Can I Use Mink Oil on Colored Boots?

Can I Use Mink Oil on Colored BootsMaintaining one’s boots is something all of us want to do. However, some people might not know that their boots, especially leather ones, need conditioning. You might not know either that you can retrieve this glowing spark of new leather boots. The key to all of this is mink oil.

Mink oil is famous among leather workers and cobblers. Today, you can find mink oil as a processed product under different brand names. Also, it is used as an ingredient in many boot oils, creams, and polishes.

If you are going to use mink oil on your colored boots, be careful as it might darken the leather color a degree or more. Also, the regular application of mink oil darkens it more and more. However, it doesn’t rot the leather or cause any damage. Therefore, if you care more about the color, mink oil won’t be the best option.

So, Why Mink Oil for Leather Boots?

First, let’s begin with the origin and formula of mink oil. As its name suggests, mink oil comes from mink. Particularly, from the abdomens pelt fat that will be used later for the fur industry.

The reason behind choosing mink oil over other animals is that it has a high percentage of unsaturated fats. Further, the stability of these fats is higher than any other oil.

When applying mink oil on leather boots, it blocks the pores. So, the boots become water-resistant. Since it is composed of unsaturated fats, it will last for a long time on your boots. Also, it generally has longer shelf life than other similar oils.

If you are going to buy any branded mink oil, you will find other ingredients within. Typically, these ingredients include silicone, lanolin, oxygen, and other elements. Other products come without silicone and different percentages of mink oil. These are to minimize the proofing effects of mink oil.

The advantages of mink oil are not limited to waterproofing only. Yet, it can create a layer a protective layer on the boots against different weather conditions. Besides, it protects the leather from various stains. Not to forget its natural conditioning feature which also softens hard leather.

Thus, using mink oil for leather boots is similar to applying nutritious elements to your skin or hair. Moreover, mink oil serves as a protectant for the boots too.

See also: Is Mink Oil Good for Leather Work Boots?

How Does Mink Oil Work on Leather?

Mink oil has a high penetration effect. It penetrates the leather deeply and blocks the pores. Thus, creating a layer resistant to any weather conditions. However, it is also a good absorbed oil. So, it acts as a conditioner too.

Yet, there is a problem that comes with these advantages. This is darkening the leather tone a bit whenever you apply it.

So, mink oil is often used for working boots and shoes where color is not an issue. But changing the color doesn’t mean it damaged the leather itself. Instead, the leather is conditioned and becomes resistant but with a slightly darker tone.

An alternative to mink oil is other leather conditioners with ingredients like coconut or vegetable oil. Yet, these alternatives will only condition the leather. They will not offer any protection to the boots like mink oil.

Other products use a mixture of mink oil and beeswax which both have protective features. Yet, beeswax has a lesser effect on the leather color. So, mixing both ingredients is a good option to protect the boots and don’t change the color that much.

See also: 7 Simple Steps to Clean Your Leather Boots with Mink Oil

How Often Should I Apply Mink Oil?

Depending on the purpose of applying mink oil, the period is determined. If it is just about conditioning the boots, you can use mink oil every two weeks. However, you should know that you are going to remove excess oil after a maximum of 1 hour from the application.

On the other hand, if you need this protective coat, apply it a maximum of twice a year. For this method, you need to remove excess oil after a longer period so the boots can absorb most of the oil. However, you shouldn’t overdo it as the accumulation of oil may lead to leather rottenness.

New boots don’t need any mink oil application. This is because they already have their conditioners and shine. So, don’t start using mink oil until you feel the boots already lost their shin and became stiff.

See also: How Often Should You Apply Mink Oil to Leather Boots? 

How to Apply Mink Oil on Leather Boots?

First of all, determine your purpose of applying mink oil on the boots. Whether it is for conditioning or protection as each purpose has a different way of application.

Second, make sure the boots are clean and there is no grease or any other dirt on the boots.

Third, use a wet piece of cloth to extremely clean the boots. After that, leave them a proper time to dry. Preferably leave them a whole night but don’t expose them to dirt again for the whole night.

Applying Mink Oil To Leather Boots

Forth, use a smooth brush to apply the oil to the boots. Apply more than one layer to make sure every small section of the boots has oil on it.

Fifth, this is the most critical step. If you want a protective layer for your boots, leave them to dry for a night then clean them off with a cloth.

Alternatively, if you want a nutritious layer, leave it for 1 or 2 hours only. Then, wipe off the excess oil using a dry clean piece of cloth. Also, you need to redo the same steps after 2 weeks to avoid its oxidation.

Finally, you may add another polish to the boots to give an extra shiny layer to make them look like new ones.


A rule of thumb, don’t apply mink oil on light-colored boots if you want to retain the color. Also, never leave mink oil for more than a day without removing excess oil as it may result in a bad smell. Also, it may harden the leather which completely the opposite of what you want.

In brief, if you just want to condition your boots without any changes to the color, use other conditions rather than mink oil. On the other hand, if you need to protect your boots, you should get a product that contains mink oil.

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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