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How do I get rid of this shoe stain?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I went out to buy my shoe care products and then on my way back it started to pour. I tried to avoid all the puddles, but unfortunately stepped into one. Here is a picture of the stain: [img=]
post #2 of 20
Have had similar water stains on a couple of pairs of very good shoes. What took care of it? Time. Plenty. Two years in the case of the handgrade C&Js. Almost five years on the Lobbs and it's still slightly visible. I'll watch this thread with interest to see if anyone has better luck.
post #3 of 20
The only thing I can suggest is to put some alcohol on a rag and try gently dry brushing right at the line of demarcation. Or you could try going one shade darker with shoe creme in the lighter areas.
post #4 of 20
I've heard of people soaking the shoes for a while in clean water and allowing them to dry slowly on trees. Apparently what stains the leather is not the water but what's in the water (oil, dirt, road grime, salt, etc). Try at your own risk, but someone may chime in one way or another.
post #5 of 20
A few months ago, I attended a presentation on shoe care for the rainy season. The speaker's theory was the same as J's. He claimed that it was not the water that stained the shoe, but the salts and other stuff that was deposited on the shoe when the water dried. He said that this type of stain could be cleaned by washing the stain with lots and lots of clean water. Water caused the grime to accumulate in one spot on the shoe in the first place, and the grime could be diluted across the surface of the leather with water. His advice: Wash in clean water, wipe dry. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

post #6 of 20
Originally Posted by Bic Pentameter
A few months ago, I attended a presentation on shoe care for the rainy season...
Such things exist?
post #7 of 20
Ha ha ha... They do in Japan! Takashimaya, Isetan, and a few other department stores each had this guy come in to talk about shoe care....

I wasn't sure I agreed with all of what he said. For example, he claimed that the salt stains we see on our shoes after we wear them in the rain are from salt from inside the leather, rather than picked up from the pavement. Still, he gave advice on shoe cream, polish, shoe trees....
post #8 of 20
I suppose if you had your shoes polished to an extremely high effect--a la Berluti-- then rain wouldn't particularly affect the skin.
post #9 of 20
This is the kind of problem that Lexol cleaner is made for.
post #10 of 20
Originally Posted by kitonbrioni
This is the kind of problem that Lexol cleaner is made for.
That would be a good thing to try. I'd probably try some amount of clean water or diluted alcohol (say, 25%) first, though, in case any "nourishing" ingredients in Lexol might set the stain. If it doesn't appear to be working, move on to Lexol.

Then colored cream, rub in and buff off excess, then follow with wax mirror shine.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Soaking the shoes in clean water doesn't sound like a good idea. I don't know much about shoe care, but isn't too much water bad for shoes? That's why there's water repellant products right? I was going to order from joesshoeservice soon, so i'll buy the Lexol from there too. I'll try that first, unless someone had a similar problem and found a remedy for it posts before I get it.
post #12 of 20
Well, maybe not soaking them, but try "applying" water. Keep in mind, many cleaners (like Lexol, most likely) are mostly water. Water is not particularly bad for leather. The point is, you want to redissolve whatever minerals, etc. were in the water that soaked into your shoe, and rinse them away with clean water.

I have saturated shoe leather with water, no ill effects. I haven't dealt with a stain like this before, though, as I always polish shoes before exposing them to the elements.
post #13 of 20
Sysdoc gave some advice on this a while ago, and following his advice I soaked a pair of shoes in water for a day, let them dry, and repeated the cycle. This seems to have removed the stain completely, and I cannot discern any damage.

I am not convinced that the stains are "salt". If they were they would be removed very quickly with even a small amount of water. I have wet shoes in sea water and the discoloration is no worse than with rain water. Rather I think this is a chromatography effect, ie some components of the shoe (or polish) pigments are slightly soluble in water and capillary action allows the dissolved pigments to become transported within the leather.
post #14 of 20
Thought about this today as I walked outside and through the wet lawn wearing tan-colored shoes. They got wet, of course, but the water spots dried completely once inside. It's a different matter in city puddles so it may indeed be something other than water in the puddle that leaves the stain. Perhaps different things in different puddles. Personally I wouldn't soak good shoes to try to clean them.
post #15 of 20
Here is oscarthewild's original recommendation about soaking the shoes in water. It pertained to sizing issues rather than stain-removal and it sounded scary at the time, but FWIW...
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