Keep leather shoes clean by regularly removing dirt and debris using the right tools. Regular leather shoes should be cleaned using a soft brush, while suede shoes require a special brush designed to protect the texture. In addition to cleaning products specifically for certain leathers, you can also clean leather shoes using common household items such as pencil eraser, baby wipes, and cornstarch.
Method 1 of 3: Cleaning Leather Shoes
Step 1. Remove any dirt or debris using a soft shoe brush
Gently rub the brush against the surface of the shoe to remove any adhering dirt. Don't scrub too hard as it can damage the skin. Run the brush thoroughly along the seams and sole of the shoe.
Step 2. Remove the shoelaces
If your leather shoes have laces, gently remove the laces and store them in a safe place. This is to prevent the rope from getting dirty from cleaning and polishing products. If they get dirty, wash the laces using a washing machine or hand.
Step 3. Wipe the shoes with a damp cloth and a little soap
Dip a cloth in water and wring it out. Put a small amount of mild liquid soap or leather cleaner on the cloth. Gently rub the cloth against the surface of the leather shoe.
Step 4. Wipe the shoe again with a damp cloth and let it dry
Remove soap residue from leather shoes. Dry the shoes by placing them in a cool room. Do not place your shoes near a heater as this may crack or discolor the shoes.
Step 5. Wipe off the dirt stuck to the shoes with baby wipes
If you are outside and your leather shoes are dirty or scuffed, clean them with baby wipes. Baby wipes are soft enough so they don't damage the skin. The moisture content in baby wipes can be used as a conditioner in leather shoes.
Step 6. Remove salt stains with a mixture made of vinegar and water
Mix vinegar and water in equal proportions. Dip a clean cloth in the mixture and gently rub it over the surface of the shoe. Wipe your shoes again with another clean, damp cloth.
Step 7. Use powder to treat blemishes from oil and grease
If your shoes have oil or grease stains that are difficult to remove, cover the stain with something that has an oil-absorbing ability, such as talcum powder. Allow the powder to remain on the skin for 2 to 3 hours to allow the oil to be absorbed. Next, clean the powder carefully using a soft brush.
You can also use cornstarch to absorb oil stains. Allow the cornstarch to remain on the shoes for 7 to 8 hours to allow the oil to fully absorb
Step 8. Apply shoe polish to the leather
Pour a few drops of leather shoe polish on a clean cloth. Rub the cloth on the surface of the shoe in small, circular motions. Wipe off the remaining polish using another clean cloth.
Do not apply polish to non-leather parts of the shoe
Method 2 of 3: Cleaning Suede Leather Shoes
Step 1. Clean the suede shoes with a special brush
Purchase a brush specifically designed for handling suede leather at a shoe store or online. Brush your suede shoes gently in a back and forth motion. Brush the entire surface of the shoe to remove scratches and stains.
Step 2. Remove scratches and smudges using a rubber pencil eraser
Rub a pencil eraser on the surface of the skin that is affected by scratches and blemishes. Move the eraser in the same direction to avoid damaging the suede. Clean the remaining eraser using a suede brush.
Step 3. Use cornstarch on the oil stain
Rub a small amount of cornstarch directly onto the stain until it soaks into the suede. Let the flour sit there for 2 to 3 hours. Next, remove the oil using a suede brush.
Step 4. Use a silicone-based spray on weatherproof suede shoes
Spray shoes with protective spray as soon as you buy them. Repeat this action every time you finish cleaning it. Hold the sprayer an arm's length from the shoe, then spray it evenly.
Method 3 of 3: Cleaning Patent Leather Shoes
Step 1. Clean the shoes using a mixture of water and a mild soap
If necessary, remove and wash the shoelaces. Wet a clean cloth and add a drop of mild liquid soap. Rub the entire surface of the shoe gently. Wipe and clean the shoes with another clean, damp cloth.
Step 2. Remove scratches using hand sanitizer
Dip a cotton swab in hand sanitizer. Carefully rub the cotton swab into the scratch on the patent leather shoe. Next, remove any remaining hand sanitizer using a clean cloth.
In an emergency, you can polish your shoes with petroleum jelly
Step 3. Use mineral oil to polish leather shoes
Mineral oil is the main ingredient used in commercial patent leather shoe cleaners. You can also use it without other ingredients to get the same effect. Pour 4 to 5 drops of mineral oil on a clean cloth, then rub it over the surface of the shoe. Use another clean cloth to rub the shoes until they are really shiny.
- Remove odors from shoes by sprinkling baking soda on the inside. Baking soda can absorb sweat, oil, and other damp materials overnight.
- Do not use water or soap on suede shoes as this can damage the leather.