure comfortable wear throughout the day. Hence, it is essential to treat your shoes regularly.

You can do this by using mink oil. Doing so can condition, preserve, and soften the leather material, among other advantages. Just make sure to apply what you have learned in this article about how to use mink oil on boots to enjoy its full benefits.