Leather sandals are comfortable, stylish and probably your first choice during summertime. With hundreds of different styles and textures, sandals can be worn everyday and for every occasion. You definitely wear them while on vacation or on your free time while in the city. You might even wear them to work since they are super easy to match with many outfits. The more you wear them, the more care they need so knowing how to clean leather sandals is the best way to ensure they keep looking flawless for years to come.
You might be wondering how to get rid off dirt, water stains and other marks that cause them to lose their fresh appearance. The truth is that leather sandals are easy and quick to clean but require gentel handling. You cannot throw them in the laundry or wash them under a runnign tap. Here are some steps to follow in order to have clean sandals in no time:
Step 1 – How to Clean Leather Sandals.
If you want to clean the exterior of your leather sandals from dust or give them just a simple freshening up, use a clean and dry soft cloth or a clean soft-bristled brush and a very gentle hand to take the dirt of the surface. Brush the surface of the sandal, the buckles, the straps as well as the inside of the sandal. Do not forget to brush along the side of the bottom of the sandal. For caked on dirt, start by brushing off with a soft brush and then a slightly damp soft cloth to wipe down the rest of the dirt. Be gentle during the whole prosses because leather can be easily scratched. If you are wiping off dust or dirt and you use too much force, you might cause a permanent mark or a scratch on your shoe.
Follow Step 1 for all the times you want to clean your leather sandals properly. Remember that you should always remove any dust, dry debris, surface dirt like streaks of mud and other solids from your shoes before applying a damp cloth or any type of cleanser or moisturizer to the leather. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a muddy mess and a large dirt stain that will be harder to remove.
knowing how to clean leather sandals is the best way to ensure they keep looking flawless for years to come
Step 2 – How to clean leather sandals if they have spots or light discoloration.
Spots or light discoloration from contact with simple water are often for leather sandals. This might not be dirt but will make them look old or unattractive. A quick way to solve this is to use a solution of 1:1 ratio of white vinegar and water, which you can dab on the discolored areas. Be sure not to saturate the leather. Let the shoe dry out before wearing it again.
Step 3 – How to spot clean your leather sandal.
If your leather sandals got just a few marks or spots on them here or there, consider using a cleaning agent to spot clean them rather than cleaning the entire sandal, which might not need cleaning yet. To spot clean, make sure you get rid of dust and surface dirt as in Step 1. Next, take the soft cloth and moisten it just a bit. At this step you could also use a cotton swab. Apply a small amount of leather conditioner or any liquid soap like dish soap or liquid hand soap to the cloth or the cotton swab. Use a gentle motion to clean the spots off of the leather. Use a clean damp cloth to wipe down the cleaning agent.
Step 4 – How to clean leather sandals thoroughly.
If you’re wearing your leather sandals for quite a time or if there are larger, stubborn stains or difficult stains like oil or wine on them, it’s time to give them a good wash. For this you may use a gentle dish soap or liquid hand soap but for better results use leather conditioner or saddle soap, both available at your local store, super markets, shoe stores, or online. Begin by moistening a clean, soft cloth, squish the water out and apply a very small amount of the cleaning agent on it. Now, gently rub the dirty spots, making a gentle, even motion. Wash off the cloth, squish as much water as you can out and wipe the cleaning agent away from the leather. Repeat applying the cleaning agent one more time for better results if the stain remains. Do not let the cleaning agent dry on the shoe cause this might create a stain itself. As soon as you have removed the stains and dirt, wash off the cloth, squish and wipe off the shoe all over. Make sure there is no cleaning agent left and as little moisture as possible.
Step 5 – How to dry leather sandals.
Always dry your sandals thoroughly before you wear them again, no matter if you did a spot clean or you cleaned the whole shoe. Natural sunlight and clean, fresh air are the best way to dry leather footwear. Don’t put leather sandals in direct sunlight or close to / on any heating appliances. The sun and the excess heat in combination with the moisture can break down the leather and cause cracking and / or shrinking. Don’t try to dry your sandals by rubbing them with towels, and don’t wear the sandals until they’re completely dry. If you are in a rush, you might use a hair dryer on the lowest heat setting or cold setting to dry out small surface after spot cleaning and wear your sandals right away.
Step 6 – How to preserve leather sandals for longer.
Treat your favorite leather sandals with a leather preservative, once you’ve cleaned them thoroughly and let them dry naturaly. Treating leather with a preservative is the best way to maintain that fresh look and ensure that they stay clean, dirt-free and shining for longer. The leather preservative creates a protective layer that keeps stains away, which lessens the number of times that you’ll need to clean your sandals. Once your leather sandals are looking like they just came off the shelf again, you are ready to go!
Aside from these steps, make sure to keep your leather sandals as dry and free of dirt as much as you can. If they do get wet e.g. after rain, be sure to let them air dry as in Step 5 before wearing them again. Remeber never to put leather shoes in the washing machine. You will ruin the leather and you might not be able to wear your favorite sandals ever again. Washing leather shoes, including sandals in the washing machine is never advised. Avoid bar soap as well, which has a higher pH level than leather and can cause dryness.
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