How to Soften a Leather Belt

Woman wearing a leather belt
Photo: 101imgres/Shutterstock
A leather belt is one of the greatest and most stylish fashion accessories. Pure and premium quality leather is always very expensive and add to that cost of a designer label and price sky rockets. Therefore buying a leather belt is not same as buying any other accessory. It is in fact an expensive investment in your lifestyle and a way to make an emphatic statement about your fashion sense and style.
Therefore it becomes a matter of utmost importance that you take proper care of your leather belt just like you would do to any other premium investment of yours. So what follows is a write up about how to soften your leather belt if it goes hard. But first, let us see why would it go hard?
• Leather is basically animal skin which is composed of fibers. Now these fibers are bound to go dry or break up over a period of time if they are not lubricated regularly.
• When it starts to dry out and still not taken care of then it will ultimately start cracking and breaking.
• Similarly, high heat conditions, pollution, ultra violet rays etc also take their toll on leather.
• Best way to avoid these problems is to use leather lubricants, stain repellants and take other general precautions while storing you belt.
However if you didn't take these precautions and your leather belt has gone hard, theres still some hope. There are ways and methods by which you can restore the softness of your belts to a great extent if not completely. Following are the some such methods:
Using Vaseline/rubbing alcohol
• Go get hold of some isopropyl rubbing alcohol from any local drug store. Now take a cotton ball dip it in the alcohol, and start rubbing it all over the leather belt.
• This process loosens up the leather. You might need to use many cotton balls and repeat this process a no. of times until you are sure that the leather has soaked the alcohol.
• Now get some Vaseline, which is also as commonly available and rub it all over the leather belt with your fingers.
• This process softens the leather. You don't need to repeat this process.
Using coconut oil
• Take your leather belt out in the sun for about 10 minutes, this will bring the belt at ideal temperature for use of coconut oil.
• Now get some coconut oil and dip your fingers in it. With your fingers start rubbing the oil all over the belt.
• Repeat this process as often as required until you are sure that entire length of the leather belt has been oiled universally.
• Although this will soften the leather it might also change its color to a darker shade.
Commercially available products
• There are a no. of products like leather softeners and conditioners that are available commercially for softening leather.
• Though traditionally they have been used to soften horse saddles, they are good for leather belts also.
• They have an added advantage in that they add some strength to leather.
• Although alcohol is recommended as a good softener it tends to dry out the fiber in the leather so it is harmful in the long run. Use it sparingly.
• The above methods might produce some minor change in color, so do not use with more expensive products like leather jackets, couch etc.
Hopefully these methods will go a long way in restoring you leather belt to its former glory. Though prevention is the best cure, so take care of your investment properly.