Immediately after we thought about what to dress together with our new pair of shoes, the second question is: but how can I clean them? The care of our shoes often is a bitter topic, ineluctable it is a matter of an accessory that tends to get dirty easily and not always we know clearly how to clean it or how to limit the damage, especially when it’s about leather shoes. Sometimes one even risks to limit the use of this loved pair of shoes, only to prevent to damage it, but it’s such a shame: the leather shoes are so comfortable and resistant, made of high quality leather, if they are treated and cleaned in the right way without damaging them.
If it is about boots, moccasins, sneakers or sandals, every model needs a specific cleaning not only on the outside, but also on the inside. This aspect is fundamental for example in the case of sandals, whose inner sole is often exposed to impureness.
The leather of the shoes indeed is not always the same and because of this can’t be cleaned in the same way: the footwear can be made of smooth leather, suede, varnish or also of a mixed material of leather and fabric; every type of leather has to be treated and cared for in a different way, some types of leather are less resistant then others and thus need a more accurate treatment.
The cleaning of leather shoes
The cleaning of the leather of footwear is an activity that should be done frequently, for the correct sanitation of the shoes as well as to extend their endurance in time: a fundamental moment is the transition of the seasons. In this occasion the shoes should be cleaned before storing them as well as in the moment of getting them out to use again.
How to clean shoes made of smooth leather
To clean the smooth leather of shoes it is necessary to use a horsehair brush, a soft cloth and neutral or colored shoe polish: in the case that one wants to cover scratches, it is helpful to use the polish for colored leather, while in the case of normal maintenance of the footwear the neutral one helps to regenerate the shoe and to assume again the fresh and hydrated aspect like it was the first day. The polish should be distributed uniquely with a horsehair brush on the shoe’s whole surface, after this the soft cloth instead helps to make the leather shine again.
In the case of restive stains, a fundamental step is the spray to dry wash, that fits to every type of leather and deeply cleans the shoes surface without damaging it.
For the lovers of natural products instead, the leather of the shoes can be cleaned from impureness with a cotton ball, dipped in cleanser and following polished with some drops of vinegar. Also in this case it is highly recommended to use a horsehair brush or a cloth of microfibre, that especially helps to get rid of stains due to water spotting.
How to clean shoes made of varnish
The shoes made of varnish are equipped with a particular finish, that rends the outside smooth and bright: Despite of this aspect, the footwear made of varnished leather is not exempt from stains or damages, but in this case the cleaning has to be much more delicate than in the case of normal leather.
The usage of brushes in this case is not recommended, because it could cause not repairable scratches that are particularly visible on the bright surface. Instead the usage of a microfibre cloth dipped in water and neutral cleanser is highly recommended, while a toothbrush with soft bristles can be used for the difficultly to clean space long the seaming.
How to clean shoes made of suede
The shoes made of suede leather are as delicate as those made of varnish, but have to be treated in an even different way. In this case to most useful remedy is recommended by grandma: she suggests to pass the white crumb of a bread on the shoe’s whole surface, because it works as the right compromise in between an abradant brush and the delicateness of a cloth; in trade there can be found numerous sponges dedicated to the suede, but in case of emergency the crumb of a bread is a real miracle cure.
In case of intractable dirt, one can use instead a dry shampoo or vaporize some water with cleanser, putting a lot attention to not soak the footwear, and in the following step elaborate the surface with a soft cloth.
How to remove bad smells from the shoes
A fundamental chapter connected to the cleaning of leather shoes applies to removing smells, that also in this case can be resolved with specific sprays or with small and useful household remedies: to insert the paring of an orange or a lemon on the inside of the shoe helps to remove consistent smells, while vaporizing some drops of essential oils contributes to give the shoe a pleasant flavour, without seeming importunate. For the more intrusive smells, like in the case of sneakers, a little bit of bicarbonate helps to neutralize every resting awkward smell.
How to preserve the shoes
To prevent that the shoes are damaged, and thus also to prevent to clean the footwear to strong or to many times, it is necessary to know how to preserve them in an accurate way inside of the wardrobe: the exposure to humidity, dust or solar irradiation can be extremely destructive for leather shoes, especially during the long periods during the seasons in which one doesn’t use this type of shoes. The cartons designed for the shoes prevent that the shoes are deformed or that they are exposed to outer circumstances, but in this case the risk of dust stains is even there: thus it would be helpful to use fabric bags (or also freezer bags, for example) to protect the simple shoe from dirt but also from possible scratches of attrition, especially in the case of delicate models made of suede or varnish. Also in this case one can help himself with a small and natural household remedy: putting in a small form (like those for soap or candies) some liquid cement adding some drops of essential oil. In this way one can create a small self-made deodorant, thanks to the porousness of the cement, that helps to limit the humidity and also the evolution of smells.
With this small arrangements the cleaning of the leather shoes becomes a useful moment and makes it also comfortable to take care of the shoes as the most loves accessory by man and women, an activity of only a fem minutes, that donates a new life to ones shoes.