Does Neatsfoot Oil Hurt Waterproof Boots?

While some oils are used to condition and waterproof leather boots like mink oil for example, however this is not the case with Neatsfoot oil.

In fact, you will be surprised to learn that Neatsfoot oil works just the opposite for waterproof leather boots! That is, it will damage the waterproof coating on the leather over time and make its water repellency weaker.

There are many positive sides to using Neatsfoot oil on leather boots, but in this article I will discuss what worse can Neatsfoot oil do for your leather waterproof boots.

Does Neatsfoot Oil Hurt Waterproof Boots

What is Neatsfoot oil good for?

Before going to the downsides of Neatsfoot oil, let’s also appreciate the good things that Neatsfoot oil does for our leather boots:

Neatsfoot oil is an excellent conditioning agent and helps to soften and revive old, dull looking lifeless leather boots. It also helps to preserve the leather for the long term.

But, be judicious in the amount of Neatsfoot oil you are using on your leather boots because too much oil can be bad for your leather and I will detail about that in the section below. 

Side effects of using Neatsfoot oil on waterproof leather boots:

Too much of Neatsfoot oil and Neatsfoot oil on wrong types of boots can cause the following harm to your boots:

1.) Neatsfoot oil will darken your leather boots because it has a natural tendency to oxidise

2.) Neatsfoot oil is yellow in colour and so it can stain your boots if used in excess quantity

3.) It can get absorbed in the pores of the leather and clog them, making the leather lose its breathability

4.) Neatsfoot oil is also known to rot the stitching if the threads of the welt are made of cotton or any other natural fabric. However synthetic threads like nylon will remain unaffected by Neatsfoot oil application

5.) Neatsfoot oil does not have any water retention capacity

6.) Too much of Neatsfoot oil can make the leather greasy and make it attract more dirt

Is Neatsfoot oil bad for waterproof boots?

Unlike mink oil, Neatsfoot oil is not at all good for waterproofing. In fact, it will do more harm than good to your waterproof boots.

The reason is that leather is porous in nature and Neatsfoot oil gets absorbed in the pores of the leather and clogs it.

Regular application of Neatsfoot oil will wet the leather from inside and make it lose its water repellency. Rubbing Neatsfoot oil will remove the water resistant coating on the boots and make it more prone to absorbing water.

How to use Neatsfoot oil on waterproof boots?

So, if you want to use Neatsfoot oil for your waterproof boots, you should learn the right steps so that the waterproof coating remains intact:

Step 1: Clean the boots:

The very step of treating your boots with any product is to clean them thoroughly so that there is no trace of any dirt on the boots or else the dirt will get absorbed into the boots and damage them earlier.

First of all clean them with a horsehair brush to get rid of the surface dirt. Use a toothbrush to rub the welt area and the heels and the soles.

Step 2: Wash them if needed:

If your boots have developed stains and grease, it’s better to wash them with soap-water solution using a toothbrush. Remember to clean the boots with fresh clean water after this.

Step 3: Dry them:

Once you have washed your boots, do not directly apply any product on the wet boots, first of all make sure that they are completely dry for the next steps. You can use sunlight, a fan or a boot dryer for this.

Step 4: Apply Neatsfoot oil:

Apply Neatsfoot oil using your finger tips in small circular motions all over the boots. Remember to take only a few drops of the oil.

You don’t need to soak in the boots in the oil. Massage nicely for a few minutes and leave in for 10 minutes to allow the Neatsfoot oil work on your boots.

Step 5: Remove the excess oil:

Using a tissue paper dab on the boots to get rid of the excess oil. Because if too much oil stays on the boots, then it will first of all rot the stitching s and then damage the boots over time too.

Step 6: Apply the waterproof coating:

This is the main step to preserve your waterproof boots. Once you are done with the conditioning part, apply a waterproofing spray or a wax based waterproof coating to seal the boots from any weather elements.

Alternative to Neatsfoot oil for waterproof boots:

While Neatsfoot oil will work adversely for waterproof boots, mink oil on the other hand is known to help your boots gain the water repellency. Mink oil creates a waterproofing effect on the leather, thus making it apt for waterproof boots.

That’s all folks!

All in all, Neatsfoot will not help you with waterproofing. So even if you want to condition your waterproof boots with Neatsfoot oil, do not forget to apply the waterproofing coating afterwards!

That’s all for this post! 

Hope you enjoyed reading with me and if so, do stay tuned to the site for more such exciting tips and tricks.

Till then…..

Take care and have a great day ahead!

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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