Footwear made of genuine leather is much more durable than models of synthetic leather. In order to actually serve us for years, however, it is necessary to properly care for them, otherwise the skin may break and break. So how do you clean and take care of leather shoes? Contrary to appearances, it is not too complicated or cumbersome. It is enough that once in a while we will devote a moment to polishing and polishing the favorite pair, so as not to wear shoes too quickly.
Why is it worth buying leather shoes?
Before about the care, a few words about the natural skin. What is her advantage over artificial skin? First of all, it allows the feet to breathe, which prevents painful chafes. In addition, footwear made of it after a few days of wearing usually adjusts to the shape of the foot, as a result of which they do not rub and do not constrict the legs. Natural leather is also much more durable than artificial leather. While the top synthetic layer with time begins to peel and break, on the natural skin are formed what light wrinkles and fraying, which add its character. If, despite careful care, leather shoes are damaged, a good shoemaker should be able to repair it. Cracked boots made of eco-leather are only suitable for being thrown away.
Despite the numerous advantages of natural leather, many people consciously give up wearing it, due to the fact that it is obtained from animal skins. In Poland, all leathers used in the footwear industry come exclusively from animals raised for meat. The skin is in this case a "by-product" that would have to be disposed of in any way
Let's also remember that naming synthetic leather with ecological skin is a huge abuse. It uses a lot of environmentally harmful chemicals for its production. As we already know, it is also a product less durable - winter footwear from artificial leather usually consumes after one season. Therefore, it seems more ecological to buy natural leather shoes that will not land on the dump after several months of wearing. Even vegetarians and vegans are faithful to such a philosophy, who, despite the fact that they do not eat meat, wear handbags and shoes made of natural leather, because of its durability and thus less harmful to the natural environment.
How do you clean leather footwear?
Regardless of whether our footwear is made of grain leather, nubuck or suede, before you clean them, you need to dry them, preferably leaving them to dry at room temperature. It is worth filling them with cedar rules for this time, which perfectly absorb moisture and prevent the deformation of footwear, as a last resort they can be replaced by newspapers. Then with a dry brush, we remove dirt from the surface of the shoe and proceed to the next stages of cleaning:
1. The grain leather models are pasted with good quality colored shoe polish. Instead of a popular paste in a tube, it is better to use a cream paste which is more concentrated. Using a brush in a circular motion, rub the paste into the surface of the shoe, then rub it with a lightly moistened cloth and leave it for at least two hours. If you want to get a mirror shine on your shoes, you need to get a wax .. It is applied in layers with a cotton cloth, carefully polishing each layer. When the wax absorbs, we gently condense the shoes with water, polish again and apply another layer of wax. After the third, the shoes should already showy shine.
2. Shoes made of suede before the first foundation should be protected. A special impregnate should be used, which will protect them against the harmful effects of external factors. If the dirt is not large, you can try to dry it by brushing the skin "under the hair". However, if this method does not bring the expected results, the shoes should be wiped with a damp cloth, being careful not to get too wet. There is also a way to greasy suede stains - we will remove them by applying soda and milk to the surface of the shoe. Allow it to dry and then crush and comb her residue with a thick bristle brush.
3. Nubuck, just like suede, should be impregnated before the first use. However, dirt is removed using a special nubuck rubber. However, it can not cope with greasy stains - these should disappear if we sprinkle shoes with talcum, which should then be thoroughly combed with a suede brush. The shoe washing with a 10% vinegar solution can also have a good effect. In this case, however, remember that the nubuck does not like water, so the cloth should only be slightly soaked with the solution.
If there are salt stains on your shoes, be it grain leather or suede or nubuck, try to remove them with a damp cloth and a little washing up liquid. It may also help using vinegar (1 tablespoon of vinegar for one glass of water) or diluted lemon juice.
How to care for leather footwear?
Care of leather footwear is not limited to cleaning them. It is equally important that they are properly stored, preferably in boxes or cotton bags that protect them from dust. It is also worth investing in the rules - their task is to keep the upper in the original shape and absorb moisture and odors. If, however, we do not have the rules, dry shoes can be filled with newspapers. However, these should be gray newspapers, not colorful magazines - these can in fact dye shoes from the inside.
Once in a while, it is also worth using a renovator, which will allow us to remove old layers of paste from the surface of shoes, and in the case of suede and nubuck will also help restore their original color. The treatment using the restoration takes no more than a few minutes. When the preparation is dry, just wipe the shoes with a dry cloth or brush with a suede brush - after that should look like new.