Neats-foot oil

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A pale yellow oil obtained by boiling the feet and shin bones of cattle, horses, sheep, and pigs. Neats-foot oil contains the following fatty acids: oleic (67%), palmitic (17%), palmitoleic (9%), stearic (3%), myristic (1%), myristoleic (1%) arachidonic, and clupanodonic (Brady 1971). Neats-foot oil is used for dressing leather and oiling wood.

Synonyms and Related Terms

neat's-foot oil; neatsfoot oil (sp); CSS Leather Dressing (60% Neatsfoot oil and 40% lanolin); hoof oil; oleo pé de boi (Port.)


  • Combustible.

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Saponification value=190-203
  • Iodine value=69-76
  • Density = 0.910-0.915 g/ml
  • Refractive Index = 1.464

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 527
  • Hermann Kuhn, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities, Butterworths, London, 1986
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 6518
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: density=0.910; ref. index = 1.464; iodine value = 69-76; saponification value=190-199
  • Conservation Support Systems, Catalog, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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