Neatsfoot Oil vs Mink Oil

Neatsfoot Oil vs Mink Oil For Leather Boots [Before & After]

Cleaning and conditioning leather are difficult but important tasks to make it durable, useful, and practical for the long term. But, now you will ask, How should I condition it? Which product is the best to keep my leather spot free? Don’t worry, because I have the answer to this. Neatsfoot oil or Mink oil are the best products to save your leather from cracks and scruff.

But, to choose the best product from Mink oil vs Neatsfoot oil, you have to know a bit more about them. Read below, to know how they work and what are the similarities and differences of these oils.

What Is Neatsfoot Oil?

The name Neatsfoot was used for cattle and it suggests the oil is derived from the bones and legs of animals. They can be cows, buffalos, or sometimes horses. Nowadays, the oil is also made from lard and combined with petroleum jelly, lanolin, or other oils.

There are various pros and cons to this oil. Let’s look at them below:


  • Softening
  • Conditioning
  • Adds shine to leather
  • Mend leather cracks


  • Rot the stitching of the seams
  • Darkens the leather
  • Oxidizes and causes flakes

Now that you know what Neatsfoot oil is, let’s see how you can use it. The process of applying the oil to your leather boots or other items is not difficult at all.

How To Use Neatsfoot Oil?

Neatsfoot oil for leather can be applied with a simple technique. Just follow the steps below to keep your leather soft and conditioned every time you oil it.


This procedure requires no special skills, so you can nail the application on the first go.

Step 1: Clean the leather with a lint-free cloth.

Step 2: Heat the Neatsfoot oil till it melts.

Step 3: Dip the high-density sponge in oil.

Step 4: Rub the sponge in the middle of the leather.

Step 5: Work on the edges in the last.

Step 6: Place the leather overnight to let the oil settle in.

Because Neatsfoot oil absorbs easily on edges and seams, try to cover it up with the last coat. Also, layer up with patience and focus so each part is covered with an equal amount of oil. It will prevent uneven stains and discoloration.

Neatsfoot Oil Before And After

Neatsfoot Oil Before And After

You can see the difference in the above photos. Neatsfoot oil darkened the leather and added shine to it. The product seems comfortable, shiny, and more attractive.

The result is quite impressive and practical, isn’t it? Well, to solve your problems further I also linked my recommendations below.

Where To Buy Neatsfoot Oil?

Neatsfoot oil has been on the market since the 18th century, so it is a lot easier to find and use. You can also take my suggestions below and use these oils to make the most out of your leather items.

This product is made in the USA and it claims to be 100% and all-natural Neatsfoot oil. It does condition and softens the leather while darkening it to a significant extent. The oil also repels some amount of water and provides the quality it says.

Fiebing is also a trustable brand of the USA that offers a Neatsfoot oil to soften and condition the dried-out leather. It restores, preserves, and moisturizes your item completely and gives a new life and breath to your leather.

Now you know everything about Neatsfoot oil, it’s time to know about Mink oil and its uses. Let’s compare both of these products to know which suits you the best.

What Is Mink Oil?

Mink oil was used to derive from the fatty layer of minks found under their fur. But nowadays, it can be made from the fats of pigs or by injecting the abdominal area of mink.

Related: How To Apply Mink Oil To Work Boots?

The oil contains palmitoleic acid-which conditions and softens the leather. The oil is well known for its waterproofing and preservation properties. Let’s see the basic difference between Neatsfoot oil vs. Mink oil.

Mink Oil Before And After

Mink Oil Before & After

Mink oil does darken the leather a bit. You can’t see the major difference in the first coat but it will go darker in the second coat, although with this oil you can enjoy the rain, snowfall, and other weather conditions. Rock your waterproof leather anywhere.

Also Read: Mink Oil Ruined My Boots | How To Fix?

Difference Between Neatsfoot Oil & Mink Oil?

Mink oil or Neatsfoot oil both preserve and condition the leather. They also help to clean the boots, jackets, or belts. But, which is the winner? Let’s find out the answer below:

1. Conditioning

Neatsfoot oil or mink oil works as the leather boot softener and conditions the leather. They clog pores and settle in to provide you with the conditioning effect. Thus, both of them are quite effective in conditioning and softening. Although, mink oil can harden the boots in the long run.

2. Water Resistance

Neatsfoot oil is thick and clogs the pores, preventing water from getting into pores but it does not waterproof the work boots or leather. On the other hand, mink oil forms a layer around the leather to protect it from water or weather conditions to some extent.

3. Color Changes

Neatsfoot oil forms a layer over the leather and pigments it to a significant extent. But it also adds shine to the leather. While, on the other hand, the mink oil gives the leather a matte finish and darkens it to a certain extent only. You can also use a mink oil substitute to avoid the darkening of leather.

Mink OR Neatsfoot, Which Oil Is Best For Leather?

Mink OR Neatsfoot, Which Oil Is Best For Leather

Use Neatsfoot oil only if you want to darken the leather and add a bit of shine to your finish. It is also a suitable conditioner to preserve your boots, belts, or leather items.

You can use mink oil to protect, preserve and save the leather from the environment. Also, it does darken the leather but to some extent, only-its end results are much lighter than neatsfoot oil. Mink oil is an effective way to make leather waterproof and keep its color close to natural.

Related: Saddle Soap vs Mink Oil Comparison


What is Neatsfoot oil made of?

Nowadays, Neatsfoot oil is made from lard, or sometimes it is derived from the bones of cattle. It also contains some amount of petroleum jelly, lanolin, and other waxy substances.

Is Neatsfoot oil toxic for leather?

No, Neatsfoot oil preserves and conditions leather for the long haul. It is a natural product, so it cannot be bad for leather.

What is Neatsfoot oil used for?

Neatsfoot oil is used to soften, condition, preserve and protect leather items. It helps to make them durable and long-lasting.

Does Neatsfoot oil darken leather?

Yes, Neatsfoot oil darkens the leather to a substantial extent but it also adds the original shine to it. This oil is thick, so it forms a layer on the surface of your items.

Where does Neatsfoot oil come from?

Neatsfoot oil was derived from the bones and shins of different cattle including horses. Currently, it comes from lard and only a minimal amount of bones.

Is Neatsfoot oil toxic?

No, Neatsfoot oil does not have any toxic traits but if it is heated on high flame, it can cause mild irritation in the eyes.

What does mink oil do for boots?

Mink oil clogs the pores of leather boots and softens them. Also, mink oil darkens leather but gives it a matte finish. You can also achieve waterproof traits using mink oil.

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