Is Olive Oil Good for Leather? Everything You Need to Know

You might have heard that many people treat leather products with olive oil. On the other hand, others say it is a bad idea. I was really confused, and I was wondering if olive oil is actually good for leather. So, I did some digging and also applied olive oil on a leather surface. Let’s see what I have found!

Is Olive Oil Good for Leather? Olive oil is considered a good leather conditioner by some people because of the short-term benefits it provides. However, in the long run, olive oil can develop oil patches on the surfaces. It will eventually harden your leather in the long run. 

As you can tell, you can get some benefits by applying olive oil on leather. The leather surface will look better, and it will moisturize and replenish oil content. But after a while you will notice oil patches and it will begin to attract a lot of dirt. In this article I will discuss everything you need to know on this confusing topic. So, keep reading!

Why is Olive Oil Bad for Leather?

Olive oil is bad for leather for several reasons, such as:

  • Leaves oil spots
  • Hardens leather
  • Attracts dirt
  • Emits salad-like smell
  • Makes existing stains permanent

You know that leather surfaces are highly permeable, which allows them to soak up oils and water quickly.

On the other hand, olive oil is a fatty acid with anti-oxidative properties. It makes your leather look good in the short term, but your leather will not receive any nourishment in the long run, as any dedicated leather conditioner would provide.

Even if you apply olive oil properly and spread the oil thoroughly, you might notice oil spots here and there. After a few days as it will begin to resurface at different places of the leather surface.

Initially, olive oil might seem like a good conditioner, but after a few days, besides oil spots, you will notice that the surface of the leather has become hard as the surface will be oxidized slowly by the oil.

Also, if your leather is saturated with olive oil, it will emit a salad-like odor after a few days.

Will Olive Oil Darken Leather?

Olive oil will not darken leather like the neatsfoot oil compounds or mink oil unless you put too much oil on it.

I have tested olive oil on leather in the past. It did not cause any darkening of leather as I have applied it properly with caution.

So, if you have applied olive oil on any leather material to moisturize it, then you don’t have to worry about darkening the leather.

But as I have noted earlier, there are other risks that you should be aware of. Before diving into that, let’s discuss how to apply olive oil on leather. If you still want to use olive oil to condition your leather products, shall we?

How to Condition Leather with Olive oil?

You can condition leather with olive oil in the short term easily. Using the following steps:

  1. First, clean the leather surface properly with a dedicated leather cleaner to remove existing dirt and stains.
  2. Then, let it dry. After it is completely dry, pour a little amount of olive oil on the leather surface, which needs to be conditioned.
  3. After that, take a soft rag and wipe the olive oil on the leather as long as the oil spreads evenly on the overall surface. 
  4. Pour more oil if you could not cover the entire surface and keep wiping.
  5. As soon as the whole surface is done conditioning properly and the oil is spread evenly, take another cloth and wipe off excess oils.

Does Olive Oil Destroy Leather?

It is very easy to go wrong with oils on the leather. If you do not apply oil properly or apply the wrong type of oil, it can damage your leather. Mink oils and olive oil are not good for the nourishment of any leather material.

Olive oil will accelerate the deterioration of leather as leather is highly permeable, and it will be easily saturated with oil. Ultimately the leather will be oxidized by the oil, and it will become hard. Hardening will eventually cause cracks and peels on the leather, and thus your leather will get destroyed.

Can You Use Olive Oil to Treat Leather?

You can’t use olive oil to treat leather as does not provide any nourishment for leather. Moreover, it destroys your leather after a certain period of time.

Using oils and other household products on leather will always be a controversial subject.

I would not recommend you to use anything else on your precious leather products other than a dedicated leather cleaner and conditioner.

It is very easy to go wrong as we can not control the pH and other properties of these things. That’s why it is wise to treat the leather with products that are created by professionals.

Which Oil is Best for Leather?

From my experience, I would say coconut oil is the best oil for leather. Although it has some side effects, applying coconut oil is actually better than any other oils on the leather.

If you want to condition leather and nourish it properly, use a dedicated leather conditioner. Don’t use any oil just because they are easily available.

Only apply oil if you can’t buy or don’t want to buy a leather conditioner for any reason.

Related Contents:

What’s the Best Leather Conditioner?

Leather conditioner from the brand Leather Honey is the best leather conditioner I have ever seen. This leather conditioner is used by a lot of people, and it is probably the most popular leather conditioner for professionals also. It costs less than 20 bucks. Check it out on Amazon by clicking here.

What Can I Use Instead of a Leather Conditioner?

You can use coconut oil instead of a leather conditioner. Only use this if you don’t have access to leather conditioners.

If you use coconut oil properly, it will nourish your leather and replenish the natural oil content.

But before using coconut oil as a leather conditioner, I would recommend you to read the article on our site: Is it Safe to Use Coconut oil on Leather Furniture?

This article will teach you how you can properly use coconut to condition any leather material. It will also warn you about the side effects.

What Can Ruin Leather?

The following things can ruin leather:

  • Buttered Popcorn
  • Grease
  • Excess oil exposure
  • Alcohol and Acetones

These are the things that can ruin your leather over time. We often sit on a leather couch and eat buttered popcorn, and it might ruin the leather surface if popcorns fall on the leather couch as the surface of the leather is extremely porous.

For the same reason, excess oil exposure will ruin your leather as well.

Finally, I would like to say one thing, no matter whatever you do, keep one thing in your mind. You can never use anything on leather that has any sort of alcohol or acetone on leather.

For example, Hand sanitizer has alcohol in it. So, it can ruin your leather. If you want to know why you can read our article, Can you Clean Leather with Hand Sanitizer?

Before You Go:

If you have already read the whole article carefully you already know that I don’t recommend the use of olive oil on leather.

You will find many articles on the internet that says olive oil is good for leather. I just want to say, don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Take advice from the professionals and do your own digging. Thanks for reading! I hope this article was helpful

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Asif Iqbal

Hi, I’m the co-owner of I had spend hundreds of hours researching on Office Chairs. This is the site where I share everything I’ve learned about office chairs.