There is a specific purpose for different kinds of oils, especially when it comes to leather oils. Leather boots are trendy at all times due to their unique and pragmatic structure. Even though these boots are built to take a hit, they will need proper maintenance for their extended usage.
Among all the other oils that can condition the leather, mink oil is the most effective. But is it as good as it seems? Read ahead and learn more about its origin, benefits, and application.
What is Mink Oil?
Mink oil is obtained by harvesting animal hides. When the fat layer is scrapped from the hide, the result is rendered and refined at a high temperature. It could range between 230-degrees F to 240-degrees F.
In other words, mink oil is manufactured by rendering mink fat removed from the pelts.
History of Mink Oil
Mink oil was a rare sight before 1945. After WWII, the demand for mink fur skyrocketed. Mink farming began, and this leads to a steady and constant supply of mink oil.
Initially, it was sold in different forms like eye shadow, soap, cream, etc.
Slowly and steadily, it was researched more, and its scope was elevated. They started using it in lipstick, hair products, and leather cleaning products.
As mink oil is animal-derived, it has multiple usages, like the following:
- Mink oil is used in the cosmetic industry. Several products have mink oil as a crucial ingredient.
- It is used to condition and treat leather. It softens the texture, masks the scratches and cracks, and keeps the leather look pristine.
- As it is an all-natural product, it is used in skincare products.
- It helps treat adult acne, eczema, dry and flaky skin, and several other skin conditions.
- Mink oil is used in shampoos and hair products to restore the hair’s shine and volume.
- Hand sanitizers use mink oil to get rid of germs and bacteria.
- Traces of mink oil are found in pet shampoo. It helps in keeping their coat shiny and clean. It also protects them from heat damage.
Therefore, there are several usages besides using mink oil on leather. As it is a multi-purposive oil, it is highly demanded worldwide.
Is Mink Oil Advantageous in Making Leather Boots Waterproof?
Besides making the leather look shiny, mink oil can also add a waterproof coating layer over your boots. As you might already know, leather cannot be 100% water-resistant. As it has porous construction, it absorbs moisture and hardens quickly. However, oiling your leather shoes with mink oil can make them waterproof.
How Does it Work?
Let us talk about science now. Water is a polar substance. On the other hand, oils are non-polar. As both are contradictory, they do not mix. Furthermore, this prevents the water from penetrating the fabric.
The application of mink oil can create a protective layer of coating that repels water and moisture. As it fills in the pores and cracks, your leather boots can withstand moisture for an extended period (with a continuous re-coating at regular intervals)
How Long Should you Use Mink Oil on your Boots?
Anything in excess can be harmful. Too much oil can deteriorate the leather’s texture.
The sensible and safe way out can be to use mink oil once in two weeks. You might feel the need to oil your boots after every use. But it is not healthy as it could damage the fabric.
Once you apply the oil, do not wear them immediately. Give them some time to dry. Twelves to thirteen hours would be appropriate.
Ensure that along with the frequency, a thin layer of mink should be applied. You need not get your shoes drenched with it.
Mink Oil vs Neatsfoot Oil
As mentioned earlier, there are several kinds of oil available for conditioning the leather besides mink oil. The foremost contender is neatsfoot oil. But, what is it?
Neatsfoot oil is obtained from the feet and shin bones of cattle. It is rendered and purified and converted into a yellow-colored oil.
The word “neat” is derived from an old English word for cattle. It has been around since the 18th century for medical purposes. Gradually, it was used as a softener and conditioner for leather material.
Despite the neatsfoot oil being made from hot-blooded animals, it retains its liquids form even at room temperature. Such a feature allows the oil to get absorbed quickly in the leather material. As it can oxidize, you might see discoloration on light-colored leather.
How is it Made?
Once the cattle are slaughtered, the skin, feet, and lower leg bones are separated and boiled. The oil obtained is filtered and pressed.
The first batch obtained is the highest graded oil. The quality reduces with every press.
Uses of Neatsfoot Oil
Besides being used on leather, neatsfoot oil has several usages, like the following:
- Neatsfoot oil is used in working equipment for smoother functioning.
- It is used in oiling the brushes.
- Moreover, it works as a lubricant for aluminum.
Whenever people choose between mink oil and neatsfoot oil, they go for neatsfoot oil only because of its less-cruel manufacturing methods. When it comes to functioning, both kinds of oil have the same or similar effect on the leather.
The only major drawback of neatsfoot oil is that it can darken the light-shaded leather. So you must steer clear of it if your shoes are light in the shade.
How to Make Leather Last Long?
Leather is a significant investment, and it is necessary to maintain the shoes to keep them in good condition for an extended period.
So, if you want your leather boots to last, adhere to the following tips:
Clean them Regularly
The first thing you must do for maintaining your leather shoes is by cleaning them regularly. You need to be careful while cleaning the boots not to get drenched in the process.
Remove the laces and wash them separately. Till they get dried, take a clean, dry cloth and wipe the shoes inside out. Clean the insoles, outsoles, and tongue. Once it is cleaned of the dirt particles and grime, prepare a mixture of water and soap. Dip a cloth in the solution and clean the shoes.
Use Stain Protector
Like all shoes, leather shoes are prone to straining. As stains can be long-lasting, it is necessary to coat the shoes with a stain-protector. It can protect the leather from turning brittle over time or due to exposure to moisture.
Water-proof the Shoes
Leather can be made to withstand moisture and exposure by spraying them with waterproof spray and coating. This will form a thin yet sturdy layer between the fabric and water, keeping the material dry and supple.
Oil and Condition
Leather can lose its suppleness over time. This can be restored by oiling and conditioning the shoes. It hydrates the leather and keeps the coat shiny and lustrous.
The bottom line
Mink oil is famous and advantageous for all the right reasons. So, the next time you are confused as to what kind of oil to take for your leather boots, choose mink oil. However, ensure that only a thin layer of it is applied to the shoes to prevent damage.
Mink Oil vs Leather Conditioner
Best Waterproof Work Boots in 2023
William has hands-on experiences with construction sites, and the hazards employees face while working. He has been a dedicated worker since 1995 and is currently looked up to by many of his subordinates for the work he has done throughout his tenure. He has passed several certifications regarding safety at the workplace, including OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Silica in Construction Certificate, and the National Association of Safety Professionals Certification.
He has ample experience in woodwork and welding and understands the importance of a tough work boot in dangerous occupational environments. His achievements, experience, and knowledge allow him to be an expert in the field of work boots. He selects and tries all the products that he reviews and presents to his readers. As per him, the safety of the boot is beyond the beauty of it. He carefully scrutinizes each aspect of work boots, including flex, laces, length, breathability, strength, and more.