Leather is a very common material used on clothing and footwear market. It’s fair, comfortable and posh, and, what’s even more important, also natural. However, to get the most of its beauty and to keep it permanently, it’s necessary to take care of it in a proper way. Well-treated leather can be really long-lasting, but neglected one really quickly becomes scruffy and nonfunctional. Then, its upkeep demands a great deal of concern and using appropriate cosmetics.
Regular cleaning and protecting leather footwear is initial especially in winter, when it is exposed to sodium chloride and detergents spread on roads and pavements. There appear some damages which have the negative influence on the general condition of the leather. Moreover, there is also a common opinion that it’s impossible to renovate shoes which were already affected by salt. Then, how to take care of them to keep their beauty as long as it’s possible?
Step by step
First of all, it’s initial to start every process of renovating leather footwear with a precise cleaning. There is a need to use cosmetics and tools appropriate for a specific kind of leather – it’s worthy to check out some recommended brands like Saphir, Tarrago or Avel (they produce both cleaning and conditioning substances). Without a proper removing the remaining salt, dust and old shoe polish it’s not worthy to take a step forward – weatherproofed impurities can only make the material’s condition even worse. After making sure that shoes are clean, it’s possible to start their renovating with a transparent footwear cream or other conditioner. The next step is polishing which provides a beautiful, natural gleam and elegant look. At the end there comes weatherproofing, so protecting shoes from damaging factors like humidity, salt and dirt. There is a huge range of available cosmetics from different brands which can be recommended, like Nikwax, Collonil or Dr Martens.
How to choose footwear cosmetics?
When it comes to choosing a proper conditioners, above all it’s initial to consider the fact that there are different types of leather differed by structure and quality. Before choosing products it’s necessary to get familiar with needs and specificity of the material. Moreover, it’s worthy to keep it away from substances containing big amounts of acetic acid, alcohol or gasoline and its derivatives. Admittedly, they cope with removing sodium chloride quite well, but at the same they dries the leather out and has a negative influence on its general condition. So, how to pick the footwear cosmetics properly for the specific kind of material?
Taking care of grain leather
This type of leather is actually the easiest when it comes to upkeep. Taking care of it is usually reduced to removing on-going dust, remaining pieces of old cosmetics or other impurities, and then waxing or polishing with soft, cotton cloth. However, once in a while it’s worthy to renovate them with applying a cream or conditioner and leaving it for a couple of hours to get fully absorbed. For better result it’s recommended to repeat that step. As a polishing substance the standard shoe polish would be the best. You can buy all these products in one set for shoes renovation – “Smooth leather” by COLLONIL.
Taking care of chamois, velour and nubuck:
Shoes made of chamois, velour or nubuck, alike any others, must be cleaned very carefully before weatherproofing. It’s worth to use a stain remover („Omnidaim SAPHIR”) which will help to get rid of all discolorations and bring the full colour back. In the case of taking care of this kind of material it’s the best to use aerosols produced for this particular type of leather. Chamois and velour shoes must not be polished – it’s enough just to clean them with damp cloth and a brush made of rubber or wire (available at Bata among others). Those kinds of leather have a tendency to fade and mildew, so it’s necessary to keep them away from humidity and sunlight.
Taking care of varnished leather
This type of material is very sensitive to sudden changes of the temperature, so varnished leather shoes shouldn’t be used for frosty winter. They must not be weatherproofed and polished – it’s enough just to clean them with a damp cloth. To give them a gleam it’s proper to use a drop of vegetable oil or some cosmetics made for this type of leather like „Tarrago Patent”.
Taking care of reptile leather
Reptile leather is much more delicate than the other types, it is also common for it to be dry and rough. Moreover, it’s covered with scales, so before cleaning it’s necessary to consider the direction of movements – otherwise they can be easily damaged. Reptile leather is very special, we recommend only oil or very delicate cosmetics like „Etalon Noir SAPHIR” to keep it well.
If Bootblack is not for You, take a moment to relax and refresh your favorite pair of shoes – it’s passion.