How To Clean Leather Shoes
Caring For Your Shoes
Not too long ago, shoes were made of Leather, canvas for sports shoes or rubber for wellington boots, they came in very few colors, Black, Brown or White and cleaning them was a simple affair wax polish brushes and a cloth for leather, water and a cloth for wellingtons and a whitener for your sneakers.
These days though Shoes come in many different materials and in so many different colors that cleaning them and caring for them has become something of a science in itself.
If you know which cleaning materials to use then cleaning your shoes should only take around 5 minutes of your time and 10 minutes to clean boots.
Shoe Wipes A Quick Fix For your Shoes
Cleaning Leather Shoes and Boots
The Old Fashioned Way
In years gone by back in the days when leather shoes came in either Black or Brown, you would buy a wax polish with a black or brown dye mixed into it depending on your shoe color, The wax polish really brought a great shine to your shoes and because of the colored dye in it, it also covered up scratches and scrapes on the surface of the shoe.
These days you can purchase a clear wax polish to use leather shoes of any color and the results are just as effective as they were in the past.
Cleaning with Wax Polish
When cleaning your shoes using a wax polish you will need a damp cloth, 2 soft shoe brushes(optional you can use 2 dry clothes) and of course the wax polish.
1) Remove the laces from the shoes, this ensures access to the tongue of the shoe.
2) Use the damp cloth to remove any dirt on the shoes and then leave the shoe to dry.
3) Using a soft brush or a cloth press it into the wax polish and then apply it to the shoe using a circular motion.
4) let the polish dry on the shoe for about 5 minutes, the shoe will become dull and faded looking.
5) Use the second brush or dry cloth to remove the excess polish and to buff up the shoe in a brisk forward backwards motion until the shoes look as good as the day you bought them.
If you are out and about, or you just don't have the time to give your shoes a good old fashioned polish, then a damp cloth to take off any dirt and buffing your shoe with a dry cloth will bring the shine back to your shoes, but not very many people walk about with 2 cloths on their possesion.
Although only a temporary fix purchasing a pack of Shoe wipes can give your shoes an instant shine, they come in packs which are around the same size a pack of wet wipes, a quick wipe over the shoes is enough to bring the shoes back to their best.
Shoe wipes not only work on leather shoes but they work well on plastic and fake leather shoes too.
Caring for Leather Shoes
Leather has a habit of cracking when it dries out and although polishing your shoes or boots regularly helps them to keep looking good you also have to take precautions to stop them drying out.
once a month you should treat your leather shoes with a moisturiser which soaks into the leather to prevent it drying out, there are some creams that you can purchase specialy made for this purpose, but you can save some money by using a dab of petrolium jelly and buffing it into the shoe once a month before polishing your shoes in the normal way.
olive oil or even a dash of cooking oil can also prevent your leather shoes from drying out.
Leather Sneakers or sports shoes, ladies and gents sandals, leather slippers, a quick once over with a damp cloth sometimes just isn't enough to clean soft leather shoes, and throwing them into the washing machine for a quick wash is a bad idea, the detergent in the machine can react with the glue leaving your shoes in danger of falling apart as you walk along.
For stubborn stains on soft leather a cream cleanser such as Cif Cream is a good way to remove them but gently does it, you don't want to scratch them, following the clenser you should wash it of with a damp cloth to get rid of the powdery residue, then moisturise your shoes with olive oil or petrolium jelly and buff them.
Cleaning and Caring for Suede Leather Shoes and Boots
Although suede and leather are in essence the same thing, cleaning them is a totally different kettle of fish altogether, using a Wax polish on suede would ruin it in seconds.
Cleaning suede takes a little more time than hard leather and a little more care.
1) wipe the suede with a damp cloth, for stubborn stains and allow to dry.
2) rub stubborn stains with a pencil erazer, which will either remove the stains altogether or make them less noticeable.
3) Suede leather has a nap, rub the shoe to the nap to cover any shiny or damaged spots.
4) Condition with a suede conditioner.
5) Use a waterproofing spray specialy made for suede.
9 Times out of 10 when buying Suede shoes the sales person will offer to sell you a suede care kit, this although being a sales tactic it is a good idea to buy it.