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What are some techniques for softening leather?

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Quick Answer

Techniques for softening leather include rubbing it with coconut oil or a combination of alcohol and Vaseline. There are also many commercial products available specifically for softening leather, such as conditioning creams, oils or sprays.

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Full Answer

Before applying any softening agent to a leather item, first make sure it has been cleaned and dried sufficiently. Leather can be cleaned either by buffing it with a brush with gentle bristles, or by wiping it with a cleaner, then set out to dry.

Experts say the best natural substance to use for softening leather is coconut oil. Before applying the coconut oil, the item that is to be softened needs to be exposed to direct sunlight for at least 10 minutes. Although coconut oil works great for softening leather and is easy to use, one drawback to relying on this substance is the fact that regular use of it over time may start to darken the color of the leather.

To soften leather using alcohol and Vaseline, first coat a cotton ball or swab in alcohol and rub it vigorously onto the item that needs softening. Continue this process until the alcohol has soaked in evenly over the entire surface of the object. Next, rub Vaseline all over the alcohol-soaked item. It usually only takes one application of Vaseline to soften the leather completely. Many prefer the alcohol-and-Vaseline method to using coconut oil, as it is not detrimental to the color or quality of the leather.

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