Can I Use Mink Oil on Suede Boots?

Unlike leather, suede is a very delicate and soft material. So, products that are used for the maintenance of leather boots aren’t the same for suedes.

Mink oil is a renowned product that cares for leather, giving it a conditioning effect as well as a weather coating!

But does mink oil work the same way for suede boots?

To find out the answer, I have treated my favorite pair of suede boots with mink oil and the result will blow your mind!

Want to know the outcome of my experiment?

Let’s delve deep…

Can I Use Mink Oil on Suede Boots

What is mink oil?

Mink oil is said to be obtained from the fatty tissues of mink, though very few commercial mink oil have original mink fat in it. It is actually made of a mixture of natural glycerides derived from carbon chain fatty acids.

Advantages of mink oil:

Mink oil has in it the very essential omega 7 fatty acid that is known to restore moisture to the surface. Besides restoring moisture, mink oil also conditions, softens and adds a water barrier to the surface.

Disadvantages of mink oil:

Mink oil gets absorbed into the pores of skin and hinders breathability of the material. It might even rot the material if the moisture retention is too much. Another factor is that mink oil usually darkens the leather of any surface wherein it is applied.

What is suede made of?

The main difference between suede and leather is that leather is made from the outer hard skin of sheep, goat, camel, etc. Suede on the other hand is made from the inner layers of the skin of these animals.

This suede has a more softer, pliable and delicate texture as compared to leather. Suede is also more hairy/furry than leather giving it the touch and feel of a soft fabric.

Can mink oil be applied on suede boots?

While you can use mink oil to condition your suede boots when they start to develop creases and appear too dull and dry, is it really safe to apply mink oil on suede?

To find out, I decided to apply mink oil on my light brown Chelsea suede boots:

My light brown Chelsea suede boots

How did I apply mink oil on my suede boots (the right way)?

Materials needed:

      • A suede brush
      • Mink oil
      • Microfiber cloth
      • Tissue paper

The process:

Step 1: The cleaning of the suede boots:

First of all make sure that your suede boots are clean because any dirt on the surface will get trapped in the pores once the mink oil is applied. So, I used the suede brush to gently remove the surface dirt and dust from the boots.

Cleaning of the suede boots

My boots weren’t too dirty and therefore there was no need for me to wash them. But if yours need a thorough cleaning with soap water, don’t hesitate to.

Step 2: The application of mink oil:

You have to be very mindful about the amount of mink oil you are applying on the suede. Too much of the product can damage the boots with excess trapped moisture. So, I decided to work in drops on small areas of the boots.

I took a drop of mink oil on the microfiber cloth and gently massaged it on a small surface of the boots until I finished doing the same with the entire boot. Taking a huge amount of oil at once and working it on the entire boot isn’t a good idea.

Step 3: Removal of the excess mink oil:

This is a very essential part and this is where most people go wrong. They think that after the application of the mink oil their job is done. No!

I then took a tissue paper and dabbed on the surface of the suede boot, again in small parts in order to soak in the excess oil in the tissue paper so that no oil gets into the pores of the suede and blocks the breathability of my boots.

Step 4: Polishing the suede boots:

Mink oil will somewhat make the appearance of the suede dull in the long run. So, it’s necessary to polish the suede. For this I again used the suede brush to gently brush the surface of the boots.

This helped me to gain shine on the suede as well as even out any patch wherever I had worked with the mink oil more than the other parts.

Step 5: Let the boots rest:

This is again a very crucial part of mink oil application. If you go straight outside after oiling your boots, your suede boots will catch more dirt and become dull and dusty.

So, I let my suede boots dry under the fan overnight and kept them in little sunlight for the next day. This made sure that my suede had no extra moisture trapped in its pores.

The end result:

My suede boots looked renewed with life, soft and gorgeous, but had turned my light brown suedes  a shade darker (which wasn’t looking that bad frankly speaking).

Did mink oil add water resistance capacity to my suede boots?

To test the water resistance capacity of mink oil, I took a leap of faith and stepped on a puddle of water. To my disappointment, my suede boots were wet instantly.

But did the water damage my suede boots?

No! Earlier water would harden my suede boots after drying. But this time this wasn’t the case. After my suede boots dried, they remained the same soft and smooth.

Did mink oil darken my suede boots?

Yes, it did but only to a shade darker. It’s nothing like turning a light colour to a dark colour.

Long term effect of applying mink oil on suede boots:

I actually enjoyed the effect that mink oil had on my suede boots and I started applying it quite too often.

After almost 6 months of mink oil application, my boots had become way too darker with excess moisture on the boots that had ultimately made the boots look dull and lost the feel of the soft suede hairs. 

How often should you apply mink oil on suede boots?

After my bad experience with the regular application of mink oil on my suede boots, I would say that do not apply more than twice every six months. (How Often Should You Apply Mink Oil to Leather Boots?)

Alternatives to mink oil for suede boots

1.) For water resistance:

2.) For minimising stains:

3.) For color protection:

Closing thoughts

When it comes to adding moisture to the dired boots, there’s no match for mink oil. 

But use sparingly and once a while in six months to keep your suede boots in the best conditions.

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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