Shoes and bags can be a huge investment and if you want to get your monies worth you need to take care of them. How often you have to nurture them depends on how often you use them but twice a year you really should clean and condition your leather goods to prevent dry rot. Pick one day a week or month that you will rehab your leather goods that you use more often but never wear or use any item that is damaged because you deserve better and it will be the only thing people notice and remember about you.
Here are some tips:
?Shoes and Bags We love our shoes and our bags but they do need TLC after all they never fail us. They always fit even after the holidays not like that black dress that judges you for those extra pounds you packed on. This goes for all of your leather goods including that leather sofa or leather cuff.
?Keeping the Leather Looking New
?Clean them with a leather cleaner
?Use a Leather Conditioner after cleaning or if they ever get wet it can also save any leather items you have that are looking dry or are getting a brittle feel. Before you toss those worn out leather goods try several layers of leather conditioner it can bring the dead back to life
?Polish your leather goods not only does it make your leather shoes look great it also can prevent future damage
?Leather Dye it is amazing for those scuffs, fading and scratches and it is really easy to use they also have dye for your heel and the outer edge of the sole. For best results clean them, let them dry Don't worry it will look a little off when the dye dries. Follow with your leather conditioner it will fix the discoloration you see from the dye and add back some luster. You can also polish after the leather conditioner soaks in.
If you get an oil stain on your leather don't panic there is hope. Sprinkle corn starch, talcum powder can be used but corn starch is better, on the stain. Let is sit over night and then dust off the powder if the stain is not fully removed repeat the process until you get the oil stain out.
?Patent Leather don't require as much attention and the care for them is very different from your soft leather
?Clean them with a cleaner specially made for patent leather
?Condition them with either a product made for patent leather or use petroleum jelly it works! Let it soak in and buff with a soft cloth to get back its shine
?Scuff marks can be taken care of with a soft cloth and some milk
?Pen marks (on bags unless you store pens in your insole) a q tip and a little rubbing alcohol but sure to test on a small area follow with your patent leather cleaner and finish with a patent leather conditioner
?Gym Shoes, Canvas and Suede
?Clean them with a cleaner like, Pink Miracle Cleaner follow the directions
?For Suede use a special brush specifically for suede to bring the texture and look back after cleaning them
?Oil stains are treated the same as with matte leather goods, corn strach
?For those stinky gym shoes you can sprinkle baking soda into them at night and shake it out the next day or two obviously this can be done on all of your shoes
?Keep them dry, typically ths is an issue with your gym shoes but it can be an issue for any shoe this tip is free and simple. Stuff news paper into your shoes if your shoes are very wet the news paper will get wet quickly so you will need to replace the news paper often.
?Storage of your leather goods will extend their life's
?Stuff your bags, soft shoes and boots with newspaper it will keep the shape and remove any moisture. I do like to use the dust backs especially on those bags I don't use a lot to keep them clean and ready to use when I want them
?Tall boots should be stored in their box laying flat if you don't keep the boot shaft from falling over you can create creases or other issues. You can also use am empty paper towel cardboard or a wrapping paper cardboard to keep them standing straight. I also have hung them in my closet with a skirt hanger
?I do not have a 'boutique' closet with walls of shelves to store my shoes so I store them in their shoe box or Rubbermaid clear shoe boxes so I can stack them. To save time and aggravation I label the boxes so I don't have to search through every box to find the shoes I want
?For my belts I either have them hanging on a special hanger or they are rolled into an O shape in a drawer to keep their shape.
?Out of season items need to be cleaned, conditioned and polished before you store them, never store anything including your clothes without cleaning them. If you don't you risk mystery stains, dry rot on leather goods or other damage anyway you will be much happier next fall if they are ready to wear
Quick repairs you can do if you don't want to use the shoe cobbler
?Shoe Goo is a great product that I just used on a pair of sandals to fix the sole from falling off. Put the glue in the sole, you can use a toothpick or bamboo skewer to reach the affected area without completely removing the sole. After you apply the super goo use clamps to keep the sole and shoe together tightly while the glue dries. Super glue or even Gorilla glue are not a good choice for fixing the sole of your shoe they are not flexible so when you walk the stress of the movement will pull the sole off.
?For scuffs that have actually removed some of the leather can also be fixed with Shoe Goo Black. You can create a smooth surface with the Shoe Goo Black let it dry and follow with leather dye finishing with leather conditioner and polish if it needs it.
?Permanent Marker is a great quick fix especially on the heal of your shoe
?Insoles are easy to replace and sometimes make an uncomfortable shoe comfortable
?Stretching out those shoes is really easy. I apply a generous amount of leather conditioner put on some thick gym socks and wear them around the house. Patent leather is difficult to stretch out so you should buy them knowing they won't stretch
I have bags, shoes and belts that are as old as 20 years that still look new. In Paris you will see young women wearig clothes and bags that were passed down to them from their mothers or grandmothers. When I buy a bag I want to make sure that it will last for years to come. Since we are only going to buy what we love because we deserve that it is important to nurture and care for it.
Tip for those city girls in the winter a little vinegar and water solution will get that salt off your shoes but don't let them sit like that or you will ruin them