Leather shoes are comfortable, beautiful, and durable, but only if they are properly taken care of. So, what is the best way to care for leather shoes? How do you clean your leather boots and shoes of various types of dirt to preserve their bright, presentable and colorful appearance?
Caring for new shoes
Proper care from the first day after you purchase the shoes will significantly extend their lifespan. When purchasing your favorite model made of real leather, immediately ask about care products for them. A safe choice is a water-repellent spray or cream. These products cover the leather with a thin protective film so that it does not absorb excess moisture, does not fade, and does not stretch. These products have to be applied to clean and dry shoes.
Leather footwear will quickly assume the shape of your feet. Leather stretches easily, so experts recommend buying shoes a size small: after several days of wearing, they will become perfect. To help the leather become more elastic, you can lubricate it with wet soap on the inside. You can also use alcohol or paraffin for that purpose at home. Ready-made sprays are also available, that can solve this problem.
Caring for patent leather shoes
Caring for patent leather shoes is a daunting task. The glossy finish can fade, or crack, which of course is detrimental to the appearance of such a leather. To save the beauty of patent leather shoes, you should:
- clean your shoes from dust and dirt with a soft wet sponge or a cotton ball dipped in milk every day;
- rub them with castor oil, Vaseline or glycerin (this will save a glossy varnished layer on leather shoes) from time to time;
- use special products designed specifically for patent leather (water-based), conventional cosmetic creams can disrupt the pore structure of the material, and the shoe will lose its luster (the same applies to vegetable oils);
- from time to time, condition patent leather shoes with a slightly beaten egg white to enhance glossy shine.
If you care for your patent leather shoes properly, it will help you to keep their bright appearance longer. But shoes from such leather are much more difficult to restore, so experts do not recommend wearing them in high humidity, during rains or snowfall.
Caring for white shoes
Caring for white shoes traditionally causes a lot of trouble and worry. Firstly, you need to clean white shoes much more often than, say, black leather shoes. Therefore, the risk of damage by aggressive cleaning agents is incomparably higher.
To care for white leather shoes, you need to choose a soft sponge for washing and a velvet cloth for polishing. Do not use brushes for suede for shoes made of smooth white leather: micro cracks may appear, in which dust will subsequently accumulate.
Secondly, spots and stains from salt are especially visible on white shoes, yellow spots appear on them as a result of incorrect care, which are very difficult to clean. The only way to preserve the natural whiteness of the leather is the choice of special cleaning agents for this particular shade of shoes. For washing, it is recommended to use a mild cleansing shampoo for shoes, which makes a very thick foam, effectively removes dirt and plaque, while not over-moistening the leather, and does not wash the coloring pigment out of it.
How to dry and store genuine leather shoes
The drying and storage of shoes are also important nuances. Leather, albeit a durable material, is quite delicate. You have to dry leather shoes away from radiators and heating appliances, as well as sunlight. It is best to do this at room temperature. If the shoes or boots are very wet, you can put thin paper (newspaper) inside them: the paper quickly absorbs moisture and the shoes dry faster, and also, it will allow you to give shoes the necessary shape.
It is better to clean shoes immediately after returning home. Leave them to dry overnight, and cover with a protective cream in the morning. That way, your favorite leather boots will stay in use for a long time!
To ensure the best storage (for example, off-season), shoes should be packed in cardboard boxes or special bags made of natural material, cleaning and drying them beforehand. It is very handy to use special rods for preventing the leather from bending and losing its shape. Such devices can be replaced with newspapers.