Leather is a tough piece of material but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of it. Leather lasts for a long time provided you properly take care of it. It doesn’t matter if the leather is made into a jacket or a shoe, it must be maintained properly. Leather shoes must be given more care since it goes through more wear and tear compared to other leather products. One of the ways of protecting leather shoes is by applying shoe polish to it. But unbeknownst to many, too much shoe polish can also ruin leather shoes so you must also take care not to allow too much shoe polish to build up on the shoe.
The best way of protecting leather shoes is to actually remove the old coat of shoe polish before applying a new one to prevent build up. Here’s how to do it properly:
• First, you need to get the needed materials for the job – saddle soap, a shoe brush (make sure it has soft bristles), a towel and a basin. Saddle soap is a must. Never use regular soap because it will damage the leather. Saddle soap is readily available in drug stores and in some shoe retailers.
• Heat some water, which you will use for washing the shoes. Because you’ll be working with the water while it’s still very hot, wear thick protecting gloves to avoid scalding yourself. Wash the shoes with the water. Pour the hot water on to the leather shoes. The heat of the water will be enough to soften up the shoe polish you have previously applied. This will make removal easier. Now apply the saddle soap to further remove the polish from the shoes. When the water begins turning soapy, get the soft-bristled shoe brush and lightly brush the shoes to further dislodge stubborn polish that is still clinging on to the shoes. Use a circular motion when brushing the shoes. Avoid doing it too briskly or you can ruin or damage the surface of the shoe. When you’re satisfied that all of the shoe polish has been removed, rinse the shoe off, making sure no soap residue remains.
• Wipe the shoe dry with a towel or soft cloth. Make sure the shoes get completely dry. Leaving them wet will damage the leather. One trick you can do is to ball up paper towels or newspapers and stuff it inside the shoes. The newspaper or paper towels will help absorb the moisture that will seep into the shoe, allowing the shoes to dry more quickly. Check if the paper you’ve stuffed becomes too damp. When it does, remove it and put fresh, dry paper inside to further help quicken the drying process. You can put the shoes in front of an electric fan just to speed things up. Never dry the shoes in the heat of the sun because it can actually damage the leather.
• You can now reapply new shoe polish on to the shoes when they are completely dry.
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