While sophisticated leather boots are the perfect winter footwear for dresses, jeans and wool outerwear, these shoes require a precise cleaning process to repair the leather. If your boots have unsightly stains and/or black marks, clean and repair them at home with leather conditioners and common household products. A proper cleaning of the leather helps boots survive black scuffs and resist water spots.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Warm water
- Mild liquid soap
- White cloth or old T-shirt
- Old newspapers
- White vinegar
- Leather-moisturising cream
- Paste shoe polish
- Shoe-polish applicator
- Soft-bristled shoe brush
- Old toothbrush
- Edge dressing
Wipe your shoes weekly with soap and water. Mix 2 cups warm water with 1 tsp mild liquid soap. Dip an old white T-shirt or white cloth into the soapy mixture and wipe shoes. Follow with warm water to remove soapy residue. Let the boots dry away from any heat.
Rid your shoes of salt stains with water and vinegar. Snow and sleet can leave your leather boots with greyish-coloured salt marks. According to cleaning expert Heloise at the Good Housekeeping website, stuff wet boots with old newspapers to absorb moisture. Mix 1 cup warm water with 1 tbsp white vinegar. Wipe the shoes with the solution using a white cloth. Rinse with cold water to remove vinegar residue.
Condition your boots. Apply leather moisturising cream. Dip a clean cloth into the shoe cream. Using a circular motion, rub the cream into the boots. Cover the entire surface of the boots with the cream. Dry your leather boots away from any heat.
Apply leather polish to your boots. Brush loose dirt from the soles and around the outer edges of the boots. Using a clear paste polish and an applicator, rub the creamy polish into your footwear. Buff the boots to a shine with a soft-bristled brush.
Fill in scuffs and scratches on the heel with polish. Dip an old toothbrush into the paste polish. Touch up the edges of the heel with the polish. The Dollar Stretcher website recommends that you add edge dressing to your boots to fill in heel scuffs. Edge dressing is a brown or black liquid polish that dries to a gloss and provides additional shine to your shoes. Apply the edge dressing using the sponge applicator supplied with the product or an old white T-shirt. Dry your footwear in a cool and well-ventilated area for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Tips and warnings
- For boot colours other than brown or black, apply leather conditioning cream one to two shades lighter than the boots to prevent darkening.
- Treat exotic leather boots made of alligator, lizard or snakeskin with a leather cream that cleans and conditions.
- Avoid using wax products to shine your leather boots. The wax may cause the leather boots to crack.
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