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    Leather Maintenance

    I couldn't find a thread on general leather care, so here is my question: What is the order in which you rejuvenate a piece of leather?

    Generally, there are 3 or 4 steps (if polishing in the case of a shoe or boot) which include: Cleaning, Conditioning, Protecting, Polish.

    I am unsure if that order is correct (although cleaning of course comes first). I have saddle soap, Leather Honey (brand of conditioner), Sno-Seal (waterproofing), and some polish. I do not want to proceed before knowing the correct order which I can't seem to find.

    #2
    Zeejet: Different types of leather uses different cleaning materials.

    Most people wouldn't use saddle soap or sno-seal on a pair of fine calf skin dress shoes, although some do.

    What sort of shoe are you looking to clean up?

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      #3
      As far as the order you listed. You'll clean first, then condition, then polish. I never really use protection except for Obenauf's Heavy LP on some of my boots which is also a conditioner (I don't polish in this case).

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Acousticfoodie View Post
        Zeejet: Different types of leather uses different cleaning materials.

        Most people wouldn't use saddle soap or sno-seal on a pair of fine calf skin dress shoes, although some do.

        What sort of shoe are you looking to clean up?
        I agree 100% with this. Saddle soap and sno-seal are meant for rough leather.

        Originally posted by Acousticfoodie View Post
        I never really use protection except for Obenauf's Heavy LP
        10" drop.

        Comment


          #5
          I have Clarks Desert Boots. I guess for oxfords I would skip the sno-seal and the saddle soap?

          Comment


            #6
            I brush the shoes and then use a smaller brush (or toothbrush) on the welt. This pretty much removes any loose dirt and dust. Occasionally I'll use a little Lexol if needed. Then I apply some Saphir Renovateur, which is quite possibly the greatest shoe care product made. You only need a little bit and it cleans and conditions the leather. AE's version (http://www.allenedmonds.com/aeonline...40000000001_-1) is pretty good too and much more affordable, although it doesn't cover nearly as much as Saphir. With Renovateur I really only need a couple of drops of it on each shoe.

            After the shoes are cleaned and conditioned, I let them dry completely. Next I apply some cream polish, let it dry, and lightly buff it off with a cloth. Don't use too much pressure. Finally I apply a wax polish to the toes and heels. I buff them with a couple of drops of water and a cloth, and then a brush. I'll often repeat this wax step a few times to get a really great shine.

            I only use sno-seal on winter boots. I'm sure saddle soap has a purpose (saddles?), but I've never needed it.

            There are lots of other threads/sites about this in more detail though. This Japanese translation is particularly amazing:
            http://www.styleforum.net/t/325234/s...nslation/0_100

            Put This On: http://putthison.com/post/535994284/episode-2-shoes
            4400+ posts here: http://www.styleforum.net/t/228153/t...otos-etc/0_100
            Kirby Allison (great source for Saphir stuff): http://www.hangerproject.com/closet/...are-guide.html
            This video is pretty impressive: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrzNkhJsJm8
            C&J: http://www.crockettandjones.com/ShoeCare

            There's lots more info out there too. (You are using shoe trees, right?)

            Comment


              #7
              Fred, thanks for the SF thread with the Japanese translation pics. Saw that before and I forgot to link it.

              I think I basically do the same as you, except that I use Venetian Shoe Cream instead of Reno.

              Comment


                #8
                Can Clark's desert boots be used as winter boots? I don't like the look of typical "winter boots".

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Chareth View Post
                  Fred, thanks for the SF thread with the Japanese translation pics. Saw that before and I forgot to link it.

                  I think I basically do the same as you, except that I use Venetian Shoe Cream instead of Reno.
                  Yeah that translation is pretty amazing. I downloaded it and saved it as a .pdf so I'd have it if the pics get taken down.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Zeejet View Post
                    Can Clark's desert boots be used as winter boots? I don't like the look of typical "winter boots".
                    Crepe soles are terrible in winter, so I'd say no.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Careful with the saddle soap. I only use it on boots and to slightly darken leather.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by TheMimbo View Post
                        Careful with the saddle soap. I only use it on boots and to slightly darken leather.
                        There are conflicting schools of thought out there regarding the long-term wisdom of using saddle soap. Some folks seem to think saddle soap can actually damage your shoes.

                        My policy with saddle soap is to use it sparingly. Otherwise, I've found that a damp rag or soft brush are pretty adequate to physically remove most caked-on dirt, salt, and other grime from shoes.
                        Ben

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Fred G. Unn View Post
                          Crepe soles are terrible in winter, so I'd say no.
                          Any suggestions for winter boots? Most available ones look terrible.

                          As for the saddle soap issue, I guess I was just extremely uninformed (was told from some other source online that it should be used to clean my leather prior to conditioning and polishing).

                          Thanks for all the help guys!
                          Last edited by Zeejet; March 31, 2013, 02:27 AM.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            There are a lot of leather cleaners out there that are labeled "saddle soap". It is truly a soap, which means it needs to be lathered up and is then used to scrub your leather. Seems obvious, but I'm pointing it out because it isn't necessarily the soap you need to be worried about, it's the scrubbing. There are "saddle soap" products out there intended for use on shoes, and they won't hurt your shoes, but you wouldn't want to grab a brush and scrub a nice pair of dress shoes.


                            I use the Allen Edmonds cleaner conditioner on my nicer shoes, but for my winter boots, I use saddle soap. I wax them with Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP, and since they see a lot of salt, I want to make sure I scrub all the salty wax off and reapply periodically. A little scrubbing the leather won't be nearly as harmful as salt soaking into it. I use a dauber to scrub (pretty soft bristles), then shoe creme if needed, then wax over the top of that (always letting it dry in between steps).


                            I was in a menswear store last weekend that sells Alden, Wolverine, Quoddy and a few other American brands, and got some compliments on the condition of my winter boots (Red Wing Beckmans), so I guess it is working.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              There are 3 options for winter/rain boots that I like: RW Iron Rangers, Wolverine 1K's, and Chippewa Work Boots. THe CHippewa is only 107 bucks on Amazon whereas the other two are upwards of 300 bucks. Won't need them for awhile so I will hold out and see if prices drop any further.

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