Make Leather Shoes Look New with These Cleaning Tips

No money to buy new leather shoes? Dig out those old leather shoes from the back of the closet and spiff them up to look new again with these cleaning and polishing tips that will make those old leather shoes look new again.

Remove Dirt from Shoes

Start spiffing up those leather shoes with a gentle, thorough cleaning. Mix one squirt of dishwashing liquid (any brand) into some warm water. Dip a clean, soft cloth into the warm, soapy water. Wring as much of the water out of the cloth as possible, then wipe the leather shoes from toe to heel. If leather shoes are extra dirty, rinse cloth in soapy water and repeat the cleaning process. Let leather shoes dry before moving on to next step.


Once the leather is clean and dry, it’s time to moisturize. Remember, leather is skin and needs moisture just like human skin to remain soft and supple. To moisturize leather shoes, apply a leather shoe cream. Choose a leather shoe cream that is one shade lighter than the leather to prevent the leather from darkening. The exception to this rule is black leather shoes, choose a black leather cream to moisturize black shoes.
Dip a clean, dry cloth into the leather cream, then rub the cream into the leather in a circular motion. Make small circles of leather cream all over the shoes until they are completely covered. Let leather cream dry completely. This prevents cracks and deep crevices from forming in leather and will help minimize the appearance of existing ones.

Polish the Shoes

Now for the shoe polish. Apply a paste shoe polish to the leather that is clear or close to the same color as the shoes using the round application brush that comes with the shoe polish.
Buff leather with a soft bristled shoe brush using a light back and forth motion. After buffing, use a shoeshine cloth to rub shoes until they reach a high glossy finish.

Touch Up Shoe Heels

Leather shoes with scuffed heels will give their age away, so touch up shoes heels and soles with this tip – Dip an old toothbrush into the shoe polish and apply to scuff marks to cover them. Wipe off any excess shoe polish with a clean, dry cloth. If the leather shoe polish is clear, a permanent magic marker in the appropriate color will hide the heel scratches.

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