How to Use Vaseline on Leather

Whether it’s a pair of boots that won’t quite fit right anymore or a favorite handbag that has seen better days – damage is inevitable with leather materials. Thankfully, there are some simple ways to restore items back to their original glory – one being the use of Vaseline!

How to Use Vaseline on Leather

Believe it or not, this everyday household item can actually go a long way in protecting and restoring your beloved leather goods. In this blog post we’ll discuss why Vaseline is such an effective tool for treating your precious pieces, as well as provide step-by-step instructions on how to use vaseline on leather!

When done incorrectly, it can lead to long-term damage rather than restoration – so if you want beautiful-looking leather goods for years to come, keep reading this post! Here we cover how you should use Vaseline safely and effectively on all kinds of leather products – from shoes and jackets to furniture and upholstery – so let’s get started!

Why May You Want to Use Vaseline on Leather?

1 . To Protect

Vaseline can be used to protect leather surfaces from water, sunlight and dust. It creates a protective layer that helps keep the leather soft by preventing moisture from entering the pores of the material and causing cracking or hardening.

2. To Restore

Vaseline is also an effective product for restoring dry, cracked leather. The petroleum jelly helps to create a protective coating that locks in moisture, softening the leather and helping it look like new again.

3. To Clean

Using Vaseline can also help to reduce dirt build-up on leather surfaces. Simply rub a small amount of Vaseline into the material using a clean rag or cloth, let it sit for 15 minutes and then wipe away. This will help to remove any built-up dirt without causing any damage to the leather.

4. To Shine

Vaseline can be used as a natural polish for leather surfaces, creating a deep and glossy shine. Simply rub a small amount of Vaseline into the material using a clean rag or cloth and buff it with a dry cloth. This will help restore the natural shine of the leather and make it look like new again.

Using a Clean Rag or Cloth

How to Use Vaseline on Leather in 5 Easy Steps

Step 1: Prepare the Leather Surface

Before you apply Vaseline, it is important to ensure that the surface of your leather item is clean and free from dirt or debris. If necessary, use a damp cloth to clean the area before you proceed.

Step 2: Apply Vaseline

Once you have prepared the area, take some petroleum jelly and apply a thin layer onto the leather surface. You don’t need to use too much—just enough to cover the material evenly.

Step 3: Massage in

Using a clean cloth or rag, massage the Vaseline into the leather surface. This will help to ensure that the product is evenly distributed and that it penetrates the material.

Step 4: Wipe Away Excess

Once you have massaged in the Vaseline, use a dry cloth to wipe away any excess product. It is important to make sure that you do not leave any residue on the surface.

Step 5: Allow to Dry

Once you have finished applying Vaseline and wiping away any excess product, allow the leather to dry naturally. This may take several hours depending on the thickness of the leather material.

Now your leather item is ready for use! With regular applications of Vaseline, you can help keep your leather in top condition and protect it from water, sun and dust damage. Enjoy!

Take Some Petroleum Jelly

Some Additional Tips to Use Vaseline on Leather

1 . Test a Small Area First

Before using Vaseline on the entire leather surface, it is important to test it in a small area. This is because some leathers may react negatively to Vaseline and become permanently damaged. If the tested area looks good after 24 hours, then you can proceed safely with applying the Vaseline to the remainder of the leather item.

2. Clean the Leather First

Before applying Vaseline to your leather item, it is important that you clean the surface of any dirt or dust buildup. Use a soft cloth and gentle soap solution to do this, then allow it to dry properly before proceeding with applying the Vaseline.

3. Use Only a Small Amount of Vaseline

When it comes to using Vaseline on leather, a little goes a long way. An overabundance of Vaseline can cause the leather to become too greasy and slick, leaving it vulnerable to damage. As such, use only a small amount of Vaseline at any given time and spread it evenly across the surface with your fingers or a soft cloth.

4. Treat Regularly

Using Vaseline on leather is not a one-time deal — the more often you treat it with Vaseline, the better it will look and feel over time. Try to apply a thin layer of Vaseline at least once every two months to keep your leather item looking great for longer.

5. Don’t Use on Suede

Vaseline should not be used on suede leather as it will cause the surface to become greasy and discolored. There are special products available that can help protect and preserve suede, so use those instead of Vaseline for better results.

Vaseline Should Not Be Used on Suede Leather

Frequently Asked Questions

What Precautions Should I Take When Using Vaseline on Leather?

When using Vaseline on leather, it is important to use it sparingly. If you apply too much, the petroleum jelly can build up and become difficult to remove. Additionally, it’s important to test a small patch of leather first before applying Vaseline over the entire item. This will ensure that there are no unexpected results, including discoloration or streaking.

Can I Combine Vaseline with Other Cleaners When Cleaning Leather?

It is not recommended to combine Vaseline with any other cleaners when cleaning leather, as it may create an oily residue that can be difficult to remove. It’s best to stick with just one cleaner and use it sparingly. Additionally, make sure to use a soft cloth and gentle strokes when applying the cleaner. This will help protect the leather from any excess moisture or damage.

Is Vaseline Safe for All Types of Leather?

Vaseline is generally safe for all types of leather; however, it’s a good idea to test it on an inconspicuous spot before using it. This will help ensure that the leather isn’t discolored or damaged in any way. Additionally, Vaseline should never be used on suede or other types of delicate fabric, as it can cause staining and permanent damage.

How Often Should I Use Vaseline on Leather?

Vaseline should only be used sparingly on leather, so it’s best to only use it when necessary. It can be used up to a few times a year in order to maintain its condition and keep it looking its best. Additionally, you should always make sure the leather is completely dry before applying Vaseline as too much moisture can cause damage.

Can I Use Food Grade Petroleum Jelly to Clean Leather?

Yes, food grade petroleum jelly can be used to clean leather. It is a safe and effective way to keep leather looking its best and should be applied with a soft cloth in order to avoid any excess moisture or damage. Additionally, you should always make sure the leather is completely dry before applying the petroleum jelly as too much moisture can cause damage.

Food Grade Petroleum Jelly Can Be Used

What is the Best Way to Apply Vaseline on Leather?

The best way to apply Vaseline on leather is with a soft cloth. Make sure to use gentle strokes and only apply it in small amounts. Additionally, you should always make sure that the leather is completely dry before applying the petroleum jelly as too much moisture can cause damage. Once the Vaseline has been applied, lightly buff it into the leather in order to ensure it is evenly distributed.

Does Vaseline Help Protect Leather from Water Damage?

Yes, Vaseline can help protect leather from water damage. Applying a small amount of petroleum jelly on leather prior to exposure will help form a barrier against moisture and reduce the risk of water damage. Additionally, make sure to use a soft cloth and gentle strokes when applying the Vaseline in order to ensure that the leather isn’t damaged in any way.


Whether if you’re looking for an option to protect your leather or something to repair minor scratches, Vaseline is an easy and accessible solution. It’s important to make sure the Vaseline doesn’t stay on too long as it can cause stiffening and discoloration of your leather. Clean up spills as soon as they occur!

Now you know how to use vaseline on leather! Additionally, it’s best to practice the technique of applying vaseline on a part of your leather that’s not visible in order to test how it reacts before taking any big steps.

Taking care of your leather does require consistent up-keep but the results can be rewarding if done properly. In general, use Vaseline in moderation and it can help keep your leather looking brand new even after years of wear and tear!

Photo of author

Matt Clark

Hi, this is Matt, and I am a leathercraft hobbyist. I have been working with leather for quite a bit of time. When I was a teenager, my father taught me the basics of leathercraft. Along the way I have learned a lot of things about leather work leather items, restoring leather, and creating leather accessories. I started this blog to share my knowledge of leatherworking with others and help people learn about this amazing craft. I also wanted to create a community of like-minded people who could share ideas and support each other in their leatherworking journey.

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