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How to Clean Leather Shoes: Tips for Shinier, Long-lasting Shoes

 
By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Clean Leather Shoes: Tips for Shinier, Long-lasting Shoes

Leather shoes require special care to keep them in top condition; if you want your leather shoes to last for a longer time, you'll need to wipe off dirt and keep them smooth and shiny with some regular maintenance. There are several techniques and methods that, when carried out regularly, will increase the lifespan of your leather shoes.

You only need a clean soft cloth, some newspaper, water and vinegar, as well as more specialized products such as leather conditioner or shoe polish, which you can find in most stores. Stay with us at oneHOWTO and find out how to clean leather shoes with our tips for shinier, long-lasting shoes.

You may also be interested in: Natural Alternatives to Leather Shoes
Steps to follow:
1

Before starting to clean the leather shoes and worry about leaving them perfectly shiny we recommend removing all dirt after every use with a soft cloth. This way, you will prevent dirt and dust from building up and make cleaning them easier.

If the leather shoes have laces, it is best to wash them in the washing machine separately in order to keep them looking pristine.

How to Clean Leather Shoes: Tips for Shinier, Long-lasting Shoes - Step 1
2

If your leather shoes are stained, wiping might not be enough to keep them shiny and long-lasting. To remove stains from leather, use a damp cloth to rub salt on the surface without getting the material too wet. There are products specifically designed to treat leather that you can find in shoe shops.

To remove stains caused by excess salt you can create a solution by mixing water and white vinegar in equal parts and applying to the affected area with a cloth. Then dry the shoes off with a clean soft cloth and repeat the process until the salt stains disappear.

Here you can find how to remove oil stains and how to remove ink stains from leather shoes.

3

If you have oil or wax to clean leather shoes, start by removing all dirt and dust with a clean dry cloth as before.

Then use a soft cloth to apply the oil or wax, following the instructions on the product labels carefully. Leave the product on the surface until it has been absorbed completely. Remove the excess wax or oil with a dry cloth and wait 24 hours for it to work its magic.

4

After rubbing salt, wax or oil, use a wet cloth to wipe the shoe gently without using too much force. Then, leave them to dry. Remember that you should never leave leather shoes to dry under the sun, as it can cause discoloration.

If you have patent leather shoes, you can use vegetable oil and a dry cloth to give them shine. However, make sure that you carry out a spot test first to avoid damaging the shoe's material.

5

We recommend polishing leather shoes on a monthly basis. Place some newspaper on the floor or table you're going to use as a workspace to prevent staining it first.

Apply a shoe polishing product - we recommend creams - on a hidden area of the shoe to make sure it doesn't cause discoloration. If it doesn't, apply the polish on the leather shoes using a clean soft cloth in circular motions. Keep in mind that seams are delicate to treat because they are usually in a different shade, so do to press too hard on this area.

Finally, remove the polish with another clean soft cloth, also with circular motions. For shinier leather shoes, pour a few drops of water to the shoe before polishing.

How to Clean Leather Shoes: Tips for Shinier, Long-lasting Shoes - Step 5
6

To prevent the leather from cracking or being too damaged use a leather conditioner, which can be found in any shoe shop, a couple times a year. This will prevent cracks from forming on your shoe, leaving a beautifully smooth finish and helping your leather shoes last for longer.

7

Did you find this article helpful? To learn more techniques on how to clean your shoes, whatever they might be made from, take a look at the following articles:

If you want to read similar articles to How to Clean Leather Shoes: Tips for Shinier, Long-lasting Shoes, we recommend you visit our Fashion & Style category.

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