How to Soften a Leather Purse?

How to Soften a Leather Purse?

A stiff and unyielding leather purse is not only an eyesore, but it can also be quite uncomfortable to carry. Over time, a leather purse will soften up as it’s used, but if you need to soften it quickly, there are a few methods you can try. In this guide, we’ll discuss the different ways to soften a leather purse, as well as some of the best products on the market for doing so. We’ll also answer some common questions about how to soften a leather purse.

Why You Should Soften Your Leather Purse

There are a few reasons why you should consider softening your leather purse. First, it makes the purse more comfortable to carry and use. Secondly, a softer leather purse is less likely to be damaged and won’t wear as easily over time. Lastly, softening your leather purse also helps it to look better, giving it a more polished and professional appearance. [1]

Best Ways To Soften Leather

There are many methods to soften your leather purse, but let’s look at the most popular of them.

Treating The Leather With Heat

One of the most effective ways to soften leather is with heat. This can be done by either using a hair dryer or placing the purse in direct sunlight for a few hours. When using a hair dryer, make sure to move the nozzle around and avoid holding it in one spot for too long as this can cause damage to the leather fibers. Make sure you keep your hand on the outside of the bag while holding the hairdryer so that it doesn’t get too hot inside and burn your fingers. 

If you decide to use direct sunlight instead, place your purse in an area where it will receive direct light but not be exposed to extreme temperatures such as a windowsill or balcony railings.

Why You Should Soften Your Leather Purse

Commercial Products

For those who are in a hurry to soften their purses, there are a few products you can use.

These commercial leather softeners range from liquids and wax sticks that you can brush onto the purse to sprays and creams that you rub into the material. Although these products provide quick results, they often don’t last long.  

Additionally, some commercial brands contain harsh chemicals that could potentially damage your purse or transfer color onto other items if not applied properly.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil and olive oil are both great options for softening a leather purse. Both oils will work to penetrate the fibers of the leather and make it softer, but they should be used sparingly, or else they can leave an unwanted residue or sticky feeling. To use coconut oil or olive oil on your leather purse, simply put a small amount on a clean cloth and rub it into the leather in circular motions. Be sure to not over-moisturize the area so you don’t cause any damage. [2]

Neatsfoot Oil

Neatsfoot oil is a natural product often used to soften the leather. It has been used in the leather trade for centuries and is one of the most effective ways to make hard and stiff leather more supple. To use neatsfoot oil, you’ll need to apply it directly to the purse using either a spray bottle or an applicator such as a cotton cloth or sponge. You can purchase neatsfoot oil from any hardware store or online.

Rubbing Alcohol & Petroleum Jelly

A combination of rubbing alcohol and petroleum jelly is a great way to soften the leather. First, mix equal parts of the two ingredients together in a bowl or container. Next, apply the mixture to your purse with a soft cloth or brush. Once you’ve covered the entire surface of your bag, let it sit for at least an hour before wiping off any excess solution. This method should help keep your leather purse soft and supple for months!

Mink Oil

Mink oil is a popular product for softening leather items. It’s made from the fat of mink fur and has been used for generations to condition leather. The oil nourishes, preserves, and waterproofs leather, making it an ideal choice for softening a leather purse. To use mink oil, use a clean cloth to apply it evenly over the surface of the leather purse. Allow time for the mink oil to penetrate and absorb into the leather before buffing off any excess with another dry cloth. Re-apply if necessary, allowing 24 hours between applications to prevent over-conditioning or saturation.

Leather Conditioner 

One of the simplest and most effective ways to soften a leather purse is to use a leather conditioner. When using a leather conditioner, it’s important to first clean the bag with a damp cloth or another cleaning product specifically designed for use on leather goods. This should remove any dirt and debris that may be present before applying the conditioner.

Leather Conditioner 

Once the bag has been cleaned, apply a generous amount of the conditioning product – using either your fingers or a sponge – onto the entire surface area. Make sure that you cover all sides of the purse evenly and don’t forget the straps. Once you have applied the conditioner, allow it to sit for at least five minutes before wiping off the excess with a soft cloth. [3]

How To Choose A Proper Leather Conditioner

When selecting a leather conditioner, it is important to choose one that will not damage or discolor the leather. Many products can contain harsh chemicals or solvents that could alter the color of your purse and cause it to become brittle over time. It is also important to select a product that contains natural oils for additional protection and conditioning of your leather purse.

Softening New, Hard Leather Without Products

When you first get a new leather purse, it may be hard and firm to the touch. Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can soften your leather without having to buy any additional products.

The most effective way is to use steam. Fill a bowl with boiling water and then hold the purse over the steam for a few minutes. The heat from the steam will help relax the fibers in the leather and make it more pliable. Make sure not to leave it too long, as too much heat can damage the material.

Another method that has proven successful is using oil or conditioner on new purses. Just put a small amount of either product onto a lint-free cloth, then rub it into the leather. [4]

How To Choose A Proper Leather Conditioner

Effective Tips On How To Soften Leather

Here are some of our top tips on how to soften a leather purse:

  1. Condition Regularly: It’s important to condition your leather purse regularly in order to keep it soft and flexible. Look for a high-quality conditioning balm or cream specifically made for leather items that will help nourish the fibers of your bag and replace lost oils;
  2. Use a Soft Cloth: You can use a soft cloth to gently buff the leather and remove any dirt or debris. This will help open up the pores of the material and make it easier for conditioning products to penetrate;
  3. Add Moisture: If your leather purse has become dry, you can add moisture back into it in several ways. Try lightly dampening a cloth with water and massaging it over the surface of your bag until moisture is absorbed, or fill a spray bottle with warm water and mist it onto the material before wiping it down with a dry cloth;
  4. Avoid Temperature Extremes: Leather is sensitive to extreme temperature changes, so try to keep your purse away from heat and direct sunlight. Also, avoid using harsh chemicals or solvents to clean the material;
  5. Invest in a Quality Product: If you’re looking for an effective leather-softening product, make sure you invest in one specifically made for leather items. A good-quality conditioner will help restore lost oils and nourish the fibers of your purse so it remains soft and supple for years to come [5];

General Actions So That The Leather Does Not Harden

Generally, leather purses don’t require special maintenance to keep them soft. However, there are some basic actions you can take to ensure that the skin does not harden:

  1. Clean your purse regularly. Use a damp cloth and mild soap, then dry it with a clean and dry piece of cotton fabric or other material that will help keep it soft;
  2. Condition the leather every few months using a quality leather conditioner specifically designed for use on handbags and purses. This will help maintain the suppleness of the skin by replenishing essential oils which naturally occur in leather over time; while also protecting the bag from any dirt or grime that accumulates on it;
  3. Keep your bag away from direct sunlight and heat, as this can cause the leather to dry out and become brittle;
  4. Store your purse in a dust-free environment when not in use, such as a cloth pouch or box lined with acid-free tissue paper. This will help preserve the softness of the leather over time [6];

Proper Leather Conditioner


How do you soften leather naturally?

One of the best and most natural ways to soften leather is to use a mixture of one part white vinegar, two parts water, and a few drops of olive oil. Simply mix these ingredients together in a spray bottle and lightly mist the leather purse with the solution. This will help to break down any stiffness and restore some suppleness to the material.

Alternatively, you can use pure lanolin or mink oil for an even more luxurious softening effect. It’s important not to use too much of either product though as it could leave behind a greasy residue.

How do you soften a stiff purse strap?

One way to soften a stiff purse strap is by using leather softening cream. This product, available in a variety of forms, will help to restore the suppleness of your purse strap and allow it to move more easily. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product packaging carefully, as each brand may vary slightly. For best results, apply a thick layer of the cream and allow it to soak in for at least an hour before wiping off any excess.

If you don’t have leather softening cream on hand, there are other options available. Massaging your purse strap with a mixture of baking soda and water can help soften it up as well. Start by mixing 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 cup of water. Dip a soft cloth into the mixture and rub it onto your purse strap, massaging it in circles until the stiffness is gone.

Does Vaseline soften leather?

Vaseline is a petroleum jelly product that can help to soften the leather. However, it should be used sparingly and only as a last resort. Petroleum jelly products like Vaseline can actually damage the leather if applied directly onto the surface of the purse and not wiped off in time. When using Vaseline to soften a leather purse, make sure you apply it in small amounts on an inconspicuous area and let it sit for about 20 minutes before wiping it off with a clean cloth. If the leather does not feel soft enough after this application, you may try again but take extra care that any excess oil or grease is removed completely afterward.

What is the best leather softener?

When it comes to choosing the best leather softener, there are several factors you should consider. The type of leather your purse is made out of will determine which product is right for you. If you have a full-grain or top-grain purse, you may want to look for a conditioner that contains lanolin and natural oils like jojoba or coconut oil. These oils help penetrate deep into the fibers and can keep your leather soft and supple. For suede purses, specialty cleaners designed specifically for this type of leather are highly recommended as they can help protect against water damage and discoloration.

Is olive oil good for leather?

When it comes to softening a leather purse, olive oil is an effective solution. It not only helps to reduce the material’s stiffness but also provides a protective barrier that keeps out dirt and moisture. But with its rich texture, you have to be careful not to go overboard. Too much can actually damage the leather fibers. Start by testing a small area of your purse before applying any oil. Dab a small amount on an inconspicuous spot and let it sit for several minutes. If there’s no discoloration or damage after this time, then proceed with applying the oil in small amounts all over your purse, rubbing it in gently with a soft cloth as you go along. Allow it to settle for about 24 hours before using your purse.

What is a good homemade leather conditioner?

Making your own leather conditioner at home is a great way to soften and protect your leather purse. To do this, combine equal parts olive oil, vinegar, and boiled linseed oil in a bowl. Apply the mixture to the purse with a soft cloth, using circular motions until the entire surface is covered. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes before wiping away any excess with a clean cloth. This homemade conditioner can be used twice a month to help keep your purse looking like new.

Is olive oil good for softening leather?

Olive oil is an effective way to soften leather, but it should only be used on lightly soiled purses. For more heavily soiled purses, use a commercial cleaning product designed for the specific material of your purse. If you do decide to use olive oil, apply a small amount and spread it evenly over the surface with a soft cloth. Allow it to sit for around 15 minutes before wiping off any excess oil with another clean cloth. Keep in mind that this will not completely remove all dirt or stains; however, it can help restore some of the lost softness and flexibility of the leather.

Is olive oil good for softening leather?

Does vinegar soften leather?

Vinegar is a great option for softening leather. It is acidic and will create an environment that helps to break down the fibers in the leather. To use vinegar, mix one part white distilled vinegar with two parts water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the purse and rub it into the material using a cloth or brush. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before buffing off any remaining residue with another clean cloth. You can repeat this process as needed until you achieve your desired level of softness.

What can you soak leather in to soften it?

When it comes to softening a leather purse, there are several options available. Generally speaking, you should avoid harsh chemicals and products that contain harsh solvents or oils. Instead, the best way to soften a leather purse is by soaking it in lukewarm water mixed with a gentle detergent or soap. This will help remove dirt and dust as well as some of the stiffness. After soaking, you can also apply a leather conditioner to help restore suppleness while protecting against wear and tear.

Will coconut oil soften leather?

Yes, coconut oil is an excellent natural solution for softening leather. It works by lubricating and conditioning the material so that it becomes more pliable without damaging the fabric. To use it on a leather purse, start by cleaning the surface with warm water and mild soap or saddle soap. You can also apply rubbing alcohol to remove any dirt or residue. Once the surface is clean, apply a thin layer of coconut oil to the leather using a soft cloth and massage it into the material for about five minutes. Allow the oil to sit for about an hour before buffing off any excess with another soft cloth.

Will WD-40 soften leather?

WD-40 is not a good choice for softening leather. It will actually cause the leather to become hard and crack over time. The chemicals in WD-40 can also damage the color of the leather, leaving it looking dull and aged. Instead, it’s best to use an approved leather conditioner or an all-natural oil such as coconut oil or almond oil. Simply apply a small amount of the oil to a clean cloth and gently massage it into the leather in a circular motion. This will help soften the leather and restore its natural beauty. Additionally, you can use a soft bristle brush or an old toothbrush to help remove dirt from hard-to-reach areas.

Useful Video: How to darken and soften leather with coconut oil


This guide provides a comprehensive overview of how to soften a leather purse. First and foremost, always start with the manufacturer’s instructions for proper care of your purse. If that fails, then consider the various store-bought products or home remedies discussed here. Be sure to test any product in an inconspicuous spot first, and always be gentle when working with leather.

In the end, having a soft and well-maintained purse makes all the difference in comfort, style, and longevity.