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How to clean and maintain leather shoes

TIPS AND TRICKS  |  FEB 26, 2020


Everyone loves a good quality leather shoe, whether it’s a leather shoe for women or men. Not only is it durable, but it always creates a fashion statement. It can make every look, look chic yet sophisticated. So, it makes sense why you want to take care of them and keep them in good shape. To help you keep your shoes in tip-top shape, we have compiled a list of handy tips

Wipe off the dirt and debris

Now, most people don't ask themselves "how will I clean my shoes" when buying a leather pair of shoes. Well, this is because, unlike suede, leather shoes are durable. So, when cleaning your leather shoes, the first step is to wipe off the dirt with a dry cloth. This is for light stains and dust. 

Use warm water and soap to remove tough stains

Once you have removed the debris, you can mix warm water and a dish soap solution together. When doing this process, make sure you use a soft cloth that can be purchased at Carrol Boyes or one of our supermarkets. With the warm water and cloth, you're removing any tough stains on the exterior. Once the stains are gone, you can wipe off the water and soap. Make sure it is dried off completely with a Mr Price Home towel. 

Allow your leather shoes to dry off

Now, once you’ve removed the debris and tough stains, you need to air-dry your leather shoes. (Before you apply any shoe polish, your shoes need to be dry.) The time for your shoes to dry will depend on the shoe and the temperature in your home. It can vary between 15 minutes or more. Remember that it only needs room temperature, so do not use any form of heat as it will ruin the leather. Polish or conditioner should only be applied once a shoe is fully dry. 

The polishing process

Once your shoes have air-dried, you can start the polishing process. Before you polish, remove the laces so that you can work your way through the entire shoe. Canal Walk has a variety of stores in Cape Town, like Cape Union Mart, that sell quality leather shoe polish. So, if you don’t have, make sure you visit them. 

To polish your shoes correctly, do the following:

  • Add a thin layer of shoe polish, and make sure it matches the shoe colour. Then use a soft brush and gently work the product into the shoe. You can find a shoe brush at CheckersPick n Pay or Game.  
  • Once that's complete, use a soft cloth and wipe off any residue. Make sure you use a circular motion to get the remaining product in, removing any excess shoe polish. 
  • Lastly, allow the shoe to dry with the shoe polish. Make sure it does not get exposed to the sun. 

Condition your shoe

The next step is conditioning your shoe. This does not need to be done after every polish; it can be done after being worn for at least 25 times. The purpose of using a conditioner is to keep the leather of the shoe moisturised. As you wear your shoe often, it will dry out, causing cracks that will ruin your shoe. Again, the leather conditioner can be purchased at Cape Union Mart. Keep in mind that when conditioning, rub the product in a circular motion with a small dry cloth. Once you see your shoe is looking brand new, remove the excess product. 

Spit shine your shoes

Now, you may have either seen this in shoe polish ads before, but spit shinning your shoe helps to give your shoes an extra shine. To do this, use an old cloth and hold it tightly with both hands while you stretch it across your shoe. Start by rubbing any area of your shoe. Make sure you keep at it until the area shines, then you can continue with the rest. This can be done every time you wear your shoes. 

Storing your leather shoes

Lastly, you need to store your shoes correctly. Make sure you give your shoes a break after a few wears. Especially in the wet season, as leather absorbs water from rain and from your sweat. So, not wearing your shoe every day allows it to air dry. When not in use, always use shoe trees which can be bought at Sportscene. This will help to keep the shape of your shoes

Final Thoughts

Keeping your leather shoes in check all year round is easy. But Canal Walk not only has the best footwear stores in Cape Town like Tread+ MillerAldoSteve MaddenFraser and many others. But we also have the means to ensure your shoes stay in shape and withstand the test of time. So, whether you’re looking for products, leather shoes for men or women, visit Canal Walk; we have everything.

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