Cleaning Leather Shoes
1-Remove dirt or debris with a soft shoe brush. Gently rub the brush against the surface of the shoes to remove stuck-on debris. Do not rub too hard as it might damage the leather. To be thorough, run the brush along the seam and soles of your shoes
2-Remove your shoelaces. If your leather shoes have shoelaces, pull them out gently and set them aside. This will prevent staining from cleaning or polishing products. If they are dirty, place them in a mesh bag and put them in the washing machine to clean them, or hand wash them.
3-Wipe the shoes with a damp cloth and a bit of soap. Wet a clean cloth and wring it out. Add a few drops of mild liquid soap or leather cleaner to the cloth. Gently rub it over the surface of the shoes with the grain of the leather.
4-Wipe the shoes again with a damp cloth and let them dry. Remove excess soap from your leather shoes. Dry your shoes by letting them sit in a cool room. Avoid placing your shoes near a heater as the heat could cause discoloration or cracking.
5-Spot clean your shoes with baby wipes. If you are on the road and your leather shoes get scuffed or dirty, use a baby wipe to clean them. Baby wipes are gentle enough that they will not harm the leather. The moisturizing properties of baby wipes will also help to condition your leather.
6-Remove salt stains with a mixture of water and vinegar. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water. Dip a clean cloth in the liquid and gently rub the surface of your shoes. Wipe them again with another clean, damp cloth.
7-Tackle oil and grease stains with talcum powder. If you have a tough oil or grease stain on your leather shoes, cover it with an absorbent powder like talcum powder. Let it sit for 2-3 hours to absorb the oil. Carefully remove the powder with a soft brush.
- You can also use corn starch to absorb oil stains, but you should leave it on for 7-8 hours to fully absorb the oil.
8-Apply shoe polish to the leather. Pour a few drops of leather shoe polish onto a clean cloth. Rub the surface of your shoes in small, circular motions. Wipe excess polish away with another clean cloth.
- Avoid applying shoe polish to the non-leather parts of your shoes.
Cleaning Suede Shoes
1-Brush your suede shoes with a special brush. Buy a brush at a shoe store or online that is specially made for treating suede. Brush the suede gently in a back and forth motion. Brush the entire surface of each shoe to remove scuffs and stains
2-Use a rubber pencil eraser to remove scuffs and smudges. Rub the eraser on the surface of the scuff or smudge mark. Move in the same direction to keep from damaging the suede. Wipe away any eraser residue with your suede brush
3-Apply corn starch to grease spots. Rub a small amount of corn starch directly into the stains, deep enough to sink into the suede. Allow the powder to sit for 2-3 hours. Brush with a suede brush to remove the grease.
4-Apply a silicone-based spray to weatherproof suede shoes. Spray your shoes with a shoe protector spray immediately after they are purchased. Treat them again each time after you clean them. Hold the can an arm's length away from the shoes and spray the protector evenly over them.
Cleaning Patent Leather Shoes
1-Clean your shoes with a mixture of mild soap and water. Remove and wash your shoelaces, if necessary. Wet a clean cloth and add a drop of mild liquid soap. Gently rub the entire surface of the shoes. Wipe them clean with another wet, clean cloth.
2-Remove scuff marks using hand sanitizer. Dip a cotton swab in hand sanitizer. Carefully rub in onto the scuff marks on your patent leather shoes. Wipe off any excess hand sanitizer with a clean cloth.
- In a pinch, you can also buff your shoes with petroleum jelly
3-Polish your shoes with mineral oil. Mineral oil is the main ingredient in most commercial patent leather shoe cleaners and can be used on its own for the same effect. Pour 4-5 drops of it on a clean cloth and rub it over the surface of your shoes. Use a second clean cloth to buff your shoes to a perfect shine.