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How to clean, care & protect leather shoes

For shoes various types of leather are processed. Often it’s difficult to distinguish the different leather types. The main groups are pigmented leather (coloured surface coating), aniline leather (porous smooth leather), pull up, suede and nubuck.

 
 

How to distinguish the smooth leather types? The easiest way to find out is by rubbing a drop of water in a hidden area. If the leather is porous, water will penetrate and darken the surface. If water stays on the surface, there is a protective coating (pigmented leather) on the leather. Pull up leather is a leather with an oil or grease based coating on the surface (waxed leather, oiled leather). Light lines can easily be scratched on such surfaces and can easily be wiped away again. Nubuck and suede have a velvet-like surface. Nubuck is much finer. Some shoes have leather soles which require a special care treatment.

 
 

THE TREATMENT OF PIGMENTED LEATHER

Pigmented smooth leather uppers are the most common and the easiest to clean and maintain. For the care of smooth leather uppers of shoes and boots, we recommend COLOURLOCK Elephant Leather Preserver. It makes especially hiking and hunting shoes water repellent which is important in wet weather.

All kind of dirt can be cleaned with LEDER FEIN Leather Shoe Washing Agent. Mix Washing Agent 1:1 with water and brush off the dirt. Always clean the complete surface and both shoes. Leave to dry in shoe trees. The detergent also acts as a disinfectant, pH-regulating and odour-reducing.

For minor surface damage, which cannot be removed with shoe polish, ask a local shoemaker for help.

A change of the colour can be done with the Spray Can Colour for coated leather. Please refer to the appropriate manual for the colour spray.


THE TREATMENT OF ANILINE LEATHER

 

Aniline leather is porous smooth leather. Liquids easily penetrate into the surface and can cause permanent stains. Such leather is very sensitive and unsuitable for bad weather.

Protect such leather with COLOURLOCK Waterproofing for Leather & Textiles. This protection will not last forever and hence regular preventive care is the best protection! Avoid wearing shoes with such leather on rainy days.

Certain stains can be removed but they are rarely removeable using standard cleaning products. Depending on the cause of the stain and the type of leather, varying products and solutions may be available. Please contact us with photos and as much possible information about how the stain was caused so we can assist you. 

Wipe fresh stains carefully with little pressure and without smudging them. Fresh oil stains can be removed with COLOURLOCK Grease Absorber Spray. Please refer to the appropriate manual.

Renewing the colour or colour changes are difficult on aniline leather. This would mean a pigment coating on the leather which destroys the character of aniline leather. But the colour can be refreshed with coloured shoe polish.




THE TREATMENT OF SUEDE AND NUBUCK

 

Suede and nubuck leather are sensitive. This is the natural characteristic of this type of leather. Particularly in lighter coloured leathers you can immediately see stains, dust or abrasion. Therefore, such leather has to be protected. Despite all the protection it is best not to use these type of leathers during wet weather.

Suede and nubuck shoes should be regularly brushed with the COLOURLOCK Leather Cleaning Brush. Protect such leather types with COLOURLOCK Waterproofing for Leather & Textiles. Old and dry leather should be nourished with COLOURLOCK Aniline Protector.

Stains and dust can be brushed off. More stubborn dirt can be removed with the COLOURLOCK Leather Sanding Pad. However, if it doesn’t lead to the desired result it is important to stop in time to avoid bigger damages!

Remove heavy soiling with COLOURLOCK Leather Shoe Washing Agent. Mix Washing Agent 1:1 with water and brush off the dirt. Clean the complete surface of both shoes. Rinsing the cleaning residues is not necessary. The cleaner contains oils to keep the leather soft. Leave to dry in shoe trees. The detergent also acts as a disinfectant, pH-regulating and odour-reducing. Brush the leather in the end.

Fresh oil stains can be removed with COLOURLOCK Grease Absorber Spray. Please refer to the appropriate manual.

It is rarely possible to refresh colours successfully on Suede & Nubuck leathers. Colour changes are impossible. Ask experienced shoemakers for help.


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THE TREATMENT OF WAXED OR OILED LEATHER

Waxed or oiled leathers are prone to traces of use, but in most cases they can easily be removed. Brush such areas with Elephant Leather Preserver. This treatment removes the scratches and makes the leather water repellent.

Remove heavy soiling with LEDER FEIN Leather Shoe Washing Agent. Mix Washing Agent 1:1 with water and brush off the dirt. Clean the complete surface of both shoes. Rinsing the cleaning residues is not necessary. The cleaner contains oils to keep the leather soft. Leave to dry in shoe trees. The detergent also acts as a disinfectant, pH-regulating and odour-reducing.

A change of colour is not possible in waxed or oiled leather. But the colour can be refreshed with coloured shoe polish.

 

THE TREATMENT OF LEATHER SOLES

 

Leather soles become dry and brittle with the time. They get wet on rainy days. Therefore, soles should be maintained from the start! The LEDER FEIN Leather Sole Oil significantly increases the lifetime, reduces friction and makes the sole waterproof. The first application with a sponge or cloth should be intensive to fill the leather. Later treatments can be done more sparingly.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


OPPRESSIVE SHOES: Unfortunately, there is no sure solution for tight shoes or bruises in shoes. Such shoes can be treated with LEDER FEIN Leather Shoe Washing Agent. Mix Washing Agent 1:1 with water and wet such areas from inside and wear and use the shoes. As a result, the leather will yield slightly. If stains get visible on the surface, immediately dry them with cold air of a hair dryer. Also experienced shoemaker can be asked for help. They have more tricks to solve such problems. But also they cannot perform any miracles.

MARKING SHOES: It occurs that shoes colour socks and skin. This is caused by insufficiently fixed dyes of the materials inside the shoe. Unfortunately there is no easy solution. In case of very strong discolouration, you should try to claim the shoes in the store. Tips like the use of hair spray or water repellents to reduce the effect don’t work. However, strong discolouration is a clear deficiency and should not be accepted.

When there is no possibility to claim such shoes, you can try to reduce the effect with LEDER FEIN Leather Fixative. Wear gloves using the Fixative. Wet a cloth with Fixative and wipe over the affected surfaces. Let dry and repeat. Repeat until no further improvement can be achieved. As result, the discolouration should at least be reduced. But wear dark socks the first weeks to avoid further damage.


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