From suits and swimwear to under garments and loafers, the overwhelming amount of clothing and accessories you need can be overwhelming. While purchasing new apparel for you and your family may be expensive, it is an imperative and unavoidable expense. Considering the average American spends 3.8 percent of their income on apparel and related services, learning how to care for these purchases is key. Unfortunately, you may not be familiar with the best methods of caring for certain garments and accessories.
Although they have an increased lifespan due to the durable material, leather shoes and boots require proper cleaning and care. Using this guide on cleaning your boots at home, you can protect your leather investment.
Since you most likely wear your boots periodically, you may have a light accumulation of dust or dirt on the leather exterior. Thankfully, removing this surface debris is simple using a microfiber cloth.
Move the cloth across the leather surface, shaking dust and debris off into a waste bin as you go. The microfiber cloth will remove the surface debris without the use of chemical cleansers.
Use the cloth every few days to prevent heavy buildup or staining.
Even with a periodic dusting with your microfiber cloth, you may develop patches of stubborn dirt and mud on your leather boots. If these patches are dry, use a soft-bristled brush to remove. Rub the bristles against the leather gently until the caked on residue becomes loose. Shake off the excess.
To clean the leather surface after removing the dry debris, use saddle soap. This soap is available at your local leather store or discount retailer, but you can also create it at home using the following steps:
- Add 4 cups of water to a pot and bring to a boil on your stove.
- After boiling, turn the heat down to medium
- Add 1 cup of a grated soap to the pot. Use a gentle bar soap.
- Add ½ cup of grated beeswax to the pot.
- Stir until the grated soap and beeswax melt.
- Remove the pot from the stove and add ¼ cup of neatsfoot oil.
- Stir and pour into a lidded container.
- Allow to cool before use.
All ingredients are readily available at your local health foods or natural retailer, so you can create a large supply of saddle soap without a high expense.
Apply the saddle soap to your leather boots using a damped microfiber cloth. Work the soap into the leather using circular motions to create a lather. Remove the excess soap using a clean microfiber cloth and allow the boots to air dry inside your home. Do not place your boots out in the sun to dry, as this may fade or discolor your leather.
If you wear your boots periodically, you may spotty stains on your leather. While these spots do not affect the durability or condition of your leather, they can be unappealing. To remove these spots, combine the following ingredients into a small bowl:
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar
Mix the ingredients to create a paste. Apply a small amount of the paste to an inconspicuous area of your leather to test. If you do not notice any discoloration on the test area, you can use the paste to remove the visible spots on your leather.
Add the paste to a microfiber cloth and work into the spots using circular motions. Allow it to sit for a few hours before wiping clean with a damp cloth. Allow to air dry.
If the spot is still present, consider using rubbing alcohol. Apply a few drops of rubbing alcohol to a cotton swab and blot the spot on your leather. The alcohol effectively removes hard dirt stains, ink, and oil without affecting the surrounding leather.
Investing in a good pair of cowboy boots from a site like http://www.cowpokesonline.com is smart for work, play, or fashion. However, proper care is essential to protecting your investment. Using this guide, you can clean your leather boots without spending a fortune on professional services.