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How to Soften Leather- Make leather soften in 5 Easy Steps

How to Soften Leather- Make leather soften in 5 Easy Steps

For all leather lovers, it might be disheartening to see your favorite leather jacket, leather belt, or leather bag lose its supple soft texture and become hard and stiff. This is a normal property of leather and is a very common issue. 

Today we are going to see what causes leather to become stiff and how to soften the leather. In this blog, we will also see how to soften leather and how to maintain the softness for a long time.

What Makes Leather Stiff?

How to Soften Leather- 5 Easy Steps

Before diving into the ways to soften leather, look at what causes the leather to become stiff. Natural leather is usually tanned using oils and retains some moisture, when this oil and moisture get evaporated the leather becomes stiff and hard. 

There can be many reasons that make the leather lose its natural moisture and oils like improper storage, prolonged exposure to heat, water damage, or improper leather maintenance. Leather naturally loses its suppleness and the same can be easily restored using simple techniques and materials.

Also Check : How To Remove Ink Stains From Leather 

How To Soften Leather- A Step-By-Step Guide. 

How to Soften Leather- 5 Easy Steps

Let’s see some of the easy ways to soften the leather using easily available products in the market.

  1. Rubbing Alcohol : The most common technique to soften the leather is rubbing alcohol on the leather. You can buy any domestic-use alcohol and then dilute it with water in equal proportion. Try applying this solution on a patch for testing and let it dry first before proceeding to the other areas. Once you are satisfied with the result on the patch, then apply it with a sponge on the entire bag. Let the leather dry naturally and then apply some leather conditioner and moisturizer on the leather to further soften the leather.
  2. Applying a Good Leather Conditioner : You can find many leather conditioners in the market that will help to soften the leather instantly. Take a generous amount of conditioner on a sponge or damp cloth apply it in a circular motion on the product and allow it to dry naturally.Repeat this process every month or week as per the desired results, regular conditioning will help to soften the leather and it will also maintain the supple texture.
  3. Coconut Oil : Natural oils like olive oil or coconut oils can be used directly on the leather surface to retain its moisture and supple texture. Take a clean cloth or sponge and put some oil on it then apply the oil on the surface in circular motions. Using coconut oils can moisten the leather but it can permanently change the color of leather over time. So, make sure to do a patch test before applying to the entire product.
  4. Using Water to Soften Leather : Leather can also become stiff and hard when it loses moisture and dries out. Water can also be used to soften the leather and recover its moisture. Before using this method, make sure your product is not treated with any waterproofing product. Take a spray bottle and fill it with water. Then spray the entire surface of the product generously with a water bottle. Wipe off any excess water using a dry cloth and leave the item in a cool dry place to let it dry naturally. Make sure to clean the hardware to avoid rusting. Now seal the moisture with a protective leather conditioner to avoid it from drying out.
  5. Heating the Leather : Heating the leather can help to make it soft and flexible. You can use a hair dryer to blow heat on the leather surface. Make sure to keep the dryer at a distance from the leather surface to avoid damaging the leather. You can also choose which areas to focus more on. Use the dryer on the low heat mode only as it will make the leather soft and will not cause any damage. The use of a dryer can cause the leather to lose its moisture. So, make sure to end this process by applying a generous amount of leather conditioner on the leather to restore moisture.

Also Read : How To Restore Leather

How Do You Soften Leather Naturally?

How to Soften Leather- 5 Easy Steps

The easiest and natural way to soften the leather is to “break into the leather” by using the leather more frequently as the natural movements will lead the normal wear and tear which will stretch the leather and it will naturally become softer over time.

You can also follow the technique of stretching the leather to manually stretch and break in the leather using tools like baseball bat strokes, gently pressing it continuously with your hands as these movements will make the leather soft. You can also check our detailed guide on how to stretch leather. 



So as we see natural leather can become hard and stiff sometimes, even when it is a fresh newly-made item. Leather softening might be required to restore the leather suppleness. You can follow the different methods listed above to soften the leather with water, coconut oil, leather conditioner, or rubbing alcohol.

Make sure to follow the steps till the end to get the best results. We hope that our guide on how to soften the leather will help you restore the lost moisture and suppleness of your leather items.

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