Leather shoes complete your outfit and make a statement about your personal style and taste. But, did you know that the process of cleaning and caring for your leather shoes can actually enhance the leather’s natural qualities?
Using household products like vinegar, baking soda, and olive oil can effectively remove dirt and grime, restore shine, and even condition the leather to keep it soft and supple.
So in this article, we will guide you through how to clean leather shoes with household products at home.
How to clean leather shoes with household products at home
You can clean your leather shoes, boots, and other items using household products like vinegar, dish soap, baking soda, and coconut oil among others. These can effectively remove dirt, grime, and scuffs, and can also be used to condition the leather to keep it soft and supple.
To use these household items to clean leather, simply follow these steps;
Step 1: Clean the leather shoes with white vinegar
White vinegar is a versatile household item that can be used to clean a variety of surfaces, including leather shoes.
The acidic nature of white vinegar helps to dissolve dirt, grime, and other contaminants, leaving the leather looking clean and refreshed.
To use white vinegar to clean leather shoes;
- Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle
- Spray the solution onto a soft cloth or sponge
- Use the cloth to clean the leather shoes but be careful not to soak the leather since it is porous.
- Wipe the shoes clean with a damp cloth to remove any residue.
White vinegar is a natural, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly way to clean leather shoes.
Step 2: Use dish soap for a deeper clean
Dish soap is an incredibly versatile and effective household cleaning agent, capable of removing even the most stubborn dirt, grime, and stains from leather shoes.
Not only is it powerful in its cleaning capabilities, but it’s also readily available in most homes, making it a convenient and affordable option for maintaining the appearance of leather shoes.
When selecting a dish soap, it’s important to choose a mild and pH-neutral formula to ensure that the leather is not damaged during the cleaning process.
To use dish soap to clean leather shoes;
- Dilute a small amount of mild, pH-neutral dish soap in water
- Apply the solution to a soft cloth or sponge
- Gently clean the leather shoes with the cloth or sponge being careful to avoid soaking the leather
- Wipe the shoes with a clean damp cloth and allow them to air dry completely
Step 3: Remove scuffs with baking soda
Baking soda is a common household item that can be used to clean and deodorize a variety of surfaces, including leather shoes, boots, bags, and furniture.
Its abrasive and alkaline nature makes it an effective scuff remover, while its natural deodorizing properties can help to eliminate any unwanted odors.
To use baking soda to clean leather shoes;
- Mix equal parts baking soda and water to form a paste
- Apply the paste to the leather shoes using a soft cloth or sponge focusing more on scuffs and scratch marks
- Allow the paste to sit for 5-10 minutes, then wipe the shoes clean with a damp cloth
Step 4: Condition the leather with coconut oil
Coconut oil is a natural and effective way to condition leather shoes and keep them looking their best.
Its moisturizing properties help to prevent the leather shoes from peeling and becoming dry, while also restoring their natural shine.
To use coconut oil on leather shoes;
- Apply a small amount of coconut oil to a soft cloth or sponge
- Use the cloth to rub the oil into the leather shoes, being careful to cover all areas
- Allow the shoes to sit for 5-10 minutes, then wipe away any excess oil with a clean cloth
It’s important to note that coconut oil can potentially darken leather as the oil may change the appearance of the leather’s finish.
The extent to which coconut oil may darken leather depends on various factors, such as the type of leather, the original color of the leather, and the amount of oil used.
In most cases, the darkening effect may be minimal and may only be noticeable when the leather is wet.
If you’re concerned about the possibility of coconut oil darkening your leather shoes, it’s best to test a small and inconspicuous area first before applying the oil to the entire surface.
In case you experience darkening, you can try wiping the leather down with a clean cloth to remove any excess oil and restore its original color and appearance.
DIY homemade leather shoe cleaner using household products
Here is a simple recipe for a homemade leather shoe cleaner that you can make using household ingredients:
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar
- 1/4 cup of warm water
- 1 tsp. of liquid dish soap
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tsp. of olive oil or coconut oil
1. Mix the white vinegar, warm water, and liquid dish soap in a bowl. Stir the ingredients together until they are well combined
2. In another small bowl, mix together the baking soda and olive oil or coconut oil until you have a paste
3. Dip a soft cloth into the vinegar-soap mixture and wring out any excess
4. Apply the vinegar-soap solution to the leather shoes being careful not to oversoak the leather.
5. Next, apply the baking soda-coconut oil paste using a separate cloth and gently scrub the leather shoes with the cloth paying special attention to any scuffs or stained areas
6. Allow the paste to sit for 5-10 minutes and then wipe the shoes with a clean and damp cloth to remove the cleaner residue
7. Let the shoe air dry completely before storing or wearing them
Note that it’s always a good idea to test the cleaner on a small and inconspicuous area of the leather shoe or boot before using it on the entire surface to make sure it doesn’t cause any damage.
In conclusion, cleaning leather shoes with household products is a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to commercial cleaners.
With the right ingredients, you can effectively remove dirt, grime, and other contaminants from your leather shoes, while also conditioning the leather to keep it looking its best.
Whether you choose to use white vinegar, dish soap, baking soda, coconut oil, or a combination of these products, you can be confident that your leather shoes will come out looking clean, fresh, and well-maintained.
By following these simple steps, you can save time and money while keeping your leather shoes in great condition.