How to Properly Clean Your Leather Shoes

Leather shoes are a staple in any wardrobe. Genuine leather can be pricey, but with the proper care they can last a long time. However, it can be intimidating to care for your own leather shoes at home. Let’s take a look at the steps necessary to clean your leather shoes the right way.

Remove Laces to Wash Separately

The first step to cleaning your leather shoes is to remove the shoelaces and clean separately. Shoelaces can typically be hand washed with hot water and laundry detergent, or run through the washing machine inside of a laundry bag. 

Use a Soft-Bristled Brush

After removing the shoelaces, it is time to begin cleaning your leather shoes. Use a brush to GENTLY rub off any dirt, dust, or grime on the shoes. It is important to use a brush with soft bristles to avoid scratching the leather. If your shoes look and feel clean after brushing them, you can stop at this step. If you find there are scuffs or marks, continue on to the next step.

Add in a Leather Cleaning Solution

After using a soft-bristled brush to take off any dirt, your shoes may still contain stains or scuffs. Some people are mistaken when thinking water can be used to clean leather. Overtime, water exposure can actually damage leather, so a leather cleaning solution is worth purchasing. Using the same soft-bristled brush, apply a small amount of leather cleaner and begin lightly scrubbing the leather until it appears shiny and clean.


The last step to cleaning your leather shoes is to protect them with a conditioner. Leather conditioner is worth buying, as it will help your shoes stay in good condition overtime. Using a microfiber towel or another soft-bristled brush, apply a dollop of conditioner and rub it into the leather. Let the conditioner set in for a few minutes, and then use a towel to remove any leftover residue. 


An additional step that you can add on is a shoe polish application. If you have a shoe polish on hand, use a microfiber towel to rub it into the leather. This will give your shoes a nice shine.

Trust London Cleaners

Cleaning your leather shoes is not as intimidating as it seems! However, cleaning them as best as possible does require the proper tools and products. If you do not have these products, consider using a professional dry cleaning service like London Cleaners! We offer shoe shine and repair services that will leave your leather shoes looking brand new.