Originally Posted by Joffrey
THanks to the severe rain we've had the past few days in the DC area, I have some serious water damage to my fancy Allan Edmond's shoes. After a day in their trees, they accumulated some of that dried, washed out look in some sections that won't go away even after a polish (polish covers it up temporarily but becomes dried out again).
It is because leather protein fibers are amphoteric and are highly sensitive to changes in ph. Leather constituents such as dyes, oils, waxes, tannage is ionic negative. Rain water, and especially salt tend to soak in and cause the ph of the leather fibers to move more ionic negative, which pushes out the tannage, oils, conditioners and whatnot (like like magnet poles pushing each other away). The key is is to clean your shoes with something slightly acidic like diluted vinegar to shift the fibers back to ionic positive, then condition and polish so the ionic positive fibers attract the ionic negative conditioners and waxes.