Leather shoes last a lot longer and stay much more comfortable if they receive the proper care. While leather is a durable material, it can’t be cleaned the same way as cloth or vinyl if you want it to last. Many detergents and other cleaning products can strip the natural moisture out of leather, causing it to crack and degrade. Learning a few simple tips about leather care can make the process of cleaning your shoes much simpler and more effective.
Dry Shoes Correctly
Wet or damp shoes may shrink, deform or crack if dried incorrectly. Dry leather shoes on a shoe tree to help them retain their shape, and keep them away from heat sources such as the fireplace or vent. Too much heat can damage the shoe permanently. It may take longer for leather to dry naturally, but your shoes will last longer.
Leather shoes worn in snowy regions often develop salt stains. In addition to being unsightly, this salt can seriously damage the leather. According to Good Housekeeping, salt stains can be removed from leather using a mixture of 1 part white vinegar to 1 part water, dabbed on with a soft cloth. Remove the salt and the cleanser using a water-dampened cloth, then blot with a dry towel.
Leather shoes are prone to scuffs and stains. Cleaning these marks can be tricky, but resist the temptation to scrub at the leather. Good Housekeeping recommends gently rubbing the spots with a soft cloth dipped first in water, then in baking soda, wiping with a damp cloth, then buffing dry.
Treat Suede Carefully
Suede leather is much less durable than full-grain leather, and should never get wet. Clean suede by rubbing the surface with a kneadable eraser, instead. For tricky stains, rub the surface gently with an emery board or nail file. Flattened suede can be revived using a clean toothbrush, or by steaming the shoe, then brushing it.
For the complete list of cleaning tips, visit eHow.com