How to clean  leather  shoes

How to clean leather shoes.

My teenage son was so excited when his new white sneakers arrived, his first question was "How do I clean leather shoes? I want them to always look this white!"

Leather is one of the best shoe materials available, known for its durability and flexibility, as long as it is properly maintained.

The first step is the most important - protect them from stains before you wear them. And this is true whether the leather shoes in question are sneakers, pumps or boots. And once primed for wear, here's how to clean leather shoes.

Before you start wearing them, apply a leather water repellent and protector. Luckily, it couldn't be any easier to clean and protect leather shoes yourself at home.

Here's What You'll Need to Clean Leather Shoes

  • Tarp or newspaper. This will be used to create a protected cleaning area that will prevent cleaners from staining the floor or table.
  • A shoe brush. You'll need this a couple of times during the cleaning process. 
  • Dishwashing detergent. 
  • An eraser. For cleaning rubber soles and sides.
  • Paper towel, cotton balls or clean cloth. You'll use this to apply the cleaner. 
  • White vinegar. You'll use this for spot cleaning leather stains.
  • Leather conditioner. This will help keep your shoes in great condition in the future.
  • Soft cloth.  For buffing dry. This can be any clean and dry cloth such as a t-shirt or towel.

Start by Setting Up a Safe Cleaning Area

Use a tarp or newspapers to protect your floor or other surface during the cleaning process.

To make cleaning leather shoes easier, remove the shoe laces so they won't be blocking parts of the surface of your shoes. If your laces could use a good cleaning too, you can wash them in a container with warm water and laundry detergent.

Brush off Surface Dirt and Debris on Your Leather Shoes

Brush surface debris and dirt from your leather shoes with a shoe brush with 100% horsehair bristles. Gently brush in a single direction to loosen the dirt and brush it off. That way you're cleaning the leather material itself and not rubbing in any dirt when you add soap or cleaner.

Apply Dishwashing Detergent and Water Solution to Stained and Scuffed Areas

Apply either the water and vinegar solution, or create a stain-solution of water and mild dishwashing detergent.

Create a rich lather using as little water as possible. Lather on both shoes using a damp paper towel or cloth. 

Use a soft, slightly damp cloth to remove the excess soap from the shoes before conditioning and drying them. 

For marks that are more resistant, dab with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol, then wipe with an absorbent cloth.

To clean white leather sneakers, make a paste of three tablespoons baking soda and two tablespoons of water, and use a toothbrush to scrub the shoes clean. 

Then, for rubber soles and sides, clean them with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

Condition the Leather to Keep Shoes Looking Their Best

Now that my son has learned how to clean leather shoes, he's kept his white leather Adidas sneakers looking pristine. We should all be so diligent with our shoe cleaning routine!

Apply the leather protectant - we recommend Kiwi Protect All Rain and Stain Repellant, while your leather shoes are still damp. Gently rub the conditioner on your shoes; now allow the shoes to air dry.

Let your leather shoes dry in the open air. Avoid heat and direct sunlight, which can cause damage and cracking in the surface of leather.

› How to Clean Leather Shoes