How to Soften Hardened Leather

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Leather is essentially flesh, so of course over time it will dry, harden and possibly even crack. Protecting and taking care of leather is an important step in keeping it soft and supple. Whether you are dealing with shoes, boots or furniture, occasionally you will probably have to deal with hardened leather. With a little time and effort you can restore the leather to its original softness.


Things You'll Need

  • Saddle soap

  • Microfiber towels

  • Blow dryer

  • Leather conditioner

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Softening Hardened Leather

Step 1

Apply saddle soap to the leather that is dry and hard. Saddle soap comes in paste, sprays and creams. You can choose any of these forms, as they all work the same.

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Step 2

Use a microfiber towel to work the saddle soap into the leather by rubbing in small circles. This is not only cleaning the leather but also helping to restore flexibility and suppleness as the soap is absorbed into the grain of the leather.

Step 3

Aim the blow dryer at the areas where you have applied saddle soap. Gentle heat will warm the leather and allow it to absorb the saddle soap better as well as helping with the softening process.

Step 4

Wipe the leather with a dry microfiber towel to remove any excess saddle soap. Not all of it will be absorbed, and if you used paste it will leave a residue unless you remove the excess.


Step 5

Apply a leather conditioner and rub it in with a microfiber towel. This will further soften the leather by giving it essential oils and conditioners to soak up, as well as providing a layer of protection for the leather.