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The Best DIY Leather Conditioners

diy leather conditioner

Owning a cool leather jacket or having leather incorporated into your lifestyle can be so much fun. Not to mention the grand impression that is made when you are seen in one of these amazingly stylish hides and skins.

However, what is most important for the longevity of leather and what most people find difficult to remember, is the maintenance of leather products which is sealed by leather conditioning. Also, there are different types of leather, each requiring different types of care and maintenance.

As the saying goes, ‘Prevention is better than cure.’ It’s also greatly applicable in maintaining leather products. Thus people usually ask, ‘what can I use as a leather conditioner to keep my jacket conditioned?’Especially leather jackets, where it’s a lot to do with how it’s stored and used.

Sure, the whole concept of leather conditioners is not unheard of by many but still, has far more people heading for their nearest cleaners to get the job done that can quite easily be carried out at home.

We at The Jacket Maker break down a few leather conditioners that you won’t believe are as simple and accessible as the products you already have existing in your kitchen. Let us be ready for a homemade leather conditioner. Without further ado, let us get on reading!.

Using Olive Oil: Mind over Myth and Reality

Using Olive Oil On Leather Is Controversial
Using Olive Oil On Leather Is Controversial

When talking about oil-based conditioners, you will find quite a bit of controversy especially involving olive oil. However, on the other hand, people call it one of the best leather conditioner alternatives.

Though many homemade leather conditioner recipes call for an amount of olive oil and vinegar, far many more professional cleaners ask to refrain from this oil simply because it causes more damage than good.

Lemon Oil / Coconut Oil As Leather Conditioner

On the bright side, using lemon oil or, better still, coconut oil would be so much better for your leather product and its endurance.

While lemons are known for their safety in practically every area of life, coconut oil is hypoallergenic, which means that it will not cause an allergic reaction and hence, will not spoil your leather. So, if you want to do a DIY leather conditioner, then lemon oil and coconut oil is for you. 

Lemon Essential Oil Is Used As Leather Conditioner
Lemon Essential Oil Is Used As Leather Conditioner

After your leather is cleaned, gently massage the surface with a cloth dipped in either lemon or coconut oil or even small quantities of both mixed together.

Another perk of using this duo is the fresh scent that it gives out when used and how it prevents any kind of cracking anywhere on the leather.

Awesome Alternative: Beeswax-Based Conditioner

Beeswax-based Leather Conditioners
Beeswax-based Leather Conditioners

Those looking for alternatives to the above can definitely try a beeswax-based leather conditioner that requires some preparation ahead of time but which is so worth it when results are revealed. It is a great leather conditioner substitute and keeps your leather jacket going for a long time. 

How To Apply

Step 1: All you have to do is combine beeswax with cocoa butter and almond oil in a saucepan, using a 1-1/2 ratio.

Step 2: On medium heat, allow the solid fats to melt into the oil, avoiding excessive heating, and after removing from the pan, allow it to cool, preferably for around thirty to forty minutes.

Step 3: By now, you should have a thick balm consistency that you can apply to your leather directly using your fingers. Rub it in and remove any residue that may be left behind with a soft cloth.

More Options:

Flaxseed Oil, Coconut Oil  & Petroleum Jelly
Flaxseed Oil, Coconut Oil & Petroleum Jelly

Flaxseed oil is another great option for those looking for alternative solutions to leather conditioning, as this, too, like coconut oil, is hypoallergenic, and so is the best natural leather conditioner.

Though coconut oil would be especially good for leather furniture, flaxseed oil can do the trick as well. Petroleum Jelly is a pretty well-known product, but did you know that this, too, can be used for conditioning leather?

Baby Soap Based Leather Conditioner

Baby Soap Based Leather Conditioner
Baby Soap Based Leather Conditioner

What can you use instead of leather conditioner? Well, when talking about very basic homemade leather conditioners made with soap, most options make bad choices.

However, natural baby soap is an exception. Mainly due to its mild and gentle properties and the lack of any color additives that may cause staining, this would be the easiest and safest go-to product that will pamper your leather to no end.

How To Apply

Step 1: To make your own baby soap-based leather conditioner, all you have to do is mix a quart of warm water with a tablespoon of soap and a few drops of vinegar.

Step 2: Dip a soft cloth into this solution and apply it to your leather surface. Be sure though, that you do not wet the surface but rather dampen it lightly. Let it air dry naturally and enjoy the results.

Pro Tip: Do Patch Test First

Patch Test Every Leather Conditioner To Prevent Damage
Patch Test Every Leather Conditioner To Prevent Damage

Regardless of whether you go for a homemade or store-bought leather conditioner, always start in a small area that is not in direct view but someplace away from your direct focal point.

Also, start in small portions and work your way through the entire surface once you are sure the chosen procedure benefits your leather in all the right ways. If you use homemade leather conditioner in the right way, then you can also make a DIY leather conditioner for leather shoes, one conditioner that fits all. 

FAQs –  DIY Leather Conditioner

What can I use instead of a leather conditioner?

You can use various oils such as coconut, lemon and baby oil. Not Olive oil as it can worsen the condition rather than preventing the damage. 

Can I use coconut oil as a leather conditioner?

Yes, you can always use coconut oil as the leather conditioner after cleaning your leather. 

Can you use olive oil to condition leather?

There are a whole lot of controversies involving olive oil and vinegar, but we personally suggest using coconut oil and lemon oil as alternatives, as olive oil does more damage than good. 

Is Vaseline good for leather?

Yes! The petroleum jelly softens the leather, hence preventing it from cracking.


We are very sure that you all must now be very well aware of what to use for leather conditioner. If you do not want to use an actual leather conditioner, you can do a leather conditioner DIY.

Doing a DIY will be fun; it will cut out the leather conditioner cost, and the best part is that you can make a home leather conditioner with the things that you have at home. Thus there is no running here and there to get the products. Cleaning with a DIY leather conditioner will make your leather last long as well as will make it feel supple. 

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Russ Nieland
Russ Nieland
April 19, 2021 4:17 pm

How about using almond oil, any problems there????
How much vinegar do you use with oils

To clean the back of collars of leather coats what is best together it back to its original color

November 16, 2021 9:43 am

Thank you so very much, I’ll do Vaseline or Coconut Oil.