Leather shoes are a must have in any man's wardrobe. They can be worn with formal clothes in the office or with funky ones at a party. Leather shoes make a man look classy and smart, all at once. The only hitch is, if not taken care of, leather shoes can lose their shine and start looking old within months of purchase. This is especially true when stains are left on the shoes for long and nobody bothers to clean them up!
Today, the market is flooded with commercial products, which can clean all kinds of stains from your leather shoes. However, a cheaper, chemical-free alternative is available at your home itself. It is the plain old white vinegar!
Tips for Cleaning Leather Shoes
⇒ Start with removing the laces from your shoes. You can clean them separately in a washing machine, along with the other clothes. After this, you can clean the shoes with vinegar.
⇒ Take a soft cloth and remove all the dust and debris that might be lying on them. Take care to use a soft cloth, as a rough one can leave marks on your shoes. Next, prepare a solution with white vinegar and linseed oil. Vinegar and linseed oil should be in the ratio of one is to two. Pour this mixture in a spray bottle, so that when you apply it on the shoes, it gets spread evenly.
⇒ Spray the mixture on your shoes. Cover each and every part of the shoe while spraying. Now, take a clean cloth and with it, rub the mixture on the shoe in circular motions. This should spread it on the entire shoe and remove the accumulated dust on it as well. The cloth might get soiled with the debris, so you would need to change it a couple of times, while carrying on this process. You may need to spray the vinegar and linseed oil solution, a few more times, if the shoes are very dirty.
⇒ Let the mixture stay on the shoes for about ten to twelve hours. After that, take a clean, dry cloth, rub the shoes with it and remove the solution as well as the dirt from the shoes. This should remove all the dust, debris and stains from it.
Vinegar is a great remedy for cleaning salt stains from your shoes. For salt stains, prepare a solution with one part white vinegar and one part water. Take a clean cloth, soak it with the solution and press it on the entire shoe, especially the part where salt stain is there. This should remove the salt stain from the shoe. This home remedy can prove to be very effective, provided the stain is removed as soon as it occurs. As salt can ruin the leather, so there should be no delay in removing salt stains from your shoes.
If you want to increase the life of your leather shoes, you should make it a habit of polishing them at least once a month. Use a creamy shoe polish as it works the best on leather shoes. While polishing, always use circular motions, so that the leather does not get spoiled. Another thing is to apply leather conditioner on them, twice a year. This will keep the softness, solidity and shine of the leather shoes intact for years!
Cracks in the shoes, a lackluster appearance, worn out look, are some of the things that you may experience if you do not care for your leather shoes and if you do not remove the stains from it in time. So, make use of all the tips suggested above, to keep your shoes looking new forever!