Basic Shoe Care
Using your shoe regularly and rotating them with another shoe in your closet is the best way to taking care of leather shoe. Rotating your shoe will provide the leather material back to it’s normal shape, because the leather material will change as you move. Just like you, shoes also need a day off.
Avoid using the same shoe in two consecutive days for its longevity. So, two or three pairs of leather shoes in your shoe rack would be good, in addition to make it easier when you lose your favourite shoe under the sofa.
Most of the leather material contains natural oil in it. As time goes by, you should cleaning and treating your shoe periodically to keep the oil content that eroded from the upper layer (and a little below it) and also keep the leather material stay supple.
Another thing that you should consider to taking a good care of your shoes is buying a wooden shoe tree. Why? Our feet has 250.000 sweat glands that producing 250ml of sweat every day in active condition, wooden shoe tree can absorb moisture from our shoe and restoring its shape. Wooden shoe tree can extend up to three times of your shoe age expectancy.
When you clean the shoes, believe me, you will be in love with your shoes. Chemistry between you and the shoes will be even greater than ever. Don’t let your wife or girlfriend know about this, she will lock the bedroom door and keep you sleep in the sofa tonight.
Treat your leather shoes as you treat your body, clean it from the mud and dust every day. Dried mud can reduce the natural oil content in the shoe leather, makes the leather material dry and harden.
If the weather is not friendly and force you to break through the rain, do not dry your shoes in the sun directly, or bring them to a heat source such as an oven. Wipe the water at the outside and inside surface of the shoe using a soft cotton cloth and then let your shoes dry naturally at room temperature. Never force your shoes to clean when its wet. Small pebbles stuck to your shoe will scratch the leather because the water hug them like a magnet. Allow the mud dried by itself, and use a soft brush to shed the dirt.
Before cleaning up your shoes, at least you have to prepare a soft household sponge, toothbrush, soft shoe brush, horse hair brush, horse hair dauber / brush applicator, and some soft cotton cloth.
There’s some important thing you should have for your shoes treatment : saddle soap, boot oil, shoe cream, and wax shoe polish as well. Always use silicone free boot oil to make sure we buy a product that would not hurt the shoes, and make sure they contain natural beeswax and lanolin.
First, insert the shoe tree to your shoes. Shoe tree will help to hold the shape of your shoes while you giving a ‘pressure’ during the cleaning process. Release the shoelaces, then use a soft brush to remove dust and dirt. Pay attention to perforated hole and welt area and use a soft toothbrush there, it’ll habituate your eyes to be more rigorous.
Saddle Soap | Stain Removing
If we feel your shoes is so dirty and the dirt is already difficult to be appointed by the brush and a soft cotton cloth, we need saddle soap to solve this problem. But don’t too often use a saddle soap, it will make the leather lose their natural humidity. If your shoes are worn daily in normal activities, using saddle soap three to four times per year should be enough.
Use a sponge to take the saddle soap and give it a little water (water in small amounts will not make the leather barking), then gently massage the skin with a circular motion several times until foam appears. Then, passionately scrub your shoes, and leave the shoes for about 15 minutes. Wipe the rest of the foam, and don’t let any residues left behind. Just like our skin, the rest remaining soap will make your skin dry and our girlfriend will swiftly take us to a dermatologist. If you use a leather sole shoes, make sure that you clean it too.
Petroleum Distillate | Wax and Stain Removing
Sometimes saddle soap is unable to clean thick stain and wax. Use naphtha (lighter fuel) or turpentine, drop a few times in cotton / wool, and massage it gently with circular movements. When the fabric is starting to dry, drop a few drops back. Never use acetone or paint remover at this stage if you don’t want to look like just came back from conquering Kilimanjaro.
Boot Oil | Restore Moistures
Boot oil is made to restore the moisture of your leather shoe when they started to dry. However, excessive usage of boot oil can damage your leather. Use it just when you feel the shoe begins to dry and require additional nutrients. If you are not a firefighters, don’t listen to your drinking buddy who suggested using boot oil once a month, or using boot oil as an experiment to the evolution of the leather.
Use your ‘feeling’ when you intend to treat or clean the shoes. If you lived on tropical area, normally, the best time of your first coat of boot oil is 12 month after you receive your new boots, and maximum 2 times a year after that.
Shoe Cream | Color Restoration
Leather is a unique material, their color will changed with age and it’s called patina. Sunlight and perspiration can change their color. Shoe cream has the ability to provide moisture to the leather and keep the leather stay supple. They ran into the leather porous and give a space to the leather to keep breathing while restoring their color.
Their ability to provide leather moisture is not as strong as the boot oil. So, the shoe cream is relatively safer to use more often rather than boot oil. Make sure the shoe cream that we use not containing much pigment that doesn’t have the ability to soak into the leather.
Use horse hair dauber / brush applicator to apply shoe cream to shoes (don’t forget to use different dauber for each colour). If you don’t have dauber / brush, use a soft cotton cloth wrapped around the index finger and ring finger (if you’re using a gothic ring, don’t forget to take it off). Take a small amount of cream, and gently massage in a circular motion. Make sure it goes flat and not too thick. Then brush your shoes vigorously using horse hair brush 15 minutes later.
Wax Polish | Shine Effect