Leather is actually made from animal skin, which is made flexible and smooth by first removing the hair from the skin, and then tanning it. Due to this, the leather may become hard if it is not lubricated regularly with the help of leather lubricants, stain repellents, etc. This leather can start to break or crack if nothing is done to soften it. This can make it unusable, and you may have to throw it away. As leather goods and accessories are very expensive, this is not a favorable option. In such cases, the best thing one can do is to soften it.
Leather can be softened in two ways―one is with the help of commercial products, and the other is with the help of some home remedies. Both methods are simple, and you do not have to worry about the quality of the leather. However, before using any of these methods, you should make sure that the leather is dry and clean. You can clean it by brushing it gently with a soft brush, or wipe it with a cleaner.
Repeat this procedure till all the leather is equally coated with coconut oil. Although coconut oil aids in softening stiff leather easily, the color of the leather may become dark with this method.
Rubbing Alcohol and Vaseline
Take a cotton swab or ball and coat it generously with alcohol. Rub this alcohol-coated cotton ball on the leather that you want to soften. Though the leather starts loosening when you start applying this, you have to repeat the process till the alcohol is completely soaked into the leather.
Once this is done, the next step would be to use Vaseline. Take some Vaseline on your fingers and apply it all over the leather. Vaseline helps in making the leather soft in just one application. Most people consider this the best way, because it does not affect the quality or the color of the product.
If you do not find these home remedies to be effective enough, which would be a rare thing, you can get hold of some commercially available product for the job. There are various leather softeners as well as conditioners available in the market, which can make the leather soft and supple.
Take a small amount of the softener or conditioning cream or wax and apply it onto the leather. Allow this to stay on the leather for a few minutes (as suggested on the label), and wipe off the excess by rubbing gently with a clean polishing cloth. You have to repeat this process after every six months to prevent your leather from drying.
One important thing that people ought to know is that these methods should never be used on leather couches and chairs. This is because, the leather used for furniture is usually very soft, and using these things on them can cause discoloration. Moreover, certain products can actually dry the leather more, thus weakening it. Hence, restrict these methods to your accessories only, so that you can use them for a long time to come.