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how to soften leather

How to Soften Leather? Tips and Techniques for a Supple Finish

Leather is one of the most luxurious and pious materials used for accessories. Whether it’s for men or women, leather is considered a fashionable choice in all parts of the world. However, over time, leather loses its flexibility if proper care is not provided. 

Leather is known to be extremely durable, and it saddens us when we see incredible leather goods going to waste simply because the owner didn’t take care of them. People wonder how to soften leather and use various methods that end up backfiring. You need to have proper information about leather before using any methods and chemicals on this material. If you are expecting longevity from your leather goods, read this blog to learn the right ways to soften your leather.

5 Methods to Soften Leather

You might think it is time to give up on this precious possession once you start seeing cracks on the surface, but that’s not always the case. It may seem unsalvageable right now, but there are ways you can bring life back into it. Following are some useful methods that we have tried and tested on different types of leather. You can surely soften your leather if you implement them.

Natural Oils

The first and most convenient thing you can use to have a soft leather wallet is natural oils. They are the best partner and ensure that no harm comes to your leather accessory. You can opt for coconut, jojoba, or avocado oil to achieve the desired softness. Here’s a step-by-step guide to applying natural oils for leather softening.

  • Expose your leather accessory to the sunlight before applying any oil. This is essential to help your leather absorb the oils more easily as it opens the pores.

  • Look for chemical-free oils; we recommend you choose oils that are derived from vegetables and corn because they have skin-softening properties.

  • For application, use your finger. Dip it into the oil and then gently rub it over your leather accessory from Obi Pelle. You can apply thick layers of oil, but make sure each layer dries before applying the next layer.

  • You will see the change after the first application, but if you are still unsatisfied with the outcome, you can repeat this process. Make sure you are applying the oil evenly on the leather because it can lead to discolouration. Natural oils not only soften your leather but also enriches the colour.

A Small Tip

Remember that natural oils can help in leather softening, but only if a proper procedure is followed. If you don’t follow these steps, you might not be able to witness a significant change. It is also important to first apply the oil to a small part of your men’s soft leather wallet. Rub it gently on the surface and see if it does any harm to the product. This is just a safety precaution to ensure you don’t end up ruining the entire product.


Leather is made from animal hide. We know that there is a huge range of faux leather available in the market, but we are strictly talking about real leather. Since it is made from animal hide, it reacts to things in a similar way as our own skin. Just like how we use products like moisturisers and oils to soften and brighten our skin, leather needs the same treatment. However, heat is something that is not used on the skin too often. It generally causes open pores, but in the case of leather, it can be used for softening. There are some things to be aware of before using these methods. Using too much heat can also become a problem for your leather accessories. Follow these techniques for better results.

Hair Dryer Method

Apply moisturiser on the surface of your leather bags, and then use a hair dryer. Keep a distance of at least 15 cm to avoid the direct contact of heat and the leather. Move the hair dryer back and forth, avoiding prolonged exposure to heat in one area. This way, you can soften and brighten your leather goods without damaging them.

Dryer Method

Another way to use heat for leather softening is using a garment dryer. Set the dryer to medium temperature and leave the leather goods in it for 10-15 minutes. Setting it at a high temperature can damage the material, so be cautious. 

Humidity Method

You can also use an organic heating method to soften leather, and that is to leave the bag in a humid and warm environment. What you can do is hang your leather goods in the bathroom away from the reach of the shower and then take a hot shower. It will absorb the heat naturally, avoiding excessive temperature. This can be helpful for both heating and moisturising. Once you are done, leave it there for some time and then take it out. Ensure that it doesn’t stay there for a prolonged time.


If you want to avoid exposing your leather goods to any harmful chemicals, using water might be the safest option for you. However, you first need to ensure that your leather is not treated with waterproofing agents for this method to work. Here’s how you should use water to soften your leather accessories.

  • Use a spray bottle, fill it with water, and tighten the gap to avoid any leaks. Spray the water evenly on your leather goods. We recommend you use distilled water instead of tap water. If you don’t have a spray bottle, a damp towel can do a good job as well.

  • Spray the water on the bag until you see water droplets forming on the surface. It is better to start from the top and slowly work your way down. Another thing you can do to make this method effective is carry your bag, allowing it to understand your body shape. You can also carry your bag outside when it’s drizzling, and your leather bag will absorb the moisture. However, standing out in the rain for a long time is not recommended. Using water for softening is quite risky as well because too much exposure to the water can also fasten the ageing process of leather, so be aware of these factors as well.

  • Once you have sprayed the water on the leather evenly, wipe off the excess water from the surface. Leave the remaining moisture to let it dry naturally in a cool and dry area. The remaining moisture will evaporate, and it is crucial not to leave any excessive water on the surface because it can lead to an undesirable appearance. Also, make sure that all the metal elements on your leather accessories are dried properly.

  • After the leather has dried, apply a high-quality conditioner to moisturise the material. Find a high-quality leather conditioner and make sure it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.

Vaseline and Alcohol

If you think the above-mentioned techniques are not going to work for you, here’s another one. Vaseline and alcohol can also be used to soften leather products.

We know you might be thinking, isn’t rubbing alcohol harmful for the leather? Yes, it is. But so is everything if you don’t apply it in the right way. Here’s the proper way to use alcohol and Vaseline to soften your leather goods.

  • Soak a cotton pad the size of a credit card in alcohol and gently rub it on the leather surface. Make sure that the application is even, and stop once you see a slight shine appear.

  • After applying alcohol, put a thin layer of Vaseline on the surface. If you think your leather product can absorb more moisture, you can apply multiple layers of Vaseline as well. This combination is helpful for softening leather, and you need to leave it overnight for desirable results.

Leather Conditioners

For more professional results, you can use leather conditioners to soften your leather goods. There are several good-quality conditioners available in the market, but this is where you need to be a little more cautious. Leather conditioners also have chemicals that might damage your leather goods. Hence, you need to gather knowledge before applying any conditioner to the material. Follow these steps for an accurate application.

  • Research about the best leather conditioners in the market. You should only invest in high-quality conditioners because this is not a risk worth taking. Some conditioners don’t make your leather accessories look greasy like oils, ensuring the quality and longevity of the material. You can also ask a professional leather cleaner to recommend you a good quality leather conditioner. They will know what will work best for your leather accessories.

  • Apply a small amount of conditioner on a clean cloth and rub it gently on the surface. It is vital to only use conditioners in small amounts because the excessive product can cause damage, even if it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.

  • Use broad and circular strokes to apply the conditioner gently on the leather surface. Make sure you cover all areas and spread it evenly for a subtle shine. Aim for a thin application and pay extra attention to the edges and corners. Avoid over-application of the conditioner because it can give an overly moisturised appearance to the leather product.

  • It is important to condition your leather goods regularly if this is the process you are choosing. Conditioning leather once a year is a must if you want your leather possession to serve you for a long time. Whether you get it professionally cleaned or clean it yourself, make sure the processes are seamless and effective. Everyone likes to carry a well-moisturised leather bag, and you will also love it.

Choosing the Best Remedies

The goal is to use a soft and moisturised leather product, and for that, you can use several techniques. We have mentioned some of them in this blog, and we can bet on these techniques because they have been tried and tested on different leather products. If you want a simple solution, you can just buy leather cleaning and moisturising products from the market and apply them to the product. However, be aware that these products may also contain harmful chemicals, so if you don’t have proper knowledge, home remedies might be a safer option.

Methods like using heat, water, and alcohol can also be damaging for the leather, but if you follow an effective guide, you won’t be facing any issues. We recommend you go through this guide and identify the best method for your leather goods according to your convenience.

What Stiffens the Leather?

There can be many reasons for stiffness in leather goods. But one reason that we have seen over and over again is the negligence of the owner. People don’t care for their leather accessories as well as they should. You cannot expect leather to be durable if you are not investing any effort to deserve that durability. Care for leather goods is essential for a long companionship, and it is lacking in most cases. Following are some things that you might be doing unintentionally, causing stiffness in your leather accessories.

  • Not storing them properly because excessive moisture or dryness can stiffen the leather. Try to store your leather goods in a box or a pillowcase, away from any damage.
  • Overstuffing your leather bag because you think it has an unlimited space. Well, we hate to break it to you, but it doesn’t. Try to keep the shape of your leather bag intact.
  • Neglecting the care to excessive use of the material in extreme environments. If you feel it is too hot, too dry, or too moist outside, don’t take your leather products out.


Once you start taking care of your leather goods, you won’t be faced with issues like leather stiffness. We hope that with this blog, we have answered all your questions related to how to soften leather. If you implement any of these techniques, we can assure you great results and a lifelong journey with soft leather accessories.

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