A good quality pair of dress shoes will last you a decade and look brand new with proper maintenance. You should look at footwear like this as an investment for your daily life and appearance. If you work hard for your money and spend upwards to hundreds or more on shoes then it’s wise to take care of them. Otherwise your investment won’t last as long as it could and you’ll spend more in the long run. We are going to teach you how to clean dress shoes and various materials like suede.
How To Clean Dress Shoes
Cleaning Calfskin & Full Grain
Some of the finest dress shoes will be composed of either calfskin or full grain leather. These two age like wine as their appearance improves with continual use. To clean them, follow these steps:
- If you have a shoe tree it would be wise to insert it now. This helps keep the shape of the shoe and stops leather from warping. While you are cleaning it, shoe trees also make the process easier.
- Use a damp cloth and wipe the shoes gently. If you have a brush made for leather you should use that now to remove dirt and alike.
- Now the leather needs to be conditioned and given moisture because it is skin like ours. It helps soften the leather and create a nice base to work off of. Apply a small amount evenly all over the shoe and let it dry for 20 minutes.
- Use your brush again to distribute the conditioner and prep the shoe for a cream application. Shoe cream adds colour and life to the leather and normally comes with an applicator. Use it along with a dime sized amount to spread over the shoe.
- After another 20 minutes have passed, you can finish off with a nice polishing. Use a cloth and a pea sized amount of polish to distribute it evenly. You can also dampen the cloth afterwards and shine the shoe some more for an extra effect.
This is one of the most unique types of leather regarding appearance and texture. It is typically more casual and requires more care to keep it looking its best. We usually see suede used on loafers, chukka boots, and chelsea boots the most. Here is how you can keep your suede shoes in pristine condition:
- The first step is to use a suede brush which will help remove dirt and any stains the shoe has gathered over time.
- Using suede shampoo, dilute some of it in water and use an applicator to cover the suede.
- After producing a nice lather with the shampoo, use a warm wet cloth to remove the shampoo.
- Allow them to sit over night and they should be squeaky clean.
- Use a suede protective spray to keep the elements from damaging the leather.
Cleaning Exotic Leather
Crocodile, python, ostrich, and similar exotic leathers can run you upwards to $1,000 or more for a pair of shoes made of them. If you’ve made an investment such as that, you need to be knowledgeable about how you can keep them as safe as possible.
- Like other leathers, begin by taking a damp cloth and gently cleaning the shoe before letting it dry.
- Specifically crocodile and python leather can have many little ridges that need cleaning. To get all the dirt out of them, brush the shoe all over.
- For the next step you have to be very careful. These leathers typically will not react to traditional conditioners and products very well. They require special creams that are made just for them. Find one that’s made for that type of leather(Alligator for example) and apply a small amount of conditioner. Use a cloth and make small circular motions gently and slowly.
- Allow the shoes to dry and they are good to wear.
Now that you understand how to clean your dress shoes properly, these are some of the tools you need to get it done.
Keep your suede and nubuck shoes looking pristine with this smart kit that includes an aerosol cleaning solution and a water and stain protection agent for enduring style.
Restore the look of your favorite leather shoes and handbags with this gentle conditioning spray that helps to safely remove stains and improve the look of scuff marks.
Simple and effective, the Saphir Crepe Wood Brush gently and thoroughly removes soiling and stains from suede and nubuck, also restoring the texture to matted-down areas and shiny spots.