Dirty leather shoes


Despite taking good care of a pair of shoes, they will start to look boring after a while. Maybe they have gotten a lot of scratches, become very dirty or old shoe cream is building up in the creases... That means it's time to completely wash them and apply new fresh shoe cream. Don't be afraid of soaking the shoes in water, they will handle it alright as long as they can dry properly.

What's needed to clean shoes, shoe brush, shoe trees, etc


You'll need:

  • shoe brush
  • solvent like chemically pure gasoline or similar
  • paper tissue
  • leather schampoo (optional)
  • shoe trees

Remove the shoe laces, brush the shoes free from sand and dust.

Removing shoe cream and shoe polish

2.Clean with solvent

Apply solvent to the paper and wipe off shoe cream and polish from the shoes. Multiple tissues are probably needed and the procedure is finished when the paper is not stained anymore. Be extra careful in the creases where shoe cream often pile up.

Rinse the shoes with water

3.Clean with water

Use water to clean the shoes and make sure to rinse multiple times to remove all solvent. It's also important to soak through the entire shoe, otherwise it might end up in different shades on the different parts.

Use leather schampoo on the shoes

4.Clean with leather schampoo (optional)

Read the instructions on the packaging of the schampoo to make sure to apply it correctly. Different brands and types of leather schampoo has different instructions, but most common is to apply it to the shoes with a brush and then rinse thoroughly.

Let the shoes dry

5.Dry the shoes

Let the shoes dry for at least a day with shoe trees inserted. The shoe trees make sure that the shoes will maintain their shape. Let the shoes dry on their side, like the picture shows, to make sure the sole gets a chance to dry.

The shoes are dry and clean


The shoes are now free from dirt and shoe care products and they might also have lost some of their colour. The next step is to apply shoe cream again to moisturise and repigment the leather. Keep reading here.