I remember the first time I bought a pair of oiled leather shoes. They were so soft and supple; it felt like I was walking on clouds. But after just a few days of wear, they started to look dull and worn out.
That’s when I realized that oiled leather is different from traditional leather – it requires special care if you want to keep your shoes looking good for years to come.
In this post, I’m going to share with you my step-by-step guide for cleaning oiled leather shoes at home using simple materials and techniques.
You’ll learn how to properly clean, dry, condition, and maintain your precious footwear so they will last as long as possible.
But first, a little about what oiled leather is and why it needs special care.
What is Oiled Leather?
Oiled leather is a type of full-grain leather that has been treated with oil or wax. This process gives the leather a soft, supple feel and makes it more water-resistant than traditional dry leather. The downside of this treatment is that it can be easily damaged if not properly cared for.
Some of the main advantages of oiled leather include the following:
• Extra Durability and Water-resistance
Oiled leather is more resistant to wear and water than traditional dry leather. This is because the leather is sealed with oil or wax, which acts as a barrier to protect the material from damage.
• Soft and Supple Feel
Oiled leather has an incredibly soft and supple feel that is perfect for shoes, boots, bags, and other accessories. This makes it ideal for those who prefer a more natural, comfortable material.
• Easily Maintained
Oiled leather is also easy to maintain and care for. A regular cleaning and conditioning routine will keep your leather looking great for years to come. But, of course, it needs to be done properly to ensure the maximum longevity of the material.
• Unique Look
Oiled leather has a unique look thanks to the natural grain pattern and wax finish. This makes each piece one-of-a-kind and helps it stand out from the crowd.
• Enhanced Natural Ageing with a Unique Patina
Lastly, the oil or wax finish on oiled leather helps to enhance its natural aging process and create a unique patina over time. This gives your leather goods a vintage look and feel that can be quite beautiful.
Now, let’s move on to how to clean your oiled leather shoes so you do not end up compromising their awesome qualities;
Why is it Important to Clean Oiled Leather Shoes (Properly)?
Oiled leather shoes require regular cleaning and conditioning if you want to keep them looking good and protect them from damage.
This is because the oil or wax used in the treating process can evaporate over time, leaving your shoes vulnerable to dirt, dust, and stains.
In addition, exposing your oiled leather shoes to poor cleaning methods can damage the material and cause it to crack, discolor, or fade.
Therefore, it is important to know how to properly clean your oiled leather shoes so you can keep them looking great for years to come.
How To Clean Oiled Leather Shoes: A Step-by-Step Guide
Follow these simple steps to properly and safely clean your oiled leather shoes:
Step One: Get The Things Needed
• Soft cloths and/or lint-free towels
• Leather cleaner
• Leather conditioner
Soft Cloth or Lint-free Towels
You will need this to wipe away any surface dirt and grime from the leather. Make sure to choose a cloth or towel that is soft enough not to scratch the material.
My go-to is a good microfiber cloth, but you can also use a lint-free towel.
This is a special product designed specifically for cleaning leather. It will help remove dirt, dust, and stains from the material without damaging it in any way.
I recommend purchasing a cleaner that has been specially formulated for oiled leather shoes so you know it won’t damage them.
Leather conditioners are an integral part of leather care. They help to restore the oil or wax finish and keep your shoes looking their best for years to come.
Again, make sure to choose a conditioner that is designed specifically for oiled leather shoes so you know it won’t damage them.
A good leather conditioner you can choose from is Red Wing’s All Natural Leather Conditioner or Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP.
Step Two: Inspect The Oiled Leather Shoes
- Before you start cleaning your oiled leather shoes, take a few minutes to inspect them for any signs of wear and tear.
- This will help you determine what type of cleaning is necessary and if there are any areas that need more attention.
- Look for cracks, scuffs, scratches, or discoloration on the surface of the material.
- Also, make sure to check the stitching for any loose threads or holes.
Step Three: Wipe Away Surface Dirt and Grime
- Now it’s time to start cleaning your shoes!
- Begin by wiping away any surface dirt and grime with a soft cloth or lint-free towel.
- Make sure to use slow, smooth strokes to avoid scratching the leather.
- Once you’ve removed all of the dirt and grime, set the cloth or towel aside and move on to the next step.
Step Four: Apply Leather Cleaner
- Next, apply a small amount of leather cleaner to a soft cloth and gently rub it into the leather in a circular motion.
- Pay special attention to any areas that appear to be stained or discolored.
- Make sure not to use too much cleaner, as this can cause the leather to become dry and brittle.
Step Five: Rinse The Leather
- Once the leather cleaner has been applied, use a damp cloth to rinse off any excess cleaner.
- Then wipe away any remaining moisture with a dry cloth or lint-free towel.
Step Six: Allow the Leather Air-Dry
- Once the leather is clean and dry, you can then allow it to air-dry completely.
- This will help ensure that all of the cleaner residue has been removed from the material.
Step Seven: Apply Leather Conditioner
- Apply a small amount of leather conditioner to a soft cloth or lint-free towel and gently rub it into the leather in a circular motion.
- This will help restore the oil or wax finish of the leather and keep it looking great for years to come.
- Once you’ve applied the conditioner, allow it to sit for several minutes before wiping away any excess with a dry cloth or lint-free towel.
Step Eight: Apply A Protective Layer
- To help keep your shoes looking their best for longer, you can also apply a protective layer of leather wax or protective spray.
- This will help prevent water and any sort of damage.
- Make sure to follow the instructions on the product label for best results.
- Once you’ve applied the protective layer, allow it to dry completely before wearing your shoes again or storing them.
And there you have it! You now know how to clean oiled leather shoes and keep them looking their best for years to come. Good luck and happy cleaning!
How Often Should You Clean Your Oiled Leather Shoes?
It is recommended that you clean your oiled leather shoes every 5 or 6 months, depending on how often the oiled leather shoes are worn and how much you take care of them in between cleanings.
Regular cleaning your oiled leather shoes will help keep the shoes looking new for years to come. For best results, make sure always to use a leather cleaner and conditioner specifically designed for oiled leather shoes.
This will help ensure that your shoes do not become dried out or damaged from the cleaning process. So make sure to follow these steps regularly for the best results!
Oiled Leather Care And Maintenance Tips
Before you head out, here are a few important tips for maintaining your oiled leather shoes:
- Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, as this can cause the leather to fade and crack over time.
- Keep them away from water and other liquids, as these can cause irreversible damage to the material.
- Store your shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct heat.
- Condition your shoes regularly to keep them looking their best.
- Avoid using harsh detergents or abrasive scrubbing materials, as these can damage the leather.
- And most importantly, always apply a protective layer of leather wax or spray after cleaning and conditioning your shoes.
- This will help protect the material from water damage, dirt, and other elements.
- Always wipe away dirt and grime before applying any cleaning or conditioning products.
- • Avoid using too much cleaner or conditioner on your leather shoes, as this can cause the material to dry out and crack over time.
By following these tips, you can make sure that your oiled leather shoes look their best for years to come!
Final Thoughts And Summaries
Clean, well-maintained, oiled leather shoes can last for many years. By following the steps outlined above, you can make sure that your shoes look their best and stay in great condition for a long time.
Remember to clean your oiled leather shoes every five or six months and always apply a protective layer of wax or spray after conditioning them.
By taking good care of your oiled leather shoes, you can ensure that they look their best and last for years to come!
Good luck and happy cleaning!