How to Care for Patent Leather

Updated April 17, 2017

Leather shoes, handbags and belts that have a high-gloss shine are made out of patent leather. It's commonly used in dress shoes, women's accessories and some belts. This leather is treated with varnish to give it its shine. Keep your patent leather items looking great by keeping them cleaned and polished. Check the item's label to make sure that it is indeed patent leather and not a synthetic fabric, in which case this cleaning process will not work.

Use a damp cloth to wipe away any dirt. Massage the leather with a mild soap and wipe clean with the cloth. In a case where a patent leather shoe has a build-up of dirt on it, make sure mud or heavy debris is completely removed.

Add a dab of petroleum jelly or mineral oil to the leather. Using a soft, dry cloth, buff the leather surface using short, fast motions. If there are any scuff marks on the leather, add more jelly or oil and repeat the process until the scuff is gone.

Spray a leather shining product on the shoe. Massage the product in with the cloth.

Keep the leather away from water, chemicals and mud as much as possible to maintain its shine.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild soap
  • Damp cloth
  • Soft, dry cloth
  • Petroleum jelly or mineral oil
  • Leather shining product
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About the Author

Lottie Goff became a fulltime professional journalist in 2005. She has written freelance content for "Space City Spors" in Houston, Texas and "Coast Magazine" in Galveston, Texas. She earned a journalism degree from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas in 2005. She also worked for the student newspaper, "The Battalion," from 2003 to 2005.