How to clean leather shoes?

If you’re wondering how to clean leather shoes at home, fret not—you can achieve impressive results with household products. For white leather shoes that have seen better days, a mixture of mild soap and water is an effective solution. Gently scrubbing the shoes with this concoction helps to lift dirt and grime, leaving your white leather shoes looking fresh and revitalized. When it comes to the interior, tackling odors and bacteria is crucial. To address this, consider a mixture of water and a small amount of baking soda. Use a soft cloth to clean the insides of the shoes, ensuring a refreshed and clean environment for your feet.

For those stubborn stains on leather shoes, a bit of extra care is needed. Spot cleaning with a specialized leather cleaner can target and remove blemishes effectively. If you find yourself without a specific cleaner, fear not—baking soda comes to the rescue again. Create a paste with baking soda and water, apply it to the stained areas, and gently scrub with a soft brush or cloth. This DIY approach can often work wonders in removing unwanted stains from your leather shoes.

For those who prefer a cleaner-free approach, it’s possible to learn how to clean leather shoes without leather cleaner. A mild soap and water solution, along with careful attention to detail, can often provide satisfactory results. Regular maintenance and conditioning with a suitable leather conditioner will keep your shoes looking polished and well cared for. With these simple yet effective methods, you can maintain the pristine condition of your leather shoes without the need for professional cleaners or elaborate processes.

How to clean leather shoes?

Cleaning leather shoes is essential to maintaining their appearance and prolonging their lives. Here’s a general guide on how to clean leather shoes:

Materials you may need

  1. Soft brush or cloth
  2. Mild soap or leather cleaner
  3. Water
  4. Soft cloth or sponge
  5. Leather conditioner
  6. Waterproof spray (optional)


  1. Remove surface dirt

    • Use a soft brush or cloth to gently remove any loose dirt or debris from the surface of the shoes. Be gentle to avoid scratching the leather.
  2. Prepare a cleaning solution

    • Mix a small amount of mild soap or a specialized leather cleaner with water. Make sure the soap or cleaner is suitable for leather.
  3. Clean the shoes

    • Dampen a soft cloth or sponge in the cleaning solution.
    • Gently wipe the entire surface of the leather shoes, paying attention to any stained or dirty areas.
    • Avoid saturating the leather; just use enough water to dampen the cloth or sponge.
  4. Remove soap residue

    • Wipe the shoes again with a clean, damp cloth to remove any soap residue.
  5. Dry the shoes

    • Allow the shoes to air-dry naturally. Avoid using direct heat sources like hair dryers, as they can cause the leather to crack.
  6. Condition the leather

    • Once the shoes are completely dry, apply a leather conditioner to moisturize and protect the leather. Follow the product instructions for application.
  7. Polish (optional)

    • If your shoes are smooth leather, you can use a shoe polish that matches the color of your shoes. Apply a small amount with a soft cloth and buff to a shine.
  8. Protect with waterproof spray (optional)

    • If you want to protect your leather shoes from water and stains, you can use a waterproof spray. Follow the product instructions for application.


  • Always test any cleaning or conditioning product on a small, inconspicuous area of the shoe first to ensure it doesn’t cause damage.
  • Avoid using excessive water, as it can damage leather.
  • Store leather shoes in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.

Remember that different types of leather may require specific care, so check any care instructions provided by the manufacturer or consult a professional if you’re unsure.

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