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Do It Yourself: Homemade Leather Conditioners

Do It Yourself: Homemade Leather Conditioners

Homemade leather conditioners
Half conditioner and half unconditioned leather bag

Congratulations! You are now a proud owner of a leather item. Maybe you were feeling special and bought the Dagny Weekender from Steel Horse Leather Co. Or maybe you got it as a gift for Christmas. Regardless you now own a leather duffel bag. However, owning a leather bag is not the end of it. Leather, like many other things, needs to be taken care of. To take care of your leather you will need a leather conditioner. You can buy leather conditioners around stores, especially those that sell specialize in leather. However, if you do not have access to these stores you can try some homemade leather conditioners. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make homemade leather conditioners.

homemade leather conditioner
The Dagny Weekender

Why Should I Condition My Leather?

This is very important whenever you own leather. Since leather is an organic material it will eventually degrade. Without proper care leather will dry-up, crack, break, or peel. This the result of the leather fibers becoming weak because of frequent use. In other words leather, no matter how strong and durable, is still prone to wear and tear. We, however, are not advising you to use your leather bag less frequently. Albeit we would happily advise you to use it as much as you want.

We do advise that you properly take care of your leather. Cleaning your leather is just one thing. You need to condition your leather as well. Owning leather is such a great investment that the effort put into cleaning and maintaining it will all be worth it. However, you do not need to go the extra mile and purchase expensive leather conditioners. Homemade leather conditioners will do the job just as fine.

What Does Leather Conditioner Do To You Leather?

To keep it simple, leather conditioners rehydrate the leather. Leather is prone to drying up, especially when you frequently expose it to sunlight. Leather conditioners also protect the leather from different elements that may damage your leather. Elements such as sunlight, sea or rainwater, and other natural oils. Both store-bought and homemade leather conditioners will rehydrate and protect your leather. Keeping the fibers strong and protected.

To learn more about what leather conditioners can do check out this link below. The link will redirect you to another window on our website.

What Does Leather Conditioner Do?

Now on to making homemade leather conditioners!

Homemade Leather Conditioners

There are many reasons to try out a “Do It Yourself” homemade leather conditioner. You might not have access to stores that sell them, or you are looking for alternatives already available in your household. Whatever the reason is, making leather homemade leather conditioners is a fun and adventurous way to take care of your leather.

What You Will Need

The tools and ingredients that you will need will most likely be already available at your home. If not, these things may also be available at your local supermarkets.


  • A saucepan (preferably medium size)
  • A measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • A Wooden Spoon
  • Tins to hold an store the homemade leather conditioner (heat-resistant glass or plastic containers works too)


  • Solid Beeswax (2 tablespoons)
  • Coconut butter or Shea Butter (2 tablespoons)
  • Sweet almond oil - if you have a nut allergy you may use grapeseed oils as a substitute (1/4 cup)
  • Castor Oil (1/4 cup)

Making The Homemade Leather Conditioner

  1. The first step is to measure your ingredients. We have already added the basic measurements above but to reiterate you will be measuring 2 Tablespoons of coconut/shea butter, 2 Tablespoons of beeswax, 1/4 cup sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil, and 1/4 cup of castor oil.

    These basic measurements have a ratio of 1/2 part butter: 1/2 part beeswax: 2 parts oil. You can therefore increase the basic measurements by following this ratio if wish to make more in one go.
  2. Melt the shea butter and beeswax together in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir it constantly to avoid burning. You may also want to avoid the mixture from boiling.
  3. Next is to add the sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil. Do this while you still stirring the pan.
  4. After the almond oil is fully incorporated into the mixture you may now add the castor oil. Continue to stir the pan for 4-5 minutes to fully blend the ingredients together. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
  5. Finally, pour the mixture into your containers. Allow them to cool before using them.

Tweaking The Ratio

It is possible to change the firmness of your homemade leather conditioner by adjusting the ratio. For example, more beeswax or shea butter will result in a paste-like firmer mixture. Likewise, increasing the amount of almond oil and/or castor oil will make the homemade leather conditioners softer.

Using Your Homemade Leather Conditioner

  1. First, before applying the homemade leather conditioner be sure to clean your leather. Dust your leather with a clean dry cloth. Use a leather cleaner to clean the leather. You can also use a mild shampoo or baby soap as an alternative. Make sure not to submerge your leather in water. This may damage the leather.
  2. Next, is to do a spot test. This is a very important step. May it be store-bought or homemade leather conditioners. Always do a spot test of the product. Apply a small amount to the leather. Moreover, make sure you apply it in an inconspicuous area of your leather bag. Allow the spot test to dry. Refer to the next step on how to apply the conditioner.
  3. Next is to apply the conditioner. Put a small amount of your homemade conditioner onto a clean, lint-free cloth. Apply the leather in a circular motion and be delicate. Likewise, take special attention to seams and corners.

    Do not apply the conditioner directly onto the leather.
  4. After you finish applying the conditioner use a soft, dry cloth and gently buff the surface. Likewise, take special attention to the seams and corners.
  5. Lastly, allow the homemade leather conditioner and the leather to dry before use. For better results, we advise you to repeat this process every 2-6 months. Although how frequently you condition your leather depends on your climate. The more humid your place is the less conditioning you will do and vice versa.

Final Reminders

Make sure to clean and condition your leather from time to time. This will keep your leather strong and durable. Likewise, conditioning your leather will make it last longer and therefore develop that beautiful patina. Moreover, be sure to buy only the best quality leather. Faux leather cannot be conditioned since it is made of synthetic materials.

If you want to buy leather better buy the real thing. We ensure the purchase will be totally worth it. To learn more about faux leather and how to tell them apart from real leather visit our site. Just click on the link below for more articles about leather.

The Journal | Steel Horse Leather Co.

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