How to clean leather shoes

Many people are concerned about the question How to properly clean leather shoes at home?.

Leather shoes are a high-quality product that, with proper care, will serve the owner for more than one year.

How to clean leather shoes
Dominika Roseclay

Usually, shoes made of genuine leather are purchased for a long period of wear.

How great is the disappointment of the buyer when in the next season he discovers that the shoes or boots have lost their shape and small cracks have appeared on them?

The fact is that leather shoes require daily care, which will allow them to look luxurious and expensive even after several years.

In the conditions of a megalopolis, shoes are constantly exposed to aggressive environmental influences: anti-ice reagents, detergents, cold and constant getting wet have a negative effect on the natural leather and, ultimately, lead to damage, even loss of functionality.

How to properly care for, clean and store leather shoes-Home Tips

A tip! Before you put on a newly purchased pair, leave it for 2-3 days without packaging. Leave the inner part of the filling for writing the form (paper, cardboard, plastic dividers). The leather will regain its original shape and smoothness after being transported and stored in a shoe store.

Basic rules and steps for caring for genuine leather shoes

There are many recommendations on how to take care of shoes made of genuine leather. But the most important thing is to do it regularly. If you do not immediately remove the street dirt from your boots or boots, it will be absorbed so that later no means will help you cope with it.

First stage: cleaning

To properly clean leather shoes, you will need the following tools and materials::

To clean the sole, it is better to use a brush or sponge, which has a hard layer. Do not push too hard to avoid damaging the special fluting or pattern – if it is erased, the shoes will start to slip or it will become uncomfortable to walk in it.

Care for shoes made of genuine leather can not be postponed until later: dust and dirt stuck on the street at home should be immediately cleaned with a soft brush. Parts that are small in size or located so that they are difficult to reach can be cleaned of dust and dirt with a toothbrush. This will prevent the appearance of persistent dirt, which is much more difficult to deal with. Even those leather shoes that are rarely worn need to be dusted at least a couple of times a week.

Second stage: washing

This method of caring for shoes made of genuine leather can be discussed in the case of very heavy dirt, which a sponge, brush, and rag will not help to cope with.

In order not to spoil leather shoes, boots, or boots, you need to wash them carefully by hand, acting consistently:

  • we remove laces, insoles, and other removable parts and accessories that may deform or damage the shoes during washing;
  • we wipe the shoes from dust with a dry cloth, then remove the dirt that remains from the upper part and sole with a wet one;
  • My shoes are inside;
  • we put the shoes to dry.

Important! You will not find any recommendations regarding washing in the typewriter in any manual for the care of shoes made of genuine leather – it is unacceptable. Having decided on such an experiment, you will make sure that you have ruined the product: the skin will harden, lose its shape and color.

If the parts of the product are not stitched but taped, it can not only be washed but also washed under running water, otherwise, the glue may dissolve.

Third stage: drying

The washed pair needs to dry properly. After wiping with a damp cloth, it is enough to dry the surface with a paper towel or napkins.

Shoes that have been heavily wetted should be dried by putting crumpled paper inside so that the skin does not deform. Drying at too high a temperature, in the sun, or near heaters and batteries is prohibited.

How to care for light leather shoes

  • First of all, dirt is removed from the shoes. Since nubuck and suede shoes are not afraid of water, they can be cleaned with liquid solutions, for example, with a special shampoo. Using a short-pile brush, foam is applied to the shoes and passes over the entire surface with light movements. The brush should not be too soft and not too hard. Then the remaining foam should be removed with a microfiber cloth and put a couple to dry at room temperature.
  • Dry shoes, boots or shoes should be combed. This requires a brush with hard, short bristles – it lifts the pile of the product that is crushed after washing and drying. Shoes are combed with careful movements, barely touching the surface.

Do not store leather shoes in plastic bags – the skin should breathe. It is best to put your shoes in cardboard boxes with holes for ventilation.

How to clean leather shoes

You need to take care of leather shoes on a daily basis, and this process begins with proper cleaning.

After each wear, clean the shoes from dust with a dry cloth. If there is wet dirt on the surface of the skin, wait until it dries and removes it with a soft brush. Brush away any remaining dust with a dry cloth, and then pat the surface with a damp cloth. This is how you need to clean the skin that has been finished.

Untreated leather (see label) should be cleaned with saddle soap. Wet a rag, rub the soap to create a light lather, and gently work the skin. Wash off the foam and dry your shoes.

Saddle soap can be purchased in shoe stores and in the departments of accessories for equestrian sports

If your shoes are heavily soiled, wash them with cool water (never hot!). Start with the sole and heel, and then move on to the toe and heel. Avoid getting water inside your shoes. After washing, wipe the skin with a dry cloth and allow the shoes to dry completely.

Leather shoes are dried at room temperature: the insoles are removed and special pads are inserted (or stuffed with paper).

Do not dry your shoes in the sun or near a heater: the skin may fade and crack

Remove stains from leather shoes

If you find stains on your shoes after a standard cleaning, use the following tips::

  • remove greasy stains with potato starch, powdered chalk or baking soda: apply to the stain for 30 minutes and shake off the residue. If the dry form of the product did not help, try to dilute it with water to a thick pulp and repeat the procedure;
  • light contamination is eliminated with a fresh cut of onions;
  • salt stains are wiped with a vinegar solution (water and vinegar 1:3) or castor oil.

hard-to-remove stains can be removed by aggressive means: nail polish remover, purified gasoline, oxygen bleach, or hydrogen peroxide. However, there is no guarantee that you will not spoil the product: in this case, everything depends on the quality of the leather and dye. Pre-test the effect of the product on an inconspicuous area of the skin.

Apply the product on a cotton pad or stick, and gently clean the dirt. Finally, wipe the treated areas with a clean, damp cloth and dry the shoes. Care for leather shoesSprinkle the greasy strips with starch, baking soda, talcum powder, and crushed chalk. Leave on for 1-3 hours. Shake, wipe with a damp cloth.

How to Effectively Clean Leather Products Yourself: Top home remedies

  • toothpaste whitens your teeth. Apply the product on a soft brush, and clean the dirt. Use only plain white paste;
  • baking soda cleanses. Dilute it in water to the consistency of a thick mush and gently clean your shoes;
  • a mixture of milk and raw egg refreshes the color and adds shine. Mix egg white with 0.5 cups of warm milk and apply to shoes. When the mixture is dry, polish the skin with a soft cloth;
  • table vinegar or lemon juice eliminates streaks and yellow spots. Pre-test the product on an inconspicuous area of the skin;
  • onion juice gets rid of stains and dirt. Wipe your shoes with a fresh slice of onion, and then polish;
  • a paste of talcum powder and turpentine cleanses heavy dirt. Mix the ingredients until a thick paste is obtained, apply to the spots and leave to dry. Remove the remaining mixture with a soft cloth.

Dust of leather goods is washed with a cloth soaked in a solution of washing soap. Clean the seams, creases, and laces with a toothbrush.

Cleaning of natural leather from various stains

If you decide to treat the stains, use household chemicals or improvised means.

Salt stains

Professional cleaning agents, foams, and impregnations from the Salton, Silver, and Divideek series will help protect and clean winter shoes from traces of salt and reagents.

  • With a solution of 3 tablespoons of vinegar essence and 1 tablespoon of water, remove the white stripes and dry them.
  • A cotton pad soaked in alcohol, vodka or ammonia rubs the skin. After drying, rub into a nourishing cream.
  • Soft paper towels wrapped around wet shoes will absorb water along with traces of salt.

Street dirt

Dust of leather goods is washed with a cloth soaked in a solution of washing soap. Clean the seams, creases, and laces with a toothbrush.

Water for washing should be cool, hot water will stretch the skin, deforming the product.

Do not use abrasive materials or hard sponges for cleaning.

Greasy, oily spots

Sprinkle the greasy strips with starch, baking soda, talcum powder, and crushed chalk. Leave on for 1-3 hours. Shake, wipe with a damp cloth.

Rub a greasy splash with half a fresh onion. The stain should disappear.

Wipe the stain with a solution of baking soda (1 teaspoon per tablespoon of water). Leave on for half an hour, wipe with a damp cloth.

Black stripes

Black stripes on white shoes can be erased with a pencil eraser or wiped off with toothpaste.

A paste with baking soda will help remove black spots. Apply to the prints, rub in and remove with a soft flannel or cloth.


Soften the scratches with leather paint to make them less noticeable.

As an express tool, you can use a simple felt-tip pen or marker that matches the color of your shoes.

Treat small scratches with a cotton swab soaked in olive oil. After drying, the traces will disappear.

How to take care of leather shoes correctly, take care of shoes in winter

  • Immediately after returning the product, wipe it with a dry cloth.
  • If the salt stains do not disappear, remove them with soap and water.
  • Remove the inserts, put them to dry.
  • Periodically (twice a month) wash the insoles in a thick soapy solution. Contact the seller when purchasing insoles to learn about the possibility of such a procedure. As a rule, all insoles can be removed and carefully washed by hand.
  • If your shoes are wet, fill them with old newspapers or use an electric dryer.
  • The main thing – you can not put shoes near the radiator, the skin dries up, cracks, and the sole and heel are deformed.
  • Treat the product with a nourishing cream to protect it from frost.

Important: Before you start cleaning, check the selected cleaning method on the inside of the product. After drying, there should be no traces and streaks.

What you need to do every day

Proper care for shoes made of genuine leather begins immediately after their purchase. Before putting on leather shoes or boots for the first time, the manufacturer strongly recommends treating them with a protective cream. A thin film is formed on the shoes, which will repel moisture, dust, dirt, protect the surface from scratches and wiping.

But this does not mean that now you can forget about brushes, creams, and sprays forever, throwing shoes in the far corner on your return home until the next operation. Daily care for shoes made of high-quality genuine leather consists of the following actions:

  1. First you need to remove all dust and dirt from the surface of your shoes. Dust is brushed away with a brush, liquid dirt is removed with a wet sponge.
  2. If the yard has bad weather in autumn or March slush, you can wash your shoes under running water to clean the dirt from the soles. Washing shoes starts with the heel. At the same time, it is important to make sure that water does not get inside the shoes. In winter, it is often necessary to wipe off the salt stains that are sprinkled on icy sidewalks.
  3. Now the skin is wiped dry with a cotton cloth or a soft flannel cloth.
  4. Only on a completely dry surface can the cream be applied. It can be colorless, or match the color of shoes, boots, etc. For application, it is better to use a special brush — for the cream of each color, you will need a separate one. Do not apply too much care product. It will clog the pores of the skin and the shoes will quickly deteriorate. In addition, it will be difficult to polish it well.
  5. After a few hours, the leather shoes are polished with a special cloth or sponge.

Now you can buy very comfortable sponges in a container soaked in oil and wax. They can also be of different colors or colorless, with their help you can quickly remove dust, minor dirt, soften the skin and give it shine. This tool is convenient to take with you on the road or at work, the sponge does not take up much space in the bag. How to clean white leather sneakers or sneakers at home after removing dirt and dust, leather shoes should be treated with a special cream for light products. After applying, you can not immediately go for a walk in your shoes-wait a couple of hours for the cream to be absorbed.

Third stage: drying

  • first, the shoes must be thoroughly washed, removing dirt from the sole and between the seams, and then dry it well;
  • then the shoes or boots are treated with cream, as indicated above;
  • after polishing, you need to insert special pads inside so that the shoes do not deform. If there are no pads, then the shoes are tightly stuffed with paper;
  • you can also wear old nylon knee socks or scraps of tights on your boots or boots;
  • after that, the shoes are placed in cardboard boxes with ventilation holes and put away in the closet.

Care for leather shoes should be regular: every time after a walk, wipe it from dust with a damp cloth or sponge. Try not to get your shoes wet from the inside. Use warm, but not hot water.

How to store leather shoes correctly

This happens if the rules for caring for leather shoes are violated. They are not so complicated, you can take care of products made of genuine leather with the help of simple and affordable improvised means. The main thing is to do it regularly. Then your favorite shoes will not be afraid of snow, rain, mud, or small stones and branches on the road.

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