How to Clean Leather Shoes

A Little Care Goes a Long Way

Once you learn how to clean leather shoes, you’ll be able to take care of your footwear for a lifetime. Providing a little extra care now will ensure years of enjoyment from your favorite shoes. Even an inexpensive pair of leather shoes can last a long time with proper cleaning. Think of the money you’ll save in professional care and polishing by doing this simple task yourself. Perhaps the money you save could be used to buy even more shoes

How to Store Leather Shoes

If you store your shoes properly, it will be easier to keep them clean. A good system that will work in most closets is shelving. Even a small closet can hold several pairs of shoes comfortably if you employ a stacking shelf system. Shelves will keep your shoes off the floor, where they may be stepped on or squashed.

If shelving isn’t an option, you can try an over-the-door shoe hanger. Each shoe or pair of shoes fits into a pocket. This also elevates the shoes and saves valuable floor space; perfect for small spaces. Whichever stacking system you use, it’s infinitely better than tripping over a clutter of shoes every day

A Good Polish

Learning how to polish your own shoes will keep them looking new and will save you from spending money on paying someone to do it for you. To polish your shoes, you will need:

Shoe polish of your choice

Soft, clean cloths

Before applying polish to your entire shoe, test a small amount in an inconspicuous area to make sure the polish is compatible with your material. Using small, circular motions, apply polish to the entire shoe upper, being careful around stitching that might be a different color. Once the entire shoe is covered with polish, use a cloth to remove it in small motions. Afterwards, use a clean cloth to buff the shoe until it shines.

Leather Conditioners

Using a leather conditioner regularly is important for maintaining the suppleness of the material. If you don’t use a conditioner at least a couple of times a year, your shoes have more chance of drying out, which can lead to unsightly cracks. This cream made especially for leather fabric will keep the material moisturized and soft, which is important for extending the life of your shoes.

Suede and Nubuck

Cleaning suede and nubuck leather will require a different technique than cleaning smooth leather. It’s essential to find cleaners made for these materials; otherwise, you risk damaging them with the wrong type. Brushing suede with utensils made for this purpose will bring new life back into them.


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