Maintaining Leather Shoes

Leather shoes have been around for a long time – long before leather cleaners were created. Although we found several interesting options, we listed just six of the easiest and least expensive solutions:

* The United States Air Force has a great way of cleaning leather shoes. They use a clean cloth, apply good old-fashioned petroleum jelly onto the leather, and then rub it in a circular motion. After allowing the leather shoes to sit for about an hour, another clean cloth is used to wipe it off. Interestingly, the ladies discovered that buffing with an old pair of pantyhose brings out the best shine!

* Another option for cleaning leather is using Goop, which is actually a waterless hand cleaner. Not only will Goop clean your leather shoes but it will also condition them, help remove stains, and best of all, it’s inexpensive. Goop is sold at retail and automotive parts stores.

* Some people use WD40, which will work for cleaning off dirt and mud. It also helps to make the leather a bit softer and improves repell water. Keep in mind that WD40 does not do anything for the shine!

* Saddle Soap works wonders. Originally developed for saddles, bridles, and other leather horse tack, riders discovered that it is also excellent for cleaning leather boots. Once the Saddle Soap has dried, simply condition your leather shoes with a small amount of Mink Oil.

* Another method for cleaning leather shoes is to spray a small amount of high quality furniture polish onto a clean cloth and rub in. The polish helps to moisten the leather and brings out a nice shine.

* Kiwi wax, is a high quality brand found at most retail and shoe stores. Using a soft clean cloth, gently rub in a thin layer of the wax. It also works well for cleaning leather.

Best Polish/Oil

While you’ll find hundreds of product brands on the market, what is most important is the ingredients in those products. Below is a list of ingredients you want to look for and the results you will get from each:

* Beeswax – Adds water-repelling properties for waterproofing

* Emu Oil – Penetrates deep into the leather, restoring its natural moisture

* Eucalyptus Oil – Fights against mold and mildew and prevents breakdown of stitching

* Lanolin – Excellent for softening leather

* Pinegum – Covers scratches and restores faded or washed out color

* Tea Tree – Works the same as Eucalyptus Oil

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