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Old 06-13-2012, 11:25 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Dallas, TX
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Neatsfoot oil

I recently bought a car that has leather seats and the front passenger seat is as hard as a rock. I've been using a conditioner to soften it but I've not been making much progress with the stuff that i'm using (leather honey).

I've been doing some reading and I understand that Neatsfoot Oil is used to soften leather saddles and baseball gloves.

Fiebing's 100% Pure Neatsfoot Oil, 32 oz. - 5019779 | Tractor Supply Company

Has anyone tried using it on automotive leather?

I'm not bothered about the color getting darker as the seats are black.

Opinions are gratefully appreciated.

With best regards

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Old 06-13-2012, 11:32 PM
Carleton Hughes's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,611
Yes, best thing for It. Problem is 99.9% of the time it is applied on top of the seats, on the finished, polished and dyed side of the leather which is not terribly effective but good enough.

I'm certainly not advocating the following as it requires special skills, but when we restore antique autos with original leather we take off the seat coverings, which were simply stretched over the seats already assembled. We then have access to the unfinished underside of the leather, which is then sprayed with neatsfoot oil. Then re-stretched over the seats after the cotton and horsehair is replaced, then fastened and trimmed.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:37 PM
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Thank you.
With best regards

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Old 06-14-2012, 05:58 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
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I was going to say it is good on shoes and such but Carleton's testamony just makes that seem silly.
[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:12 AM
Posting since Jan 2000
Join Date: Sep 2011
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THAT Neatsfoot oil would probably be okay because it is 100%. There are some blends out there that are real crap. Neatsfoot oil is really best for raw unfinished leather like saddles and baseball gloves.

I use Griot's Leather Treatment. It's expensive, but well worth it. It smells like neatsfoot oil, but whatever is blended with it works well. Most cheap leather treatments have lots of lanolin which really is not that great for the long term.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:23 AM
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Location: Littlestown PA ( 6 miles south of Gettysburg)
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Check the water content of anything you apply to leather. Less water is better. From what I have read, many of the popular products have a lot of water.
Neatsfoot oil was a rite of passage--getting a new baseball glove, applying the oil, putting an old ball in the pocket, and wrapping the glove tightly around the ball, and sleeping with it under the pillow.

Carleton's advice seems like the best.

1982 300SD " Wotan" ..On the road as of Jan 8, 2007 with Historic Tags
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