Neatfoot oil is a popular product that is used to protect and condition leather. It is said to keep shoes looking new for longer, and some people even use them on furniture and car seats.
However, there are some downsides nobody is talking about. So in this article, I’m going to share with you 7 disadvantages to using neatfoot oil on leather.
1. Neatsfoot Oil Does Not Waterproof Leather
Leather is a natural material and as we all know, it is very porous. Because of this, it is often important to that the leather is waterproofed to keep it from absorbing liquids and becoming damaged.
There are several ways leather can be effectively waterproofed and while a lot of different oils are used for this purpose, neatfoot oil is not one of them.
In fact, neatfoot oil will actually have the opposite effect and make the leather less waterproof over time. So if you are using this product to protect your shoes or furniture from water damage, you’re doing it wrong.
There is a huge misconception out there that one can use neatsfoot oil to waterproof leather and this is in part not true.
Compared to other types of oil like mink oil, neatfoot oil is not a waterproofing agent, and so it will not protect your leather from water damage. In fact, it can actually make the leather more susceptible to different types of damage.
2. Neatsfoot Oil Can Cause Leather To Easily Attract Dust
Just like leather is porous, it can easily absorb oils and other materials. When you apply neatfoot oil to leather, the pores begin to open up and in turn suck up all of that neatsfoot oil.
This can be a good thing at first because the oil penetrates deep into the fibers of the material and conditions them.
However, it can also be bad if the leather continues to absorb more of the oil over time, which is something that often happens with neatfoot oil products.
The problem with this is twofold; firstly, it will make your leather look darker and discolored because of how much oil has been absorbed by the fibers in comparison to the surrounding areas.
Secondly, it will also make the leather more prone to attracting dust and dirt particles. So not only will your shoes or furniture look bad over time, but they’ll also be a lot harder to clean.
On top of that, the surface of the leather becomes tacky making it even harder to clean and maintain. This is because the oil attracts dust, dirt, and other particles that are floating around in the air.
3. Neatsfoot Oil Can Rot The Stitching On The Leather
One of the major downsides of using neatsfoot oil on leather is that it can rot the stitching. I found it very hard to believe this when I first found out about this but if you do some research, it is a common problem.
Leather is often stitched together in order to hold it together and give it strength. Over time, if this stitching is constantly exposed to neatsfoot oil, it will start to rot and eventually fall apart.
The oil weakens the thread that’s used to sew the leather together and over time, this can cause the stitching to come undone or even fall apart completely.
This is not only a cosmetic issue but it can also lead to further damage of the leather if left untreated. So if you’re using neatfoot oil frequently on your leather products, it is possible the neatsfoot oil will rot the stitches used to secure your leather item.
For example, threads made up of natural materials like cotton, linen, and hemp are especially vulnerable to rot when exposed to neatsfoot oil.
This is because the natural fibers in these threads break down over time when they’re constantly exposed to oils, which can eventually cause them to fall apart.
If you’re using neatfoot oil on leather products that have been stitched together, it’s best to avoid using this product altogether.
4. Neatsfoot Oil Can Significantly Darken Leather
As mentioned before, neatfoot oil tends to darken leather significantly and this is due to the fact that it penetrates deep into the fibers of the leather material.
When these fibers get saturated with neatsfoot oil, they darken in color, and over time, this can lead to your leather looking discolored or even stained if left untreated.
Neatfoot oil is great for conditioning leather but it can darken the color of your shoes, belts, or other accessories that you use it on.
If you want to avoid this problem altogether, there are other options available such as mink oil which will not darken leather in the same way neatsfoot does.
In addition to neatsfoot oil darkening your leather goods when you use it on them, it can also cause other forms of discolorations to your leather if it is made to saturate the leather.
This is because the oil becomes embedded in the fibers of the leather and over time, it can be very hard to get rid of this discoloration.
So if you’re not happy with how dark your leather has become after using neatfoot oil, then there’s not much that you can do about it.
5. Neatsfoot Oil Can Cause Leather To Crack Overtime
This will come as a surprise but neatfoot oil can also cause the leather to crack over time.
The oil weakens the fibers in the leather and over time, this can cause it to start to crack and even split.
This is mainly because neatsfoot oil oxidizes on the surface of leather when it is exposed to common oxygen, sunlight, or heat.
This oxidation process weakens the fibers in leather and can cause them to crack over time when they are constantly exposed to neatsfoot oil that has oxidized on their surface.
Once the fibers have been weakened by the oil, they are more prone to splitting and cracking when put under any kind of stress or pressure.
This also tends to happen a lot quicker in humid climates where the leather is constantly exposed to moisture.
If you live in a humid climate and use neatfoot oil on your leather products, it’s likely that they will start to crack over time.
Leather is a natural material and over time, it will start to show signs of wear and tear if not properly taken care of.
6. Neatsfoot Oil Puts Too Much Excess Shine On Leather
Most people love the natural matte feel and look of leather. Not everyone is a fan of the high shine look that some leather products have.
This is because the high glossy effect makes the leather seems artificial and some people find it unattractive.
Neatfoot oil can give your leather products a high glossy shine but this isn’t always the look that you want to achieve with every piece of leather that you own.
If this is the case, then neatfoot oil may not be for you because it tends to add too much excess shine to the leather.
If you’re not a fan of this shiny look, then neatfoot oil is definitely not for you because it will put too much excess shine on your leather goods.
This excessive shine can be very unflattering and it’s usually not the look that most people are going for when they use this product.
There are other products on the market that can give your leather a nice matte finish without making it look too dry or dull.
A good example is the Leather Honey Leather Conditioner. It goes on leather smoothly and leaves a nice natural matte finish that doesn’t look too dry or dull.
7. Neatsfoot Oil Turns Rancid On Leather
Last but not least, neatfoot oil turns rancid on leather and this isn’t good for your leather goods. Neatfoot oil is an animal-based product that comes from the hooves and bones of cows, pigs, or sheep.
This makes it prone to turning rancid over time when exposed to air because it contains natural fats and oils found in animal products.
Neatfoot oil turns rancid on leather over time and you should be careful when using it. This is because the oil can go bad with time and it’s not good for your leather goods to be exposed to rancid neatfoot oil.
The more often you use neatsfoot oil, the faster it will go bad and the more likely it is that your leather goods will be exposed to rancid oils.
This can cause damage to them over time so try not to use this product too often or you risk turning your leather products rancid with time!
Final Thoughts On Neatfoot Oil And Leather
Neatfoot oil is not necessarily bad for leather, but it can cause some problems if you use too much of it or use them too frequently.
I believe this article has shed light on the dark side of neatfoot oil nobody really talks about and I hope you take this information into consideration if you decide to use it in the future.
There are other leather conditioners on the market that don’t have these same problems, so I would recommend doing some further research first.
In conclusion, neatfoot oil can be a good product to use on your leather goods but there are some things you need to be aware of before using it.
Make sure you use it sparingly and only when necessary because too much oil can damage the leather over time. Thanks for reading!