How To Clean Shoes

It’s a fact, one of the first things both men and women notice about you are your shoes.

When Will Rogers said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” he very well may have been describing what people think as they evaluate the condition of your footwear. So if you want to impress start winning friends and influencing people, start by shining those shoes like a pro.

Now you’re ready to shine:

Step 1: Clean your shoes

Step 2: Shine your shoes

The one most important thing in the care of leather is the cleaning. Of course, the traditional leather cleaner is saddle soap, which is a blend of natural soaps with waxes and glycerin. This combination cleans heavy leather well, moisturizes the leather and leaves a light wax coating which can be buffed to a soft luster. Ideal for heavy leather articles and work boots, saddle soap is rather inconvenient to use on fine leather articles.

There are now more modern formulas which provide all the benefits of traditional formula, but are based on gentle, cosmetic cleaning agents and are pre-creamed so they can be applied directly to the leather. This type of formula is ideal for use on fine leather and dress shoes to remove dirt before polishing.

What Type Cleaners to Use for:

Shiny leather: Solvent-based leather cleaners are valuable for cleaning shiny leather. They will dissolve wax build-up without drying the leather. All the cleaning product can rejuvenate a pair of shoes that has been polished many times and has developed uneven coloring.

Suede may be cleaned with either a dry cleaner solvent spray or a well-formulated sneaker shampoo. Aerosol suede cleaners are convenient to use and produce a very good result. Also sneaker shampoos, as the name implies, are designed for fabric, vinyl and suede found on all types of non-leather sneakers. Also suede can be cleaned with a clean soft brush (like a toothbrush), or you can buy special erasers (suede bars) to remove stains and dirt. Raise the nap on suede use a special brass-bristle brushes are available to raise the nap after cleaning.

Nubuck may be cleaned with either a dry cleaner solvent spray or a stain eraser. The eraser’s special composition allows it to crumble into the leather, reaching even the toughest stains. like an eraser, it erases stain and shiny spots from suede & nubuck leather. Shoes with a nap, such as suede or nubuck, can’t be polished. According to the Shoe Service Institute of America, preventive maintenance is the key to keeping these types of shoes in top shape. After purchasing a pair of suede or nubuck shoes, you’ll first want to apply a protectant to repel water and stains. However, repellant only lasts for a while, so you’ll need to reapply it periodically. Gently brush suede and nubuck footwear to remove loose dirt and restore nap on a regular basis. If you own a pair of oiled nubuck shoes, you may also want to apply conditioner to preserve them. Stains should be treated immediately with a solvent-based suede cleaner. If they prove hard to remove, take the shoe to a shoe repair professional.

Athletic shoes with fabric or suede uppers and trim can be cleaned the same way you clean your suede or nubuck shoes. Special sneaker shampoos, used with brush applicators, do a good job of cleaning stains and dirt from leather sneakers. Cover scuff marks with matching polish. Sneakers made from canvas, such as Converse All Stars, can be washed by hand using a toothbrush, mild soap and water.

 

The Don’ts of Shoe Care

Do not use house-hold cleaners

Do not use saddle soap other than on smooth leather

Do not attempt to clean shoes using petroleum distillates or cleaning fluids

What to Do For:

Wet shoes: If your shoes get wet, stuff them with terrycloth or paper towels, and let them dry away from direct heat at room temperature. Don’t polish your shoes while they are still wet.

Salt on shoes: Damaging white salt marks can be taken out with a De-salter can be cleaned with a damp cloth using lukewarm water and plain soap or Windex. Shine with a smooth soft cloth.

Exotic skins can be treated like calfskin, or with special conditioners/Cleaners that keep the leather from cracking. Take extra care when brushing to prevent scratching the surface.

Fabric shoes can be cleaned with a fabric cleaner.

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