How to Soften Stiff Leather: 6 EASY Methods

How to Soften Stiff Leather: 6 EASY Methods


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Whether you're talking about a belt, a nice pair of shoes, a handbag, or a jacket, leather never goes out of style. Leather can be incorporated in numerous different styles and can always complement your outfit.

Yet, while leather positively offers a lot of fashion benefits, there's one big downside when leather is concerned. That is, when you first purchase a leather fashion item, it can have a hard feeling to it. Also, after a while, leather can likewise become kind of hard and stiff.

Luckily for you, there are several ways to soften leather a bit. If you're interested, keep reading t find out the 6 easiest ways to soften stiff leather!

1. Alcohol

alcohol for soften stiff leather

First and foremost, alcohol can do the trick when it comes to softening leather. Specifically, you don't need alcohol like vodka or tequila, but you will need to use alcohol for domestic use. That is to say, alcohol for domestic use doesn't only prove to be very beneficial when it comes to cleaning, but it also is very favorable as regards making leather soft.

Now, to correctly apply this first method, you will first need to grab a clean tissue. Nevertheless, a clean cloth or rag will also suffice. Then, take the tissue and sprinkle a few drops of the alcohol onto the tissue.

As a final step, you can take the alcohol-infused tissue and gently rub it onto the leather item you want to soften. Now, all that's left to do is wait until the alcohol has done its work to soften the leather!

2. Water and Oil

water and oil for soften stiff leather

Secondly, when leather has a stiff feeling to it, this often means that you have the hydrate the leather to make sure that it's less dry. With this simple rule of thumb in the back of your mind, you'll notice that you will already be off to a great start.

Hence, if you're dealing with stiff leather, you should try applying some cold water to it. You can do so with a wet cloth, but if you're looking for a more advanced way, you can also fill a spray bottle with some water.

A little disclaimer in this regard though is that while this easy method works great with most types of leather, this won't work with watertight leather since the water will just roll off the leather if that's the case. Also, try using distilled water to the extent possible since limescale has a detrimental effect on leather.

In addition to applying water to stiff leather, there's something else you can do according to this second method and that's adding oil. Accordingly, you could use a specific leather oil, but there are other options such as coconut oil and olive oil as well. Yet, if you can, go for the specific leather oil since this is the best option on a long-term basis.

Whichever kind of oil you opt for, you can just apply it to a clean cloth. Then, apply a thin layer of the oil onto the leather that you're trying to soften. This method can be used to soften leather when it's already stiff, but it's generally recommended to apply oil to your leather regularly for the purpose of good care and maintenance.

3. Leather Maintenance Product

leather maintenance product for soften stiff leather

In general, it's always recommended to invest in a good-quality leather maintenance product if you're a big fan of leather fashion items. Such maintenance products are designed based on essential oils that can do wonders for your leather item.

That is to say, these products can not only significantly soften leather, but they offer many more advantages. Concretely, they can make sure that your leather items become more durable, and also, you can be guaranteed that they won't negatively impact the appearance or quality of the leather.

To use leather maintenance products, you will only need a small amount. Hence, apply a small dose of the product to a clean cloth and gently rub it on the stiff leather. Just one layer of the product will suffice so you mustn't go overboard with it. Otherwise, the leather will appear wet or glassy

4. Using Heat

use heat to soften stiff leather

Another method that's very straightforward and not at all challenging when it comes to softening leather, is using heat. Particularly, warm air can be precisely what you need to get rid of stiff leather. As regards this method, there are countless directions you can go in.

For instance, you could try using a hairdryer to blow some warm air onto stiff leather. The warm air will ensure that the stiff leather will become soft again and also, it will make the leather more flexible, which is always something to strive for.

Another method includes using a tumble dryer. For example, if you have purchased a leather jacket that is relatively stiff still, you can just put it in the tumble dryer for a while at a medium temperature. This will ensure that the moisture in the leather will evaporate a bit and ultimately, this will make the leather soft in only a slight matter of time. However, this method also can be beneficial as regards old, vintage leather.

5. Alum stone/Vaseline

use Vaseline to soften stiff leather

Moreover, this method proves that you don't always necessarily have to bring special products into your home to soften stiff leather. It's quite the contrary since there are simple products such as Vaseline and alum stone that can already get you quite far.

For instance, using alum stone is great when you're dealing with leather that is not quite soft enough to be comfortable. So, you can just look for any stiff patches on your leather, and then, you can simply rub the alum stone on those patches. This is a method that has proven to be very successful to soften the most rigid edges.

When it comes to using Vaseline, this is a proven method as well. It works best when you combine it with another method such as using alcohol for domestic use, but it also works great on its own. Less abstractly, Vaseline is great to speed up the process of softening leather so that's definitely something to keep in the back of your mind!

6. The Old Fashioned Way

let time do it to soften stiff leather

The Old Fashioned Way: Letting Time Do Its Thing

Last, but certainly not least, it's time to discuss the easiest method to soften leather of them all. That is, you can just use the old-fashioned way of letting time do its thing. As mentioned before, a leather jacket or leather shoes are often stiff when you first purchase these fashion items.

Over the course of time, the leather will become softer on its own. Hence, if you start wearing your leather jackets, shoes, belts, and handbags more often, the chances are extremely high that your problem will fade very quickly.

However, if this doesn't happen fast enough for you, there are some ways you can speed up the process. For example, you can crumple up some newspapers and spray some water on them.

Then, you can put it in your leather shoes, in your leather handbag, or in the sleeves of your leather jacket, for example. Leave this overnight or even longer and this will really contribute to your goal of making sure that your leather items become less stiff!

Does hard leather soften over time?

soften stiff leather

The quick answer is no. If leather is not properly maintained, it might grow rigid over time. You should prevent this from happening since it makes it less cozy and more prone to cracking. Learn how to soften the leather by reading on.

One of the world's most fashionable and adaptable materials is leather. It has specific unique properties because it is produced from animal hide and not a synthetic or man-made substance. The inherent texture and suppleness of leather improve the wearer's attractiveness.

Most varieties of leather frequently stiffen over time. It takes time for this to happen; months or even years of use may cause the fabric to harden to the point where it is no longer wearable.

Does Vaseline soften leather?

can vaseline soften leather

Petroleum jelly softens and shields leather from splitting, drying out and reduces stiffness as a leather conditioner. This will work great on leather and patent leather shoes, jackets, bags, purses, belts, and watch straps, among other items.

To seal the leather, smear it with Vaseline. If you think the leather can absorb more moisture, think about adding a second or third layer. Let the leather dry overnight before using it so that the Vaseline can enter and soften it.

Pro’s of using vaseline

Vaseline Can Remove Scratches

Petroleum jelly can be used to cure tiny tears, scuffs, and scratches on leather, which is the first benefit I'll mention.

Even though many of the leather products you'll find on the market now have some kind of surface protection (to make it resistant to scuffs, stains, and water), leather will still sustain a fair bit of wear.

Vaseline or any other petroleum jelly product, when used, can quickly make tiny tears, scratches, and other wear-and-tear effects disappear from everyday use.

Enhances the Leather's Color

Additionally, applying petroleum jelly to your leather items might help them regain their original, rich natural color.

Generally speaking, leather loses part of its color depth after some use and exposure to the environment. Even if it has not been exposed to sunlight, it will frequently appear dull and faded.

But applying petroleum jelly is a terrific way to restore your leather's color to that deep, opulent appearance that we all associate with pure natural leather products.

Patent leather can be made shiny with Vaseline

On items made of patent leather, Vaseline works wonders. The surface of patent leather is often produced with a high gloss.

Vaseline can be pretty beneficial in restoring the shine to patent leather when it starts to dull from time to time.

Your patent leather items won't just have a great sheen thanks to Vaseline; it can also aid in softening the leather and make it much easier to work with.

For interim use, you can also use petroleum jelly. In less than a minute, you may give your leather goods a shining appearance.

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