Using Mink Oil for Leather Boots [Buyer’s Guide & Care Guide]

It’s no secret:

Leather is a popular material used in all kinds of items that are made to last.

Although it will depend on how frequently they are used, it’s common for boots made of leather to say with you well over a lifetime if they are properly maintained.

“How can I make my leather last a lifetime,” you may ask?

Read on and find out.

In a hurry to grab some? Check out these great selections over on Amazon:

Maintaining your leather boots – General Info

When it comes to properly maintaining your leather boots, there are several ways to do it. Some popular methods of taking care of your leather boots include:

Polish: Polish typically does not provide protection against the elements. Instead, it typically brings out the shine in a product, making it more pleasing to the eye. However, some polishes do have moisturizing properties, so your mileage may vary.

Conditioner: Conditioner is an important part of leather care. Conditioners are like lotion and are rubbed into the skin of the leather to moisturize it so it doesn’t get dry and brittle.

Waterproofing: Waterproofing leather provides a coating that will help to repel water or snow for a certain length of time.

Damp Rag: Using a damp rag is the tried and true method of wiping leather down to get rid of dust and dirt. This will help increase the longevity of your leather significantly.

And when it comes to taking care of your boots, some products work better than others.

Let’s take a look at one amazing product – Mink Oil!

Using mink oil for leather boots

What is Mink Oil?

Did you know that minks are the only animals in the world that do not suffer from any kind of skin disease?

It’s no wonder that they have been the focus of scientists across several different industries for years.

Mink oil is a type of conditioner that is extremely effective at keeping leather supple and moisturized.

The secret behind the amazing moisturizing properties of mink oil lies within the layers of white fat found under the coat of the mink.

This substance is called sebum and is the closest to that of humans. In addition, only about 3-10 grams can be gained per mink, making it a rare resource!

Mink oil is a safe, natural option for conditioning your leather goods.

The sebum within mink oil allows the oil to be absorbed rapidly through the pores instead of through the epidermis, meaning it begins moisturizing immediately after being applied.

Caring for your leather boots using mink oil

Care Guide – How to use Mink Oil on your Leather Boots

When moisturizing your leather boots, there a few simple steps to take:

  • Wipe your leather boots down thoroughly with a dry cloth. You want to make sure there are no dirt or debris particles in the way to prevent the mink oil from absorbing into the leather.
  • Warm your leather boots. A hair dryer will work quite nicely. This helps the oil absorb into the material more easily.
  • Heat up your mink oil and apply to a cloth or sponge.
  • Using your cloth or sponge, begin to gently wipe down the corners of your boots until it starts absorbing into the leather.
  • Afterward, proceed to wipe your boots down, one section at a time, until the entirety of the leather is covered in oil.
  • If any oil got onto your laces, soles, or eyelet, wipe them down thoroughly.
  • Let it dry for the rest of the night. If you’re not happy with your results, you can apply another coat the next day.

As you can see, using mink oil is simple, yet effective.

If you have any further questions about using mink oil on your leather boots, read on to check out our FAQ!

Caring for your leather boots properly

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you know what mink oil is and how to apply it, take a look at some of our frequently asked questions:

Will using mink oil on my boots cause discoloration?

Mink oil tends to darken leather with time, so it is best to use with leathers that are already dark.

What kinds of leather can mink oil be used on?

Mink oil can be used on most kinds of leather, including oil tanned, full grain, and smooth finished leather. The only leather that we don’t recommend using with it is suede.

Is mink oil also a waterproofer?

Mink oil is a great choice as a water-resistant conditioner because it will keep out the majority of the elements while still allowing your boot to breathe and get the air it needs to stay in optimal shape.

However, mink oil will not completely seal out water, especially if you are submerging your boot.

How long has mink oil been used?

Mink oil has been around for over a hundred years when fur trapping Indians figured out that the white fat under the pelt of the mink seemed to soften their hands.

Later on, on ranches where minks were raised for their fur, workers discovered that the fat under the pelt melted into an oil that significantly softened their rough hands. This led to further research into the moisturizing effects of mink oil.

How long will mink oil last?

Although it depends on the container, the general rule of thumb is that mink oil is good for up to two years after being opened.

Where does mink oil come from?

Mink oil is taken from the subcutaneous fatty layer of the skin from minks raised for commercial use on Mink farms.

How often should I treat my shoes?

How often you should treat your shoes depends on a variety of factors including the weather when you wear them, how often you wear them, what else you are doing to care for your shoes, etc.

However, a good general rule of thumb is 3-4 times a year if you wear your shoes often.


When it comes to keeping your leather boots soft and supple, mink oil is one of the best conditioning options around.

Due to their compatibility with most leathers and popularity within the leather community, it’s easy to find mink oil and applying it is a breeze.

Do you use mink oil on your leather boots? Leave a comment below and tell us about it!

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