Leather shoes become stained from outside elements such as salt from sidewalks in the winter and dirty puddles in the springtime. Leather is a porous material that absorbs outside elements that create stains on the exterior of shoes. Simply wiping leather shoes with a cloth may not remove stains that have been embedded into the surface of the leather. Removing stains from leather shoes is simple once you understand how to do so properly.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- White vinegar
- Lint-free cloths
- Lemon juice
- Cream of tartar
- Leather conditioner
Mix one part water and one part white vinegar into a bowl. Dip one corner of a lint-free cloth into the vinegar solution, then rub onto the stain on the leather shoe. Wipe the stain away with the vinegar wash. Clean the vinegar solution away with a damp cloth, then dry with a clean cloth.
Mix 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of cream of tartar to form a paste. Apply to any stains on the leather shoes not removed with the vinegar wash. Apply the paste with a lint-free cloth and rub into the stain. Allow the paste to sit on the stain for one hour. Remove the paste from the leather shoes with a damp lint-free cloth, then dry with a clean cloth.
Spray a leather conditioner on a lint-free cloth and wipe onto the leather shoes. Leather shoes need regular conditioning, especially after cleaning, to keep the leather from drying out and cracking. Buff the shoes to a high sheen with the leather conditioner.
Tips and warnings
- You may use fresh lemons or lemon juice for the cleaning paste.
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