Do you know how to clean leather shoes?
It’s important to take care of your leather shoes and keep them looking like new. It’s not as hard as it sounds, but there are a few things you need to do in order to maintain the quality of your shoe. This article will cover all the basics for cleaning and caring for your own pair of leather shoes. Frequent upkeep is key if you want these expensive items to last long term. If neglected, they can dry out or crack from neglecting that extra bit of TLC. So let’s get into those steps! Firstly, here are a list of what we will be using: a toothbrush, saddle soap, brush or sponge (not too rough), leather lotion, and a suede brush (optional).
Firstly, grab your toothbrush. As harsh as this sounds, the best tool to use is an old toothbrush. A clean one of course! The bristles are ideal for getting into all those nooks and crannies that the professional level brushes miss. You can always buy them at stores like Walmart or Target in bulk if you plan on using it regularly. They don’t even carry much of an upcharge over generic brands so there’s no point in spending more money than you have to. If you still want to go with the specialty brushes mentioned earlier, they also work quite nicely – just be careful not to scrub too hard or fast by accident as you can damage your shoe.
It’s also quite important that you steer clear of using a toothbrush that has been used to scrub anything other than teeth. There are harsh chemicals in toothpaste and mouthwash that would strip the color from the leather completely, not to mention it could bring a lot of dirt along with it as well! You should always take care when cleaning any leather good. Never use a bristle brush or something too coarse as this may cause serious damage to your items if used improperly. Start out by brushing off any dust first before going in for the rest of the steps.
Brush your leather shoes down with an old toothbrush
If your shoes appear dusty or dirty you can plan on brushing them down with an old toothbrush first. This will remove any loose dirt or debris so that you have a clean surface to work with. The next step is to apply the saddle soap. Saddle soap, available at most shoe stores, can be used on leather. It’s quite common to use it for polishing boots but bear in mind that it should be used sparingly as too much can cause damage. At this point, if your shoes are particularly dirty then you may want to consider cleaning them off with a damp cloth before applying the saddle soap directly.
Apply saddle soap
Put some of the saddle soap onto your brush/sponge and gently wipe it over the shoes until they appear evenly covered. If there are any particular stains on the shoes you will have to do your best with removing them at this point. You may want to consider using a little bit of water or vinegar in order to remove any particularly stubborn spots – just be careful that you don’t use too much either as it can damage the leather if applied improperly.
Let the saddle soap dry
Once you are happy with how they look, leave the saddle soap coating to dry for 5-10 minutes. This is quite important since too much moisture doesn’t bode well over time when it comes to maintaining leather shoes . Once dried, simply brush off the excess cleaner and polish up with a clean cloth/rag. Apply some lotion afterwards using another damp rag in order to seal the shoes properly.
Polish with a clean cloth
Make sure to wipe off any excess cleaner or lotion so that it doesn’t come into contact with anything you don’t want it to be on. Remember, you can always apply more saddle soap if needed but too much will ruin your shoes! If you wanted the extra step of using a suede brush (like mentioned earlier), go ahead and give your shoes another once over before applying the leather lotion onto the shoes. This extra step will add an additional layer of protection and help keep them looking like new for longer periods of time.
Proceed by applying either some water and vinegar mixture (50/50 ratio) for an extra thorough clean or some leather lotion. The latter is the preferred method since it will help keep moisture levels down and give your shoes an overall cleaner appearance. Too much water can cause problems with damaging both your shoes as well as the color of them over time – this goes for either mixture you choose so be careful.
Apply leather lotion
After applying both mixtures, leave to dry again before walking around/wearing them afterwards to avoid soiling any clothing or furniture in the process. You should always take care when cleaning a pair of leather shoes! There are a few steps that you need to adhere to in order to achieve fantastic results which aren’t too hard once you get started.