Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Caring For Leather

It's the height of winter in Melbourne and I'm finding my three pairs of boots inadequate for dealing with Melbourne's climate; downpours, icy grass, muddy soil and oppressive heating once inside. The leather cracks and dries from exposure to water, then overexposure to intensely dry air inside my home or office. Much like the skin on our faces, the leather on our boots is sensitive to the environment around us.

One of the greatest struggles I face as a shoeaholic is the battle for caring for shoes that face these issues. Patent, smooth or suede; the leather on my shoes need specific care; but in each box, there is a distinct lack of information on how to care for your new loves. So I browse the wide wide wide world of the web in a search for some advice on how to deal with the many types of shoes I have.

Smooth Leather
Probably the most common type of leather in your shoe collection, it's important to look after this type of leather, not just so your shoes look good, but to preserve and hopefully extend the life of your shoes.

There are four steps to caring for smooth leather shoes. These are Clean, Condition, Polish and Preserve. Clean with a damp cloth to remove dirt. Condition with a good quality leather cream or oil, choose a specifically designed colour based cream for black, tan or brown shoes if you desire. Polish with a soft bristle brush or clean rag and lastly waterproof with a good quality product.

Patent Leather
The best way to clean Patent Leather shoes is with a damp cloth to wipe away any dirt or grime. Then use a special conditioner for Patent Leather. I recently bought conditioner specifically for Patent Leather from Midas, so make sure you get the right type and look after those shiny dancing shoes!

Suede

Suede is best cleaned professionally. If you want to preserve them, don't wear them unless the ground is dry and the sky is free of rain. But this isn't always possible, so try not to let them get too wet, and never dry them near a heater or open fire, dry at normal room temperature to keep them looking their best!

Protect your suede shoes with a leather protector like a silicon spray. Check out Collonil's range of leather protectants