Leather shoes are an excellent investment as they can last for decades with proper care. However, over time leather will dry out and crack if not properly cared for. To soften your leather shoes, you need to apply coconut oil regularly. Coconut oil is a wonder ingredient with many uses, including moisturizing skin, soothing chapped lips, and healing diaper rash!
It also does wonders for leather by creating a protective barrier against the elements, lasting longer. In this article, I will discuss how to soften leather shoes with coconut oil. So let us get started.
A Detailed Stepwsie Guide on How to Soften Leather Shoes With Coconut Oil
Leather shoes that have been worn for a long time can become too stiff to wear comfortably. Luckily, this is an easy problem to solve with just a few items from around your home. By using coconut oil and a microwave, you can soften leather shoes quickly and easily. This is a good solution if you want to avoid buying shoe-softening products or taking your shoes to a cobbler.
Warning: Be sure the leather does not contain any metal before using the microwave softening leather shoes with coconut oil. Metal objects with the oil will create sparks as it heats up, leading to fire or injury.
Things You’ll Need
- Leather Shoes with Stiff Soles
- Coconut Oil
- Microwave Safe Container or Bowl
Fill a microwave-safe container or bowl with coconut oil. Use enough to cover the bottom of the container when melted completely. Make sure that you use something meant explicitly for melting in a microwave, such as a glass measuring cup. If your receptacle is not microwavable, it could explode while heated.
Place the leather shoes on top of some paper towels and position them so that the soles are facing up and that there is space between each shoe for the oil to spread around once melted. This will protect your table surfaces from any damage due to spilled oil.
Heat the oil in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir the oil using a spoon or other utensil so that it can melt evenly and continuously.
Continue to heat the oil in short bursts of 15 seconds until it is completely melted, stirring after each burst to avoid any hot spots, and everything melts as even as possible. If your container allows, you could also use a low setting on your stovetop to melt the oil instead of a microwave. However, this may take much longer due to the low wattage of most stovetops compared with microwaves.
If you find that there are still some solid pieces floating at the top when adding them back into the container from Step 3 above, place those pieces back into your microwave for another 30 seconds or until melted. It should then melt quickly into the mixture to create a smooth substance.
Place the shoes back on top of the paper towels, soles facing up so that any excess oil can drip out before it sets.
Move your shoes over so that they are no longer directly over the “puddle” of oil, being sure not to move them so far away that you cannot safely reach them with your hands. The idea is to give yourself some working room around them while still keeping them in an area where they won’t get spilled on if this happens.
Carefully pick up your bowl or measuring cup containing the melted coconut oil, being careful not to spill it, and being sure to grasp from the handle or from under the lip.
Pour your oil mixture into a safe receptacle, such as an old coffee cup or bowl, and place it somewhere you can safely reach it without spilling. This will be your “oil dipping stick” for the next part. If there is a lot of extra oil, pour this back into your original container so that you don’t waste anything.
Test the temperature of the leather shoe’s soles by placing one hand on each sole, making sure to keep all body parts away from any moving parts in your shoes. The soles should feel lukewarm but not hot when held at this point. If they are too hot, wait for them to cool down and test again after a few minutes.
Holding your oil dipping stick in one hand, dip it into the warm coconut oil, and then use the stick to pull apart and separate any pieces of leather that have stuck together. Continue doing this until you notice that the shoe’s soles are smooth once again.
Note:- The warmer your coconut oil, the easier this process will be. You can place your shoes back into the microwave for another 30 seconds if they start feeling stiff before finishing Step 10 above. It should not take long since they were just melted about 5 minutes prior. It is okay to repeat Steps 9 & 10 until finished, making sure to stir or reheat your oil each time so that it does not start cooling down.
Let your shoes dry for a few hours, being sure not to put them on before they have completely dried. The coconut oil will soak into the soles and leather, creating a waterproof barrier to protect against cracks and other damage caused by water.
Note:- Some people choose to also give their shoes a light coating of olive oil afterward for added protection from the elements. Follow Steps 1-3 above, using olive oil instead of coconut oil in your container, and then place them back inside your shoes after allowing the soles to dry as described above. Reshape your shoes if needed while still wearing them before removing the socks again and placing them flat on a towel overnight.
Repeat this process every four months, depending on how often your shoes are worn and their exposure to harsh elements. Also, consider repeating the coconut oil treatment before any extended period of not wearing your shoes, such as during the summer when you’re wearing sandals more frequently.
By following these steps, you should have a clear idea of how to soften leather shoes with coconut oil with a minimal amount of effort and fuss. You can then use this natural method each time you need to remove water stains from rubber soles, clean dead insects from suede uppers, or revive dry leather areas.