Shoe Cleaning Guide
You put your Shoes and Boots through their paces daily, so give them the care they deserve and keep them in top condition with our Shoe Cleaning Guide. You should always use good quality cleaning products, and only products specified to use for the material of your Shoes or Boots. Shoes and Boots are made from all types of different leathers and finishes, from Suede to Nubuck as well as Canvas and Rubber to name a few. Each material needs different care to keep them looking and feeling there best. If your footwear gets exposed to solvents, strong acids and alkalis, clean them immediately. This will do irreparable damage on leather, whilst commonplace substances like milk and salt are also highly damaging.
Cleaning Leather Shoes and Boots
For best results when cleaning leather, first take off any heavy or thick dirt with a soft bristled brush or damp sponge/cloth. A soft bristle brush is the first item to add to your cleaning kit. Make sure you dry your Shoes or Boots naturally away from direct sunlight or by any heaters, airing cupboard, etc, as this will dry the leather out and crack.
Firstly, if you are cleaning Shoes or Boots that have laces, remove these for best results. When cleaning your footwear it is advisable to do so over a newspaper or a sheet so as to catch any spillages or excess polish. Firstly, apply a thin coating of leather conditioner to your footwear, allow this to soak into the leather for a few minutes before starting to polish your footwear. We recommend the Dasco cleaning kit as a good basic starting accessory.
Using a soft cloth apply the polish in a circular motion to your Shoes or Boots. If you are using a new polish for the first time, try on a small unseen area of the footwear to make sure it doesn’t change the colour of the Shoe or Boot. Using the polish in the same way as the conditioner, by putting a thin coat to start with, allow the polish to dry for a few minutes, wipe away any residue and leave a few more minutes. If you are looking for extra shine, you should opt for a Wax polish over a Cream polish.
Buff the polish off with a soft cloth or soft bristle brush, to bring to a shine.
Cleaning Suede Leather
Using a Suede shoe cleaning brush, gently remove any excess mud or dirt trying to follow the direction of the fibres of the leather as opposed to forward and back motion. If there are any stubborn scuff marks or stains, you can remove these with a Suede eraser. Rub the scuff area with the eraser and wipe away any eraser debris that is left. After this, if you brush over your Shoes or Boots with a nylon brush to lift the fibres of the leather.
Dampen a Suede Brush with a little water and add the suede leather cleaner to it, clean the shoe focussing on any stained spots. Pat your Shoes or Boots with a clean cloth or towel to remove any excess moisture and leave to air dry, do not leave by a heater or place in an airing cupboard. When dry, apply quality water and stain repellent to protect your footwear. It is best to treat Suede footwear before you wear them if they have not been treated before. Waterproofing your Shoes and Boots regularly will protect the leather from staining. If your footwear gets wet, let them dry naturally before any cleaning or applying products.
Cleaning Nubuck Leather
Cleaning Nubuck leather footwear is similar to cleaning Suede footwear. Using a nubuck shoe cleaning cloth, remove any surface dirt using a circular motion. Try not to spend to much time on one area, just a few seconds around the Shoes or Boots. If there are any stubborn scuffs or stains, remove them with a rubber, simply rub the affected area and clean away the debris. If this doesn’t work, try a Nubuck cleaning spray conditioner, wiping away any excess and allowing the area to dry before proceeding with the cleaning. It is best to try any cleaning products on unseen areas and follow the instructions. When you have finished cleaning and your Shoes or Boots have dried, apply a Nubuck water and stain protector to help keep your footwear looking good and extend the wearability.
Cleaning Canvas Shoes and Boots
With a soft bristled brush, clean any patches of dirt, using a soft cloth or bristled brush in warm soapy water wipe and clean the whole surface of your Shoes or Boots. Putting tissue paper inside your footwear whilst they dry will help keep their shape. Do NOT put your footwear in a tumble dryer as this will destroy the sole and can cause your footwear to shrink.
Always dry your boots naturally at room temperature. Never dry your boots by an open fire or artificial heat source, as this will cause the leather to harden, shrink and can also cause cracking. It can even cause the leather to pull away from the sole. Always store your boots in a well ventilated, cool place away from sunlight or any heat which will tarnish the leather.
For larger scuffs and marks that are difficult to remove or for any other footwear repairs, we recommend taking your shoes or boots to a trained cobbler or shoe repairer.