My teenage son was so excited when his new white leather sneakers arrived, his first question was, "Do you know how to clean leather shoes? I want them always to look this white!"
The first step to leather shoe care is the most important - apply a leather protectant to the surface of a new pair to protect them from dirt and stains before you wear them. And this is true whether the shoes in question are sneakers, pumps or boots.
Once primed for wear, when the inevitable stain or splotch happen, here's how to clean leather shoes.
Use a tarp or newspaper to protect your floor or other surfaces during the process of cleaning leather.
To make cleaning easier, remove the shoelaces 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.
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 to dry them. For more resistant marks, 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.
Now that my son has learned how to clean his 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 while shoes are still damp. Gently rub the conditioner on your shoes and allow to air dry. Keep them away from heat and direct sunlight, which can cause damage and craking in the leather surface.