Cleaning and Taking Care of Patent Leather Shoes: Fully Tested Methods

I am not sure how many of you are like me, but I get really annoyed when my patent leather shoes get scuffed. It makes me want to throw them in the trash and buy new ones. However, this is not necessary.

Some things can be done to maintain the glossy look of your patent leather shoes without having to spend a ton of money on buying the news patent leather shoes. Some people might think it’s too hard to take care of their patent leather shoes because they’re so delicate, but with these tips, there’s no reason why they should ever have an excuse.

Also Read: Cleaning of suede shoes

Why Do Patent Leather Shoes Crack?

The cracking of leather shoes usually happens due to the hardening of the leather after a long period of use. As a result of hardening, the leather becomes brittle and cracked. You can solve this problem by applying a softening agent to the leather.

Originally, patent leather was made from the original leather, dipped in various oils for a shiny look. Now, the patent leather you find on the shoes is made of synthetic material, coated with plastic or resin, which is prone to scuffing.

Here are the following major reasons that lead to the cracks and scuffs on the patent leather of your shoes.

  • Due to the shiny texture of the patent leather, it will be easily led into a situation that makes the dirt attached as time goes by.
  • Some quality issues may exist for patent leather shoes, such as unskilled workers at the factory. They can cope with the shoes’ surface badly, causing terrible scuffing and cracking marks on patent leather shoes.
  • The boundary between layers of different colors or materials in one shoe often leads to crackling. For example, those green patches shown on black patent leather boots above are boundaries between the plastic layer and black leather base. This error often leads to not only cracking but also blotches on the surface because it is hard to regulate its consistency during tanning.
  • Furthermore, if the outer layer of patent leather is too thin or too thick at that time, it results in different rates of absorption of chemicals by materials. So this situation makes fine crackling appear gradually over time.
  • Frequent contact or collision with hard materials such as stone or metal can also cause scuffing and cracking marks on patent leather shoes.
  • Since patent leather is mostly synthetic, it consists of acrylic that does not breathe like real leather and can be subjected to cold cracking. Due to this reason, patent leather shoes lose their colors during those seasons with low temperature and high humidity in winters.

How to Clean Patent Leather Shoes With Scuff Marks?

The cleaning process of the patent leather is different from the traditional leather. You can’t even move a soft brush over the patent leather as it can cause scratches on it.

Here are the cleaning methods you can follow to remove the hard scuffs from the patent leather shoes.

  • Prepare a cotton swab that has been moisturized with Vaseline, isopropyl alcohol, or nail polish remover (use one chemical at a time). Please use this cotton swab gently to avoid deep scratches on the surface of patent leather. After 15 to 20 seconds, use a dry lint-free cloth to wipe over the area of the patent leather shoes where you applied Vaseline.
  • Put some drops of non-detergent liquid (you can use Windex) into the dish. Then, add a little bit of warm water to it. Damp the cloth with the solution and gently wipe over the patent leather shoes in a circular motion. Patent leather is not waterproof. So, try to use as little water as possible.
  • If still there are stubborn scuff marks left on the patent leather, you can try this adhesive eraser to remove the marks from the patent leather. This method works like a magic.

Note: All above patent leather shoes cleaning methods are only applied to remove the scuff marks or stains that are caused by the rubbing of the shoes with each other or against any surface. These are the marks that sit on the plastic surface. If it’s a snag that has broken the surface i.e. it sits under the plastic finish, you should take your patent leather shoes to the cobbler.

Also Read: Tips to whiten the yellowing shoes

How to Store Patent Leather Shoes?

When you do not wear these shoes, you should put them in a closet or other storage places which can protect the surface of these shoes from being damaged by air, water, or dust. Meanwhile, try your best to choose a suitable place that is away from sunlight to reduce fading of color on patent leather.

Also, make sure to keep your patent leather shoes wrapped in a stint-free cloth when you are not wearing them: This is important because it can avoid the surface of patent leather from being crushed or damaged by other things. And remember to keep this wrapped cloth away from water, dust, and sunlight when you do not wear your shoes.

FAQs about Patent Leather Shoes

Can vinegar damage the patent leather?

Yes, vinegar has an acidic property which is not good for your patent leather as it can strip off the glossy look of the patent leather.

Is using a brush to clean the patent leather safe?

No, this is not safe because it may scratch or damage the shoe uppers when you are cleaning the dirt on the surface of these shoes.

How do you keep patent leather shiny?

Patent leather is not supposed to be cleaned with traditional shoe polish or conditioners. To keep patent leather shoes shiny, you can apply Vaseline, mineral oil, or olive oil. These are the best natural products that will retain the gloss of patent leather.

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