Take pride in the things you own. In a recent article, I said that a dirty pair of sneakers was good because it showed that you actually put them to use, but that doesn’t mean they need to stay dirty!
Dirty shoes need to be cleaned occasionally and not just for looks. Cleaning and conditioning helps remove any corrosive materials off of the shoes as well as keeping the leather in good condition.
Much like skin, leather needs to be moisturized in order to remain supple. If you don’t moisturize leather it will eventually split and crack, rendering the shoes useless.
Make sure you take care of your shoes regardless of what they are.
Below are a few brief instructions to help you keep your shoes looking good as new:
1. Wipe your leather tennis shoes with a damp soft cloth. This should take most of the dirt and grime off and allow you to more easily pinpoint the trouble spots.
2. Pour 2 oz. liquid Dawn dish soap into 16 oz. warm water. Stir gently. There is no need to create bubbles since they have nothing to do with cleaning.
3. Dip a soft toothbrush into the Dawn solution and gently rub your shoes all over in a circular motion. Do not rub too hard–allow the soap and water to do the majority of the work.
4. Wipe your shoes with a damp cloth and inspect them for any trouble spots. Rewash any areas that are still dirty using your soft toothbrush, rubbing in a circular pattern.
5. Wipe your shoes once again with a damp cloth.
6. Set your shoes in the sun to dry. If you are concerned with the sun bleaching your shoes, place a dishtowel over them as they dry.
7. Use a soft cloth to work a commercial leather conditioner or some Murphy’s Oil Soap into the leather of your clean and dry shoes to keep them soft and looking like new.