Fashion & Beauty

How to clean Leather Dress Shoes

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 10th, 2018 1:53 pm
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Jun 24, 2015
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Woodbridge, ON

How to clean Leather Dress Shoes

Hello Everybody,

At my work I have to dress up somewhat, not too crazy but No runners/Sneakers unless its friday which is dress down day. but during the other 4 days per week, I am required to wear dress shoes. I bought these Leather dress shoes from Soft Mock, I am required to wear them because I have a problem with my foot/feet/arch/heel and the foot doctor strongly recommended this brand. I have 2 sets of them and I alternate back and fourth but after a while they get quite stinky, and my feet get sweaty due to the extra pad I am required to put inside my shoe. the shoe company did not give me any cleaning instructions and they got quite dirty form the salt and snow, whats the best way to clean them? and when I say clean them I dont just mean the outside I want to clean the inside too as the inside is kind of smelly, can I just throw them in the washing machine? or should I hand wash them? the reason Im asking is cus I am new to dress shoes and do not know how the proper way to clean them.
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Nov 26, 2003
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Use cedar shoe trees when you are not wearing them - they will absorb odour, and also help the shoe keep its shape.

Cleaning your shoes - use a horsehair shoe brush to remove dirt and particles. Wipe with a damp lint free cloth, then you can go on and either use black shoe polish or neutral shoe polish.
[OP]
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what about all the oil and sweat and road salt that got "soaked" into the leather of the shoes? brushing the shoes will only remove the surface dirt, no? wouldn't washing be better to remove all the oils and sweat that got absorbed by the leathers? I don't see how brushing will get out the oils and sweats from the leather material?
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Jun 29, 2008
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I've been going to Nordstrom to get my shoes cleaned and waxed every now and then. They do a decent job. $2.50/pair. I usually just give them a fiver and call it a day.

Not sure about your foot situation, but change from boots to shoes at work in the winter. We oversalt our roads in the GTA. You'll have to clean them daily to get the snow and salt stains out. Shouldn't get good leather shoes wet anyway.
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Jul 29, 2005
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Your shoes are already ruined by the salt and snow. Should waterproof them before wearing them outside. Or wear boots in winter and keep the good shoes for indoors or good weather.
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Oct 13, 2008
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Wipe with warm soft cloth.

Apply wax with a chamois in circular motion.

After it dries .... apply a coat of spray on Turtle Wax/Maguiars (used for cars).

Then you're all set.
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Apr 26, 2010
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thericyip wrote:
Mar 7th, 2018 6:58 pm
I've been going to Nordstrom to get my shoes cleaned and waxed every now and then. They do a decent job. $2.50/pair. I usually just give them a fiver and call it a day.

Not sure about your foot situation, but change from boots to shoes at work in the winter. We oversalt our roads in the GTA. You'll have to clean them daily to get the snow and salt stains out. Shouldn't get good leather shoes wet anyway.
Where abouts do you drop off your shoes at Nordstrom? Thanks
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Dec 29, 2013
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You go to the Men's Shoe Section and there is a shoe shining booth close by the cash register.
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MadMonday wrote:
Mar 9th, 2018 9:24 am
You go to the Men's Shoe Section and there is a shoe shining booth close by the cash register.
Only at Eaton Centre though.
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Yes, Eaton Centre Nordstrom, second floor by the shoe section. They are supposedly open during store hours. Although, It does appear that they only have 1 or 2 people working each day. 2 people might split the day's schedule or even just the 1 person for a 8 hour day. Anyway, I've gone a few times where the person called in sick or was on break so I had to either come back another day or wait half an hour. I would really suggest calling in before you go to make sure there is someone working. I had to wait for a guy to get back from break so I just had a drink at the bar. Great drinks, btw,
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Oct 27, 2009
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Technically, leather shoes should have a day off after a day of wear but not everyone has 2 or 3 pr of dress shoes to take turns wearing for work (until finances improve or shoe sales abound).
For the stuff that got soaked into the leather (salt)-you will need a damp rag wrung out to wipe off what salt you can and let the leather dry. You will need to polish the leather, then apply spray to help resist water at the seamline (WeatherProtect or whatever Tana calls it-at Walmart, some Shoppers and most shoe repair stores) -spray the stuff outside and follow directions! Let shoes airdry a couple of minutes then bring shoes back in.
For the interior shoe odour-I know that stuffing wet shoes with newspaper helps to wick out water. You might like to use fabric dryer sheets in the shoes when they are not worn to help with odours.
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Suggest that you ensure your dress socks have natural fibre content and you wash them after wear everytime.
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