While chic leather and suede flats or boots are the perfect fall and winter accessories for jeans, dresses and wool coats, these shoes require a particular process to repair and clean the footwear. If you want to clean your shoes at home, you'll need supplies to remove stubborn stains and black scuff marks, and recondition the leather.
Leather Polish and Soft Bristled Brush
If your leather shoes have scratches and scuffs on the heels or on the surface, repair your shoes with a cream or liquid leather polish. For light-colored footwear, apply a clear cream or liquid polish to the shoes. Using a soft-bristled brush, buff your shoes to a high shine. For dark-colored shoes, apply a leather shoe polish that is no more than one shade lighter than your footwear to prevent lightening or discoloration of your footwear.
Emery Board and Suede Brush
Get rid of scuff marks on your suede footwear with a suede brush or emery board. Rub the small emery board across the suede nap to lift the suede nap and release any trapped dirt. However, not that frequent or overly vigorous rubbing of your suede shoes or boots with a suede brush or emery board may damage the suede material beyond repair.
Vinegar and Water
A wintry mix of sleet and snow can leave gray marks on your leather boots. Use a vinegar and water solution to rid your leather shoes of stubborn salt stains. Before cleaning your boots with vinegar and water, stuff the shafts of the boots with old dry newspaper to absorb moisture, recommends Good Housekeeping's website.
Leather Conditioning Cream
A cream or liquid leather conditioner restores moisture to the leather that was lost due to frequent wearings, or exposure to soap and water during cleaning. After cleaning your leather shoes or boots, rub a neutral-colored conditioning cream into your leather footwear using a clean white cloth. The neutral-colored conditioning cream or paste will deposit moisture into the leather's surface without discoloring the shoes or boots.
Cornstarch or Talcum Powder
If you want to limit the use of harsh chemicals to clean your suede shoes, remove oil stains and grease with talcum powder or cornstarch.
"Never use water to clean grease stains. It merely spreads the stain or embeds it deeper in the material," suggest the experts at Leather World Technologies. Lightly dust the cornstarch and powder across the stain. Use a hose attached to a vacuum cleaner to lift the deep stain and the powdery material. Brush the shoes with an old rag to remove any powdery residue and complete the cleaning process.
- Photo Credit shoes image by Einar Bog from Fotolia.com
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