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curiouslillady21's avatar

How to clean leather shoes with common household items?

Asked by curiouslillady21 (33 points ) June 9th, 2009

I have no saddle soap and I need to clean a pair of men’s nice casual slightly rough leather shoes. They’re not stained, just need to be cleaned before we freshen them up with shoe polish.

I found a recipe online but I do not have any of the oils it says to use – see below…

* 1 part white vinegar
* 2 parts neat’s-foot oil OR raw or food grade linseed oil
I HAVE NONE OF THESE OILS
* Use a white lint free cloth to swirl on, leave overnight then buff for maximum shine.

I do have olive oil, veg oil, baby oil, white vinegar, and other basic household items.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

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5 Answers

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

If you’ve a soft body brush (like or when your shower) or something like that, brush up the shoes and seams, remove the laces if there are any, unbuckle any hardware. With a rag, clean the soles with soap and water and damp wipe the rest of the surface. The olive oil might permanently deepen the color of the leather, I’d hold off on that. In the past, I’ve used mild body lotion for a quick rub down and buff out in place of balm or wax.

susanc's avatar

I think you could use olive oil with the white vinegar. But don’t leave it overnight. After you brush off the surface dirt as hungryhungry advises, wipe on a little of that mix and then buff it right off again. You won’t get a wax finish, but if you put some elbow grease into it, it’ll freshen up, and the leather will be conditioned.

sakura's avatar

If you have a bit of vaseline (petroleum jelly- I think if you are from USA) Rub a bit of that on and then polish it off it works a treat on paten/shiny shoes and leather!

Clair's avatar

i use olive oil also. works great for me.

prescottman2008's avatar

I used to use plain lard or shortening to shine my shoes in an emergency. Not too much mind you.

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