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Shoe Polishing Problems

tommib

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I polished a pair of brown leather shoes with neutral shoe polish, normal kiwi stuff, and they've come out all dark with little lighter coloured spots in various places. What's gone wrong and how can I fix it?

Tom.
 

acidboy

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neutral shoe polish tends to darken brown leather, though this is the first time ive heard this happening so quickly. try cleaning the polish off with saddle soap first.
 

Roger

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I think that I'd have to recommend against use of saddle soap. Others have posted here about its limitations and possibly harmful qualities (the details of which I've forgotten). Ordinary drug store over-the-counter isopropyl alcohol (70% or 99%) is a safe and effective way to remove all traces of polish and cream. It will dry out the leather, and, therefore, you'll need to follow up with application of either some leather conditioner (but be careful here too, as some conditioners can darken light-colored leather) or a cream that is the same shade of brown or, better, just a little lighter. After you've rubbed that in well to replenish the moisture and buffed, finish with a top coat of paste-wax polish that again is just slightly lighter than the original color of the shoes. You may have to go to a cobbler's store and pick out the right shades of cream and polish. That should be easy, however, as Meltonian, for example, makes creams in several dozen colors, and, if you stick with Kiwi wax polish for the top coat, it's available in several shades of brown.
 

tommib

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Thanks for the good advice! I've buffed away all the dried white bits, I think that was excess polish. Is it likely that in time the shoes will lighten naturally? They were fairly expensive but I doubt they're especially finely made and not sure if all the effort is worth it.

Tom.
 

acidboy

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Originally Posted by Roger
I think that I'd have to recommend against use of saddle soap. Others have posted here about its limitations and possibly harmful qualities (the details of which I've forgotten). Ordinary drug store over-the-counter isopropyl alcohol (70% or 99%) is a safe and effective way to remove all traces of polish and cream. It will dry out the leather, and, therefore, you'll need to follow up with application of either some leather conditioner (but be careful here too, as some conditioners can darken light-colored leather) or a cream that is the same shade of brown or, better, just a little lighter. After you've rubbed that in well to replenish the moisture and buffed, finish with a top coat of paste-wax polish that again is just slightly lighter than the original color of the shoes. You may have to go to a cobbler's store and pick out the right shades of cream and polish. That should be easy, however, as Meltonian, for example, makes creams in several dozen colors, and, if you stick with Kiwi wax polish for the top coat, it's available in several shades of brown.

roger,

this is the first time i've heard the use of saddle soap being discouraged, and perhaps i have overlooked the threads where this was mentioned. i do hope this can be cleared out, as i regularly clean my shoes with meltonian saddle soap to which i am quite satisfied, but for now will leave me sleepless.
 

j

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Originally Posted by acidicboy
roger,

this is the first time i've heard the use of saddle soap being discouraged, and perhaps i have overlooked the threads where this was mentioned. i do hope this can be cleared out, as i regularly clean my shoes with meltonian saddle soap to which i am quite satisfied, but for now will leave me sleepless.

They are ruined!

Just kidding. I've heard saddle soap discouraged as well, but I'm not clear on why. It seems to be uncommon for professionals to recommend it, though.
 

acidboy

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Originally Posted by j
They are ruined!


shucks, i thought this is a call for me to get those santoni fam's in hongkong that i didn't buy. dang!!
 

luk-cha

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Originally Posted by acidicboy

shucks, i thought this is a call for me to get those santoni fam's in hongkong that i didn't buy. dang!!


they are still there plus many many more!!
 

acidboy

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Originally Posted by luk-cha
they are still there plus many many more!!


a day trip is in order!
 

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