A few of the most important purposes of using oil on leather are to lubricate the fibers of the leather as it is a biological animal product, to waterproof the leather, and to prevent dry rot.
Quick Comparison: Neatsfoot Oil Vs. Mink Oil
|#1. Neatsfoot Oil|
|Darkens leather color, conditions/preserves/softens||Cattle shin and foot bones|
|#2. Mink Oil|
|Waterproofing, preserves leather||Oil from mink pelts|
What is Neatsfoot oil made from?
Before comparing neatsfoot oil and mink oil, you might wonder about the name of neatsfoot and what it actually is.
While there are many kinds of neatsfoot, it comes from the shin and foot bones of cattle and sometimes horses. Neatsfoot is an old way to refer to cattle.
Today, it is said that neatsfoot is made from lard and that, even if there is bone material in it, it is kept to a minimum.
It’s yellow in color. It’s not made from animal fat, so you don’t have to worry about the sugar that breaks down the leather.
Prime Neatsfoot (or Neatsfoot compound) oil has additives from petroleum-based products, and it may hurt leather. Pure neatsfoot oil, although labeled as “pure” is still made from lard.
It resembles the original neatsfoot oil made from cattle bones, but it is not “pure” as you might think of it.
Another downside to some neatsfoot oils today is that they may contain vegetable oil, lanolin, glycerine, other kinds of products made from animals, or petroleum-based products, as mentioned previously.
Does neatsfoot oil waterproof leather?
Neatsfoot oil can rot stitching, some say, but it has also been said that modern stitching is synthetic and doesn’t rot. Neatsfoot is used to darken leather, but mink oil is used for waterproofing, not for changing the original color of your piece of leather.
What is mink oil made from?
Mink oil is made from the layer under mink pelts. Mink are small carnivores that live in and out of the water, and they live in North America and Eurasia.
They are widely prized for their brown. Fur trappers first understood that applying mink oil to leather boots made them more flexible and water resistant.
Will mink oil change the color of leather?
Never use mink oil or baby oil to treat any of your leather products. Mink oil and baby oil are made from animal fat, which has sugar. The sugar works directly against the flesh of the leather. It helps promote the breaking down of leather more than protecting it.
In conclusion, neatsfoot oil is best for darkening leather, but it is also good for conditioning, preserving, and softening leather. Mink oil doesn’t change the color of leather, but it is great for waterproofing.