Can Vaseline be used to Protect Leather Work Boots?

Who doesn’t know about the petroleum jelly? This well known product is very famous all over the world and has earned itself a reputation as a versatile product which offers moisturizing and protective benefits.

While we trust vaseline with our skin so much, can we put the same amount of trust in vaseline when it comes to protecting our leather boots?

Vaseline is a solid product for your leather work boots. The formula of petroleum jelly not only softens the leather but also prevents it from cracking. Not only this, Vaseline is also great in making your boots waterproof and removing scuffs and scratches. The petroleum derivatives of vaseline even enhance the colour of your leather work boots thus making them last a little longer.

Can Vaseline be used to Protect Leather Work Boots

Let’s have a look at some of the benefits and harms of using vaseline on your leather work boots and the method of its application. 

Pros of using vaseline on leather work boots

Here are some of the advantages of using vaseline on leather work boots

1. Petroleum Jelly aids in removing scratches

This wonderful formula is able to treat scratches, scuffs and other small tears within a short span. It is capable of reaching the fibres of leather and rejuvenating them so as to enhance the appearance of your leather work boot.

2. It makes leather soft and Supple

Next advantage of using petroleum jelly is that it makes leather soft and supple. This material contains natural oils which automatically lubricate the fibre but many a times these essential oils are lost with constant use and exposure to weather. But all thanks to this vaseline, the softness is restored because of the oils present in it.

3. Vaseline helps in enhancing the color of the leather

If you want the colour of your leather boots just the way it was when you bought them then vaseline is really a great option.

While leather loses some of its colour richness after it has seen a bit of exposure to outdoor elements, petroleum jelly brings back the rich luxurious look.

4. It is great for Oil Tanned Leathers

Vaseline treats the oil tanned leather very well. This is because the process of oil tanning generally goes well with all the forms of oil tanning.

5. Vaseline has got cleaning properties

The constituents of vaseline indeed have some cleaning properties which can help in getting rid of stubborn stains.

One of its components, petroleum distillates helps in removing tough stains or organic compounds like grease, oil or tar.

It can enter the tiny spaces in leather and can clean them very well. Vaseline is also great in cleaning the pores on leather.

Cons of using vaseline on leather work boots

Everything has got a good side and a bad. Now that we have seen the pros of using vaseline on your leather work boots, let’s have a look at the cons of vaseline on leather.

1. Petroleum Jelly can break down the tensile strength of leather

If you are going to apply too much vaseline on your work boots then chances are that it can allow the fibres or cells of leather to expand or swell. This can subsequently result in your boots losing their tensile strength and start showing cracks.

2. Requires constant application

While the experts advise you to condition twice or thrice a year, the problem with petroleum jelly is you need to constantly apply it on your boots.

Why? This is because petroleum jelly when applied, will almost immediately melt at room temperature and doesn’t stay within the fibres for a very long time.

If you are thinking of constantly applying vaseline then let me warn you because in some instances, it can result in making the leather boots lose their shape or form.

3. Vaseline can promote rot on leather

While this statement might not be correct for all kinds of leather, we have seen a lot of users complaining about this awful experience at some point. Other than that, petroleum jelly can also cause the breakage of stitching of leather boots.

Can you use Vaseline to waterproof boots?

Vaseline can definitely waterproof the leather but for a short period of time. If you’ll apply it around the stitches then it will help keep water from seeping through the stitching.

However, this waterproofing is temporary. For making your boots waterproof using leather boots just follow these simple steps:

1.) Take your leather boots and clean them using a soft, bristle brush in order to remove the dirt especially around the seams.

2.) Now rub 1tbsp. Of Vaseline into the leather of the boot using your finger, soft cotton rag or a paper towel. Rub it in a circular motion.

3.) Once you have applied, wipe the excess of vaseline from your boots using a clean cotton cloth or paper towel.

4.) If you wish to give your leather a shine then buff it, again by using a clean cotton cloth.

Tips to apply vaseline on your work boot?

Here are some essential tips which you must keep in mind before applying petroleum jelly on leather boots:

→ For the best results, always clean the surface of the leather with water mixed with mild soap.

→ Always use a clean, lint free cloth to apply the petroleum jelly on your leather work boots.

→ Always apply a generous amount of vaseline and allow it to sink deep into the pores of the leather with the help of a hair dryer. By doing this, you can help soften the leather and can even make it shiny and waterproof.

→ Don’t forget to buff off any excess petroleum jelly residue from the leather surface.

→ After you have applied vaseline over the boots, don’t wear them immediately but wait for an hour to let it dry.

Final Verdict

Vaseline is something we all trust and when it comes to leather it shows the same results, it is quite evident from this article. While there are some key disadvantages of the product, the advantages seem to outnumber them.

But at the end of the day, it only matters if it matters to you. So, will you trust vaseline with your precious leather boots?

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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