Caring for patent leather shoes can often prove difficult. However, shoes with aristocratic glossy shine still remain fashionable and stylish, and therefore everyone should know the most elementary and affordable rules. So, how to care for patent leather shoes and how to effectively maintain their original appearance for as long as possible?
Not for any weather!
Despite the fact that leather is a strong enough and extremely hardy material, patent leather shoes should not be worn at a temperature lower than -5 C. Temperature extremes are detrimental to patent leather, and frost contributes to the formation of cracks on it. Even modern thermal protectants are not effective on the patent leather shoes, therefore, choosing such winter boots is at the very least impractical.
Wearing patent leather shoes or sandals in the heat can even be dangerous to your health.
The reason is that the lacquer clogs the pores of the leather and it does not allow air to pass through, and as a result, your feet are sweating, and the likelihood of you developing fungal diseases and the inconvenience associated with them is greatly increased. Therefore, wearing such shoes regularly is definitely not worth it. At high temperatures (more 25C), the patent film can be deformed and stretched, effectively ruining the shoes’ attractive appearance. For the same reason, cleaning them with a lot of water or foam is impossible.
Wet weather is also not the best time for the patent leather shoes. Under the influence of moisture the coating dims, and can begin developing cracks. The perfect weather for patent leather shoes is warm (but not too hot) and dry.
Daily care of patent leather shoes
An important rule in the care of patent leather shoes is regular and gentle removal of dirt and dust. It can be done in the following ways:
- clean the shoes with a slightly damp sponge from soft cloth (can use milk as a moisturizer, it will make removing dirt easier);
- wet weather, snow or temperature extremes make the leather firm, returning its softness is possible with castor oil, petroleum jelly or glycerin;
- you can polish the leather with a velvet cloth.
It is not recommended to clean the patent leather with universal cleaning products for shoes. They are often alcohol-based, and alcohol dries the coating, and it may crack. For the same reason, do not use the coloring cream or any treatments containing a toner. For care of the patent leather shoes, you can either use special products for a particular type of leather, or prepare cleaning solutions on your own. One of the most common recipes is below:
- egg yolk;
- a teaspoon of refined vegetable oil;
- three tablespoons of turpentine.
The use of this mixture returns the leather’s natural softness and elasticity so that the lacquer does not crack and does not fade. If crevices and cracks have already formed, you can try to get rid of them with a special regenerating cream, but it is better to entrust the procedure to an expert. If you don’t stop the cracks’ expansion in time, they will quickly spread, and restoring the former look to the shoes will, unfortunately, not be possible.
How to dry and store
Drying patent leather shoes under a heater or using an electric dryer is impossible. The shoes should be dried in a well-ventilated area. They also should not be dried in the sun, as in this case, the patent will begin to fade. One more important moment is that while drying, shoes should not be in contact with other objects (at this moment shoes are especially vulnerable and the slightest blow can cause a crack).
Proper care of patent leather shoes also means safe storage. Each shoe should be kept in a separate case (can be wrapped in paper, but just not in plastic), and put in a cardboard box with small holes. If the shoes have heels or metal decorative elements, we suggest also making a kind of cotton pillow for extra protection.
You should not clean patent leather shoes before going out, it is better to do this after arrival home: you will get rid of dirt this way, and protect the lacquer layer from drying out and cracking. These simple and affordable recommendations will keep your shoes tidy for a long time. Many manufacturers often indicate a list of necessary (authorized) care procedures on boxes, so pay attention to that.