**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

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    I wrote an article in my blog about cleaning shoes, just a few days ago. Basically there are 3 types of cleaners for use on leather shoes:
    1) High solvent strippers like RenoMat,
    2) Glycerin based cleaners like saddle soap and Lexol Leather Cleaner, and
    3) Mild solvent cleaners combined with conditioners like Renovateur and my GlenKaren Cleaner/Conditioner.

    Each has a somewhat different purpose, and each are applied/removed differently.
    For example: You want to remove all of the RenoMat from your shoe once you are done cleaning/stripping the shoe, but you would wipe it off with a cloth, not wash it off with water and a sponge.
    You want to remove all of the glycerin from your shoes once you are done cleaning, but you would do it with a clean water rinse using a sponge/cloth.
    For a cleaner/conditioner you want to wipe off the excess with a cloth, but let the majority soak into the leather before brushing with a shoe brush.
     


  2. Crat

    Crat Senior member

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    Epic. :D Knowing me I'd start with the chair as soon as I'd have finished with the shoes :laugh:
     


  3. OzzyJones

    OzzyJones Senior member

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    Hahaaaaaaa! 8 bottles of acetone and a bucket of Reno later and its time to recolour the whole chair in antique navy!
     


  4. B-Rogue

    B-Rogue Well-Known Member

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    I am new to the world of "real" shoes and the whole polishing process. Can someone guide me in respect to what accessories do I need please? I dont want to fall prey to "hype" and go mad and buy anything suggested. Basically I just want to keep it simple. I have saved the old tshirt[​IMG] and I'm assuming I need an applicator and a polishing brush. What hair type bristle is best? Do i need a leather protector? If so what type: oil or wax? Is the leather protector the same as the polishing cream?

    I am starting with a pair of Loake Victor in tan colour. Would it be best if I bought Loake's own tan coloured polish for best retaining the original colour?

    I have heard of a neutral polish? What is that one?

    Sorry for the endless questions but thought to lay them down so readers can understand where I'm coming from..
     


  5. dddrees

    dddrees Senior member

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    That's one fabulous looking chair.
     


  6. Gerry Nelson

    Gerry Nelson Senior member

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    I know exactly what you mean [​IMG]

    The chair's fantastic - it's in the shop that's managed by my friend who first taught me how to polish shoes. I had to show him the apron when it arrived yesterday so we thought it might be fun to take some photos of the apron in use. I'm really pleased with the resulting photo.
     


  7. Winston S.

    Winston S. Senior member

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    I'm also curious to see this. Could you post pictures of other shoes you have where it is this polished, but there is creasing?
     


  8. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Glen, what is your opinion on the use of saddle soap as the only cleaner and conditioner used on a shoe? Shoes made out of heavier leathers (cowhide) such as Horween's Dublin leathers, often come with the recommendation that saddle soap should be used for the care of the shoe, and that it is the only thing necessary. Additionally, the container (I use Fiebing's Saddle Soap paste) says that it "cleans leather and lubricates the fibers to prevent brittleness, all while maintaining suppleness and strength", and it "cleans and polishes in one easy step." They recommend using a damp cloth or sponge to create a lather and applying it to the leather, then allow it to dry, then buff with a soft cloth or brush for a light sheen. Fiebing's seems to have a stellar reputation, and they have been around for quite some time. I know Cold Iron says that he only uses the 100% glycerin saddle soaps on his shoes that recommend this type of care. I've always just followed the manufacterer's instructions on the use of saddle soap and haven't had any trouble, but I was wondering if you have some insight given your "molecular" approach to leather cleaning and care. There are many theories (I disagree with almost all of them) about saddle soap in the forum and how it will destroy your shoes, and I am hoping you may be able to give some conclusive data on the argument.
     


  9. Lear

    Lear Senior member

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    If this thread was sold on the top shelf of a newsagents, I'd definitely be asking for it in a plain paper bag. There's friend of a friend, who has a cousin (twice removed), who knows somebody, who has a nephew, in need of a leather apron just like yours... er... where would he get one? Lear
     






  10. Gerry Nelson

    Gerry Nelson Senior member

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    I got mine from quality-shop.nl. I don't know if they are on the site yet but email them. The apron is not LCA but is made in the same factory in France.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013


  11. Lear

    Lear Senior member

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  12. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

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    I will give it a try:

    Saddle soap typically comes in a tin with a mixture of glycerin, wax, and oil, with oil being the much smaller ratio. Glycerin is a fatty based soap and is milder than most soap, but it does contain sulfides, which cause the foaming. The sulfides in soap are also what cause soap to irritate your skin when not washed off.

    Sulfide is an anion of sulfur in its lowest oxidation state, and it is sulfur that causes sulfuric acid to be so much stronger than hydrochloric acid.

    Another aspect of glycerin is that it is a humectant that is capable of drawing moisture towards itself and trapping the water molecules, not something you want to happen in your shoe leather.

    The idea of applying saddle soap as wet foam, and then brushing the shoe off when it is dry, is that the majority of the sulfides will dry as a film on the surface of the leather and be wiped off with a brush or cloth. The remaining oils would then theoretically balance out any remaining sulfides, as well as lubricate the leather.

    The more critical aspect of using saddle soap is the water application. Water will push oil out of shoe leather. How much oil gets pushed out depends on a number of factors like how much water is used in relation to the thickness of the leather, and how much oil is in the shoe, or reintroduced into the shoe. This is why saddle soap works better with thicker boot leather, than thinner shoe leather.

    For all the reasons above I would not recommend saddle soap for leather shoes, however I think that the thicker leather of boots would probably do fine with it, and is probably a quicker and cheaper way to keep boots clean.

    All of these issues are minuet issues, but given a choice, I would prefer a cleaner/conditioner to saddle soap.
     


  13. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Thanks for the reply! So it sounds to me like you are saying that using saddle soap on shoes made of cowhide will not cause them to disintegrate, but there are more gentle options that would be more highly recommended?
     


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