utah leather

neatsfoot oil

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does neatsfoot oil get old ? I have a gallon of neatsfoot oil and it's about 3 years old .  I poured some out today and it looks weird like it coaguated with water or something, instead of being yellow/ goldish it has a whitish looking stuff in it . So i heated it up in my little pan on the stove ( my girlfriend loves it when I do this ) lol and it looks normal, any ideas ?

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Neatsfoot oil does get old. Improperly stored it can go rancid - you'll know when it does.

Neatsfoot oil is made boiling the feet of cattle [the word Neat = old Middle-English word for cattle] and the lower leg bones to get the fat out of them. This is then refined to remove a lot of the fat and just leave the oils. It sounds like some of the fat has separated out and by heating it up you simply re-melted the fat into the oil

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I have it stored in the basement on a concrete floor, it is unfinished and the tempature is around 66 degrees right now. Is this proper or should I put it somewhere else

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Neatsfool oil will congeal when cool. It will turn white.

It can pour really slowly or not at all depending on the temperature.

Bring it up to room temperature and see if it turns back to a yellowish color

 

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2 hours ago, Kabob said:

Neatsfool oil will congeal when cool. It will turn white.

It can pour really slowly or not at all depending on the temperature.

Bring it up to room temperature and see if it turns back to a yellowish color

 

after I warmed it up on the stove it went back to yellow/ gold color, I have been keeping an eye on it for a couple hours and it seems to be staying normal, I think you're right, when it gets cold it congeal,  I'm glad that was the problem, I was about ready to throw it away and get a new gallon. Thanks for the info

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Although Neatsfoot Oil will indeed go bad you took a shot in the dark by heating it up and you were right to do so.  I actually heat mine up everyday and I apply it to my leather while warm; I have found that it penetrates the leather better and gets into the fibers much deeper and quicker.  Just be cautious with warm oil though because you can over apply very easily.

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During my horseback riding days, when oiling old horse's tack that had gotten very dried out, I'd always warm the leather with my hands as I applied the oil, as the warmth would help it penetrate better.

I never thought of warming the oil, but this proves what was said above!

This is also the reason neatsfood oil is often sold as a compound, mixed with other oils that are more liquid at colder temperatures. Unfortunately, these oils are usually petrochemicals that eventually rot stitching!

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On 2/12/2019 at 6:44 PM, Kabob said:

Neatsfool oil will congeal when cool. It will turn white.

It can pour really slowly or not at all depending on the temperature.

Bring it up to room temperature and see if it turns back to a yellowish color

 

after I warmed it up on the stove it went back to yellow/ gold color, I have been keeping an eye on it for a couple hours and it seems to be staying normal, I think you're right, when it gets cold it congeal,  I'm glad that was the problem, I was about ready to throw it away and get a new gallon. Thanks for the info

do you know what the shelf life is on neatsfoot oil after you open the bottle  ?

Edited by utah leather
pu it in the wrong place.

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do you know what the shelf life is on neatsfoot oil after the bottle has been opened ?

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Store it the way you have, in the cold, warm some of it to use it, it'll last years. Put it on a shelf in sunlight and constant high warmth, it'll last 6 months to a year. I have a small jug bottle, kept on a bottom shelf in the dark, in my workroom which does not get warm nor gets too cold, that bottle is at least 5 years old.

edit;

PS. I warm my NFO before application as well. I decant some into a jam jar, warm in a micro-oven for a short time, then apply either with a sponge or coarse [child's] painting brush. TBH, I don't use it a lot

 

Edited by fredk

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I have a jug of NFO that must be 40 to 50 years old (or more, back to the days when most farming was done using horses instead of tractors).  It was stored in an unheated shed and subject to a temperature range of -40C to +30C.  It was originally in a glass gallon jug, but had been moved to a white plastic jug like used for motor oils.  It is still good.  Had no problems with it.

Tom

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Thanks Northmount, the stuff I warmed up is doing fine , so I will take your advice and keep it cool and only warm up what I need

Edited by utah leather

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