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Apply Mink Oil On Cowboy Boots: How Often?

Apply Mink Oil On Cowboy Boots: How Often?

Mink oils have more than one effect on cowboy boots. Most people know them as moisturizing boots, but in fact, they can also make cowboy boots waterproof.

So, how often you should apply mink oil to cowboy boots depends on your purpose.

In addition to the frequency of applying the mink oil we tell you, you can also tell when it is necessary to do so through some pretty simple signs on your boots.

Anyway, let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Applying mink oils to cowboy boots not only helps to moisturize but also to make cowboy boots water resistant.
  • Determining your purpose (to moisturize or make boots water-resistant) will help you figure out how often you should apply mink oil.
  • Each type of leather will need a different amount of time to be moisturized with mink oil.

Apply Mink Oil On Cowboy Boots: How Often?

You should determine your purpose when applying mink oil to cowboy boots, to waterproof or moisturize them.

mink oil and horsehair brush

Generally, the time to waterproof them depends quite a lot on how you use the boots. From there, you can know the signs when you need to re-apply mink oil on the boots.

Meanwhile, if you want to moisturize cowboy boots, you can do it periodically. You also need to determine the leather type of your boots as each type of leather should be oiled after a different period of time.

Apply mink oil to waterproof cowboy boots

Usually, how long cowboy boots are waterproof depends on how you use them. The more water they are exposed to, the more often you’ll need to re-apply mink oil.

If exposed to the rain often, cowboy boots need waterproofing once a month.

Cowboy boots and rain

Over time, the mink oil on the surface of cowboy boots can still dry out and the waterproof layer that protects the boots will gradually lose its effectiveness.

So, if I don’t use cowboy boots too often, I re-apply mink oil on them every 2 to 3 months to maintain its effectiveness. From my experience, this period is quite productive.

But to be sure, you should rely on the signs on your boots. I mean, like it or not, mink oil has a tendency to darken your cowboy boots.

The most obvious sign to re-apply cowboy boots with mink oil is when you see your cowboy boots gradually lighten in color. This means the mink oil has faded and there is not enough amount on the boot surface to protect the boots from the water attack.

In addition, another sign you should look out for is water droplets on the surface of the boots. If mink oil is still working, water droplets will stay on the surface or easily slide away rather than being absorbed into the boots.

water droplets on cowboy boots

Once water can’t get in cowboy boots, neither do dirt. So, watch out, if cowboy boots suddenly get dirty easily, it’s time to re-apply mink oil.

Apply mink oil to moisturize cowboy boots

Cowboy boots are made of 100% leather, and the soft leather is thanks to natural oils. Over time, these oils tend to dry out, so it is essential to use mink oil to restore them.

This ensures that cowboy boots are soft, durable and comfortable and retain their original color (albeit a bit darker).

However, the problem is that not all leather is the same. For example, ostrich tends to dry out more quickly than bovine. Therefore, the time between each application of mink oil will also be different.

a pair of ostrich cowboy boots

Besides, not all leather should be moisturized by mink oil, especially hairy leather like suede, nubuck, or rough-out leather.

Luckily, we have some articles about exotic leather care and how often you should oil cowboy boots here! You should check it out if you want more details.

In general, it also depends on how much you use your boots.

Here’s my recommended time to apply mink oil to each type of leather cowboy boot. It is how often we should oil cowboy boots.

Types of leather/ FrequencyRarely wearWear a lot
Cowhide and bull hideEvery 6 monthsEvery 3 to 4 months
GoatEvery 6 monthsEvery 4 months
LizardEvery 6 monthsEvery 3 months
OstrichEvery 4 to 6 monthsEvery 2 months
SnakeEvery 6 to 7 monthsEvery 3 to 4 months
Caiman bellyEvery 4 to 5 monthsEvery 2 months
StingrayEvery 6 monthsEvery 3 months
KangarooEvery 6 monthsEvery 4 to 6 months

For elephant and shark leather, do not use mink oil on them. Instead, you should find oils/conditioners specialized for reptile leathers.

Here’s a small table on how often you oil these leathers.

Types of leatherFrequency
ElephantOnce every 4 months
SharkTwice a year for little use and 3 or 4 times for regular use

Again, if you want more details, check out our article! I have a more complete guide with some tips on how to oil cowboy boots.

In addition, you can also use the tips I mentioned above (apply mink oil to waterproof cowboy boots). Observe the color, water droplets, or dirt on the surface of the boots to determine when to use mink oils again.

Normally, if cowboy boots are often in contact with water, the mink oil will also be washed away more quickly. So in general, those tips will still work in some cases when you want to determine how often you should moisturize your boots with mink oil.

A man holding mink oil bottle

Before you leave

In general, oiling cowboy boots with mink oil is essential. However, you need to know how often should use it on the boots to make the most of it.

If you oil them too much, the boots will darken a lot. In contrast, the boots can be lacking in oils and easily crack or be damaged by water if you don’t oil them at the right time.

Be aware of the signs and the appropriate time to reapply mink oil, you now know how to use it properly!

Good luck!