How to Clean a Leather Shoes – 6 Simple Steps

Last updated on March 27th, 2023 at 01:12 am

Want to know how to clean your leather shoes and keep them looking new for years? This guide has got you covered! Learn the best techniques to clean your leather shoes and avoid damaging them.

The majority of people end up with stained shoes sooner or later. This is a fact of life that everyone must deal with. If you have a beautiful pair of leather shoes, you do not want them to be stained. Additionally, leather shoes are the most popular footwear among all types of footwear. Cleaning leather shoes is not an easy task. The right shoe cleaning kit and step-by-step instructions may make all the difference between a pair of shoes that look new and those that look old and worn out. In this blog post, we will discuss different ways to clean leather shoes.

How to Clean a Leather Shoes ?

Method 1:

how to clean a leather shoes

If you are looking for shoes that are both stylish and comfortable, leather shoes are an excellent choice. The main advantage of leather shoes is their durability and ability to resist abrasion.

Additionally, these shoes are very comfortable and stylish, but they are more difficult to maintain and clean than regular shoes.

It is actually not that difficult to clean a leather shoe, you just need to know how to do it. Here are a few steps.

Total Time: 30 minutes

1. Take off the laces

How to clean a leather shoes

In case they are dirty, you can put them in the washing machine. In case they are damaged, you should replace them.

2. Remove loose dust 

How to clean a leather shoes

Make sure you clean the shoe’s leather surfaces using a soft cloth or brush to ensure that all grime has been removed.

3. Take soap and apply it

How to clean a leather shoes

The footwear’s exterior surfaces should be cleaned by mixing hot water with dish detergent. Dip a soft cloth into the solution, wet it, wring it out, and wipe all surfaces.

4. Remove soap with a damp cloth

How to clean a leather shoes

To remove soap from your hands, use a second cloth that is clean and damp in order to remove the soap. Use a towel to dry your hands. Clean water stains with soapy water.

5. Apply leather conditioner

How to clean a leather shoes

To add shine and protect leather from stains, apply leather conditioner. To make your own leather conditioner, mix 2 parts linseed oil with 1 part vinegar. Buff with a soft cloth until the leather is shiny after applying the product. Let sit for about 10 to 15 minutes.

6. Let it dry

How to clean a leather shoes

You should let your boots and shoes air dry. The leather may fade or crack if left in the sun or near a heater.
If you would also like to know how to clean a leather couch, Here is the complete detail.

Estimated Cost: 30 USD


  • Soft cloth
  • Brush
  • Dish detergent
  • Towel
  • Leather conditioner

Method 2 :

Step 1: Gather the Required Supplies

Before you start cleaning your leather shoes, make sure you have the following supplies at hand:

  • Soft-bristled brush or cloth
  • Leather cleaner
  • Leather conditioner
  • Leather polish or wax
  • Soft, dry cloth
  • Water repellent spray (optional) Now that you have all the necessary supplies, let’s move on to the next step.

Step 2: Remove Dirt and Dust from Leather Shoes

The second step in cleaning leather shoes is to remove any dirt or dust from them. You can use a soft-bristled brush or cloth to gently remove any loose dirt or dust. Make sure to clean the shoes thoroughly, especially in the areas where dirt and dust are most likely to accumulate, such as the creases and seams.

Step 3: Remove Stains from Leather Shoes

To remove stains from your leather shoes, you can use a leather cleaner. Apply the cleaner to a soft cloth and rub it gently over the stained area. Do not rub too hard, as this can damage the leather. Once the stain is removed, wipe the shoes with a clean, damp cloth to remove any remaining cleaner.

If the stain is stubborn and doesn’t come off with the cleaner, you can use a leather stain remover. Apply the remover to a soft cloth and rub it gently over the stained area. Be sure to follow the instructions on the stain remover carefully.

Step 4: Condition and Polish Leather Shoes

After cleaning your leather shoes, it’s important to condition them to keep the leather soft and supple. Apply a small amount of leather conditioner to a soft cloth and rub it gently over the shoes. Make sure to cover the entire shoe, including the creases and seams.

Once you have conditioned your shoes, it’s time to polish them to give them a shiny finish. Apply a small amount of leather polish or wax to a soft cloth and rub it gently over the shoes. Again, make sure to cover the entire shoe, including the creases and seams.

Step 5: Protect Leather Shoes from Future Damage

To protect your leather shoes from future damage, you can use a water repellent spray. This spray will help to repel water and prevent stains from setting in. Simply spray the shoes evenly and let them dry completely before wearing them.

Video Guide

How to clean a leather shoes

What should you never do when cleaning your leather shoes?

Maintaining the cleanliness of your leather shoes is something that you should be doing on a regular basis. After all, they are expensive and must be kept clean and in good condition.

However, you should never clean them in the same way that you clean other materials, and here is why: Every material is different, so they require different cleaning methods. Thus, you should always clean your leather shoes carefully and never do the following:

1. Never use a brush

Brushes are very useful and they are frequently used to clean a variety of materials. When it comes to cleaning leather shoes, you should never use a brush. This is because brushes can damage the leather. 

2. Never use too much  soap

Additionally, too much soap can damage your leather shoes and even cause the color to bleed. You should never clean your leather shoes with too much soap. 

3. Never use a hairdryer

Your leather shoes will lose their natural shine if you clean them with a hairdryer. Thus, you should never use a hairdryer to clean leather shoes.

The importance of cleaning and conditioning your leather shoes

Cleaning leather shoes can be a challenging task. If you follow the proper procedures, it is neither difficult nor complex. You should take the time to clean and condition your leather shoes regularly if you wish to enjoy them for a long time.

The process of cleaning and conditioning your leather shoes is a simple one that keeps them in good condition for a long time.

What are the leather Shoe cleaning tips ?

Shoes have always been an integral part of our wardrobes. In addition to making a fashion statement, they are also essential to the development of our personality. However, when it comes to maintaining them, we fail to pay sufficient attention.

The sole is the most neglected part of the shoes. It is the dirtiest part of the shoe and gets dirty very quickly. The sole of your shoe should be cleaned to avoid the embarrassment of a muddy sole. Also, you can maintain the sheen and beauty of the sole of the shoe by following the steps outlined above.

Leather cleaner and moisturiser for a shoe

Sweat and dirt from your shoes can leave marks, which is why it’s important to regularly clean them. If you own leather shoes, then you probably know that they won’t last very long before they begin to look slightly worn out. These shoes can quickly become dull and dirty.

Furthermore, they may become flaky and even smelly. You should have a leather shoe cleaner in your cleaning kit, regardless of whether you want to maintain the appearance of your shoes or if you need to clean them in an emergency.

You can find the best leather cleaner and conditioner for shoe at . It is important that you read the instructions for your shoe so that you will know what product to use. Ensure that you have a pair of old towels to wipe away the excess cleaner.

How to Clean a Leather Sneakers ?

There are at least two ways to clean leather sneakers. It is possible to clean it with a dry cloth or a wet cloth. In the first instance, clean your sneakers with a soft, dry cloth. Avoid rubbing too hard. Clean the areas of the sneaker that are most dirty with a hard cloth.

The outer layer of the sneaker must not be damaged, as this must be avoided. Use a wet cloth to remove dirt from the second case. The wet cloth will be able to clean a dirty sneaker. However, you should take care not to make your sneakers too wet.

Wet sneakers are likely to attract a lot of dust. Make sure that your sneakers are completely dry before wearing them.

How to protect the leather shoes ?

While it may sound simple, there are several things you should consider when protecting your leather shoes. When buying new shoes, it is a good idea to purchase a leather cleaner and conditioner. This will help to maintain the leather in the future.

There is a common misconception that you should use other substances in order to maintain your leather, such as shoe polish. This is not the case. Shoe polish is designed for canvas and other fabrics, not leather. You should never use shoe polish on leather shoes.

Every time you wear your shoes, you should clean and condition them. Be sure to clean your shoes with a cloth and leather cleaner after each wear. If you wear the shoes again, be sure to use leather conditioner and work it into the leather.

How to Clean Dirt Marks on Shoes?

It is quite easy to remove dirt marks from shoes. Here are some tips for cleaning your shoes. 

Step 1

Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the stain. 

Step 2

Use a damp sponge or cloth to rub the toothpaste onto the dirt mark. 

Step 3

Let it dry under the sun after washing it with water. You may even use the flat side of a spoon to scrub the toothpaste off the shoe. 

Step 4

To completely remove toothpaste from your shoes, wipe them with a soft, wet cloth.

How to Clean Yellow Marks from Shoes?

There are several ways to remove yellow marks from shoes. Some of them are very simple and straightforward. People at home can follow the only method that requires no special equipment and takes only 30 seconds. WD-40 can be used to remove yellow marks from shoes quickly.

It is a lubricant that is very effective in cleaning sticky materials, but should be used with caution. All you need to do is spray a little bit of WD-40 on a clean piece of cloth. Rub it on the marks on the soles of the shoes. Rub it well, and then wipe it away with a cloth. It is that easy.

How to Clean Scuffs from Shoes?

Scuff marks on shoes can be removed in two ways. In the first instance, it is advisable to apply toothpaste to the scuff marks before polishing them. The second method consists of cleaning the scuff marks with a toothbrush and baking soda mixture.

While the toothpaste acts as a gentle abrasive that helps to remove scuff marks, the baking soda acts as a mild abrasive. Sprinkle baking soda on the scuff marks and use a toothbrush to remove them. You can use coarse sandpaper to remove stubborn scuff marks.

How to Clean Stains from Shoes?

Do not use water or water-soluble solutions to remove stains from shoes. It is a classic error that most people make when cleaning shoes. We often assume that the materials used for shoe production are the same as those used for other products, such as paper.

In spite of this, the materials used in shoe production should never be immersed in water or spring water, as this may dissolve the glue which connects the upper, the sole, and the lining.  Thus, before cleaning your shoes, you should always check the material used in their manufacture. 

If the item is made of leather, suede, or nubuck, you should wash it with warm water and mild soap.  You can use a soft brush dipped in warm water and mild soap to clean stains on other materials (such as canvas, fabric, or plastic). It is also possible to clean the stains by dipping a cotton ball in alcohol and wiping the stains with the cotton ball.

how to clean a leather shoes
how to clean a leather shoes

FAQ’s How to Clean a Leather Shoes

Is it possible to wash leather shoes?

Leather shoes may be washed, but it is not recommended. It is best to wipe them occasionally with a damp cloth. Be sure not to use water that is hotter than 50 degrees Celsius when you wash them.
If you are washing white shoes, do not use bleach. You can wear leather shoes even after washing them, but avoid exposing them to sunlight for a long period of time. Direct sunlight dries and shrivels leather.

What is the best way to clean leather shoes with vinegar?

Add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar to 1 cup of vinegar. Use a sponge to apply the solution to the shoes. Scrub the shoes gently with a toothbrush to remove any dirt. Use a clean cloth to dry the shoes after they have been cleaned.
Although this solution is effective against dirt and grease, it does not work very well on stains. Also, the solution should not remain on the shoes for an extended period of time since it may damage the leather.

Are leather shoes damaged by water?

Due to the importance of water in leather tanning, it is not recommended to use water to clean leather goods. It is possible to clean leather shoes with a soft cloth and water, however, if you have leather oils, you should use leather cleaning products.
Using leather conditioner will protect the leather goods against water damage and maintain their color.

Can I use a hairdryer to dry my leather shoes?

No, it’s not recommended to use a hairdryer to dry leather shoes. The heat can damage the leather and cause it to crack. Instead, let the shoes dry naturally in a well-ventilated area.

Can I use a colored polish on my leather shoes?

Yes, you can use a colored polish on your leather shoes to match their color. Just make sure to test the polish on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure that it doesn’t discolor or damage the leather.

How often should I clean and condition my leather shoes?

It depends on how often you wear your shoes and how exposed they are to dirt and dust. As a general rule, you should clean and condition your leather shoes every 3-6 months to keep them in good condition.


Cleaning leather shoes can seem daunting, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be a simple and enjoyable task. Remember to always start by removing any dirt and dust from the shoes, then use a leather cleaner and conditioner to keep the leather soft and supple. Finally, use a leather polish or wax to give the shoes a shiny finish, and protect them from future damage with a water repellent spray. By following these steps, your leather shoes will look new and last for years to come.

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