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It's a Guy Thing

Footwear Guide: How to Clean Leather Shoes

Wondering how to take proper care of your leather shoes? Take a look at our detailed guide which will teach you how to clean, shine, and maintain your favourite leather kicks.

by Boys'Co Online

November 08, 2016

How to clean Leather Shoes



Leather has been incorporated in footwear for thousands of years. The world’s oldest leather shoes date back to 3500 BC. Leather shoes are associated with every occasion which calls for being dressed nicer than usual. This includes going out for drinks with friends, date nights, work, and more. The best part about leather shoes (besides giving you a touch of sophistication) is the fact that with proper care, they can last you for a lot of years down the road. With a few simple tips and tricks you won't even need to visit a shoe doctor unless your nice leather shoes need some major reconstructing or re­soling.


Cleaning Leather Shoes - What to do if they get wet?

Ok so let’s say you're out after work for a couple drinks with your co­workers. It wasn’t raining before, but now that you’re leaving the pub it’s pouring and your leather shoes are now soaked. This is a very likely scenario and should not be cause for panic. If your leather shoes happen to get wet, all you need to do is to stuff them with newspaper and just leave them to air dry outside.



How to take care of your leather shoes

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How to Clean Leather

First thing you want to figure out before you clean your leather shoes is whether it's finished or unfinished leather. Finished leather means that it has gone through some process to make it more stain and fade resistant. Unfinished leather refers to a type that has only been lightly processed or hasn't been processed at all.



Cleaning Leather - How to clean finished leather

If you're dealing with finished leather, grab a stiff bristled brush to take off any dirt sitting on the surface. Next you'll want to grab a clean and dry cloth and use it to wipe your leather and further remove any surface grease and grime. Apply a small amount of water and a dab of mild laundry detergent to your cloth and very gently clean all areas of the leather that still have remaining dirt on them

If you're dealing with salt stains, use white vinegar instead of water.


How to clean leather shoes

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Cleaning Leather - How to clean unfinished leather

When it comes to cleaning unfinished leather, you'll need to be a bit more cautious. Start the same process as finished leather by using a brush and cloth to remove surface dirt. Next you'll want to get yourself some saddle soap and gently massage it into the leather. Saddle soap is a mix of oils and waxes specifically made to be safe for use on unfinished leathers.

Remove excess soap with a clean and dry cloth.


How to take care of leather shoes

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How to Shine Leather Shoes

Find yourself an uncluttered area and make sure that there’s nothing that could be damaged nearby. Grab yourself some polish in cream, wax, or liquid depending on which consistency you’re looking for. Waxes and creams tend to be heavier which work best for leather shoes because it helps sink in more effectively. Liquid types are better if you’re looking for a quick and easy shine.

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