The Right Way to Clean Leather Shoes

The Right Way to Clean Leather Shoes

If you have a look at your shoe collection, you will find a good variety of different kinds of leather shoes. We know! Because unless you have a pair of clean and shiny leather shoes on, your sophisticated outfit doesn’t quite look complete. When you have quality leather shoes, your first and foremost job is to make sure you’re keeping them clean. Whether full-grain or split-suede, your leather shoes demand to be cleaned properly; this isn’t rocket science, but it will ensure the quality of your shoes remains long term. Not just that, but it will also ensure your formal shoes maintain their formal look instead of becoming worn out and ruin the look of your outfit on your important meetings and dinners. So let’s get into the topic and discuss the right way to clean leather shoes.

Things You Need:

  • A good shoe cleaning brush to remove dirt.
  • High-quality shoe polish to shine your shoes and enhance their color.
  • A good quality shoe protector sprays to protect the shoes from mud and rain damage.
  • Soft cloth to properly clean and condition your shoe surface.

Clean Dirt and Debris

If your shoes are dirty, the first thing you need to do is remove the laces and run them through a washing machine or just replace them. As for your shoes, you need to use a soft bristle brush or a cloth to remove the dirt, mud, or debris that’s stuck to the leather surface. 

Apply Soap

Now that the debris and mud are rubbed off the surface, use a soft cloth and dip it in warm water consisting of dish soap then use it to wipe the surface of your shoes further. Once this is done carefully, take a damp cloth and wipe off the remains of dish soap from the shoes. Dry with a towel.


You can also use commercial leather conditioners, or you can make your own home-made leather conditioner by using 1 part vinegar adding it to 2 part linseed oil. Apply it to your shoe surface and let it sit for 15 minutes. After that use a cloth to rub off till the shoe shines.


Leave the shoes to dry out in the open air. Make sure they’re not left in the sun or in front of a heater as this can affect their life-span and quality negatively.

How to Remove Stains from Leather

It’s usual for leather shoes to acquire stains. Here’s how you can remove different kinds of stains such as:


Dip a cotton swab either in nail polish or in rubbing alcohol and slightly tap it on the stain. Don’t rub or the ink stain will spread further. After this, clean with a damp cloth and dry with a towel.

Oil or Grease

Sprinkle cornstarch or baking soda on the greased spot, rub it gently with a cloth and let it sit overnight. The soda or starch will absorb the oil. Wipe it off with a cloth in the morning. 

Scuffs and Other Stains

Use a non-gel kind of toothpaste on the scuffed spot and rub it with a cloth. While for any other stains, make a paste of equal parts of lemon juice and cream of tartar. Apply to the stained area and let sit for 30 minutes. Use a damp cloth to remove the paste. Make sure to only use it on light-colored leather as the mixture can have a bleaching effect.

There are a lot of different types of shoes and they need different methods of cleaning. Make sure you’re using the right method for your shoes or else instead of increasing their life-span you might end up destroying their quality. When it comes to choosing the best formal shoe brands in Pakistan, have a look at Elite Leather shoes for a variety depending on your needs and style.