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Q: how to "soften" ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: how to "soften"
Category: Sports and Recreation > Hobbies and Crafts
Asked by: brainfloss-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 31 Dec 2003 16:32 PST
Expires: 30 Jan 2004 16:32 PST
Question ID: 291968
We have a new leather sofa set but the leather is a bit 

on the tougher side. Would like to know how to "soften" 

the leather so that it is softer to the touch.....your 

help is greatly appreciated. Peter.
Subject: Re: how to "soften"
Answered By: clouseau-ga on 31 Dec 2003 17:32 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello again Peter,

Thank you for your question.

Leather CPR claims they have just the product for you:

"...Simply wipe it on, and wipe it off. 100% natural ingredients
safely liquefy dirt, sweat, grime and stains in seconds.
Life-renewing, non-greasy natural lanolin softens and restores
suppleness and reduces the appearance of scratches. Leather CPR?
Cleaner & Conditioner is ideal for leather clothing, upholstery,
shoes, boots, equestrian tack, as well as other leather items of any
color. It is safe for use on exotic skins, such as alligator and

...Breaking In & Softening Leather

When you wish to soften a new pair of shoes, boots or other leather
items, apply a liberal coat of Leather CPR? Cleaner & Conditioner and
allow it to dry. Repeat this process until you have the desired
softness. After the final coat dries, buff with a soft cotton cloth
for a light sheen..."

There are, of course, other products and remedies. This thread at a
Peugeot enthusiasts site says:

"...My 1883 505STI seats (Brown leather) are a little on the dry, hard
side, does anyone know a product or home brewed remedy to help these
poor seats. I may put a partial sheep skin cover on in the meantime...

...The only product I've found to reliably do this is "Lexol" (also
marketed under 'Connoley Hide Food') It will take many applications
and you will need to use a _light_ application of saddle soap once
they are softened to remove the residue. The active ingredient appears
to be boiled linseed oil...

and another reply:

...One product. Leatherique. ( 
This is a profesional grade leather conditioner and cleaner. Lexor is
a consumer grade compare to this stuff..."

You can actually reach Leatherique here:

And on their product page:

"ORIGINAL FORMULA Leather Rejuvenator Oil, dubbed  ?Simply The Best?
for leather by the Rolls Royce Owners Club, since 1968.  This is THE
ORIGINAL FORMULA!  Other companies offer cheap imitations, but your
fine leather deserves only the Original and the Best!   Our
ingredients are a patented blend of ph correct of proteins and
collagens to nourish and maintain healthy leather, restore luxurious
suppleness, and add new life to tired leather.  Our formulation will
actually restore cardboard leather.  No greasy oils or cheap watery
fillers, waxes, silicones, or mineral oils.  Apply generously, allow
to be absorbed, repeat 2-3 times.   To maintain new leather, use 3-4
times per year to keep leather nourished, soft, and luxuriously
supple.  The preferred choice of museums, restoration shops,
professionals and do it yourselfers..."

And yet another reply from the above mentioned Peugeot thread notes:

"...Bad news and good news. 

If the leather surface has gone dry and has lots of fine lines in
it--like the skin of a woman who smoked heavily for years--then not
only in my humble opinion, but in the opinion of top car restorers,
then you will most likely be wasting your money on things like
Connolly Hide Food at $15 a jar.

In order really to moisturize the leather you have to get off the
dried out surface finish. IIRC you can use lacquer thinner from an
auto body shop.

The good news is that if the leather is not actually split, you can
bring it back quite a bit.

The best line of products is Color Plus. They have a free guide called
"About Leather."

If you are not up to removing the old dried finish, Color Plus Leather
Soff'ner (dumb name) is much more effective in such cases than
Connolly Hide Food. 

Connolly Hide Food is not bad stuff--I have used it--but it is for
basically good leather. If the leather has already gone hard, you need
the Color Plus products..."

In light of all of your leather questions today, you might want to read this guide:

This highly informative booklet explains how and why leather ages, as
well as how to restore a professional looking finish with Color-Plus
products. Best of all, this brochure is free! Just send a message to

It is also available in .pdf format here:

And you will find their "Soffener" product here:

"...SOFFENER? - Original Formula Leather Conditioner

 WHY IT'S DIFFERENT - Most  leather conditioners are mostly water.
When applied to leather, the water evaporates, and the "conditioner"
barely penetrates the surface. SOFFENER? however, is a conditioner
that contains more nourishing oils than water. SOFFENER? penetrates
through to the interior layers (where leather loses moisture from use
and exposure) and replenishes the lost moisture. Leather regularly
conditioned with SOFFENER? remains soft and supple throughout many
years of use.

SOFFENER?  is the most potent, beneficial leather conditioner
available. Softens old, stiff leather, preserves new leather. In most
cases SOFFENER? will not darken light shades of leather. Natural
leather smell. Leaves no residue. Useful on all leathers. NOT FOR USE

So, as you can see, there are numerous products available all with
claims of superlative performance in softening older leather. I would
think most quality products should assist to soften your new leather

Search Strategy:

softening leather


brainfloss-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
outstanding answer thanks clouseau

Subject: Re: how to "soften"
From: billups-ga on 19 Aug 2004 05:57 PDT
Subject: Re: how to "soften"
From: lrpman-ga on 08 Feb 2005 12:43 PST
Reading your answer was very interesting. AS a user for 40plus years
of LEATHERIQUE products I can tell you that according to Rolls Royce
they said that their products where "SIMPLY THE BEST". There have been
many rip-offs of their products line by former employes of there New
Jersey based company back in the early 80's. The original people who
started the company mived to FLorida after the death of the partners
in the 1980's. The mother and son ran the operation out of Florida
untill her death in 1998 or 1999. The son and his wife now run the
company. I spend a lot of time talking to them and belive me when I
say that if major restoraton shops and collectors like myself use the
products then they must be good. If not how did they last since the
early 1960's?
Whatever you chose you should be sure you are dealing with a user of
the product on the fine leather like you have. A salesmen or clone
will NOT have the experience or knowledge to help you if you have a
real problem with your leather.

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