How to Care for Patent Leather Shoes

by Lisa Parris ; Updated September 28, 2017

Patent leather has been treated to give it a high-gloss luster. It can be natural or man-made and is frequently used for bags, belts and shoes. To keep that exceptional shine, patent-leather shoes may require a little extra attention.

Wash your patent-leather shoes with ordinary soap and water. Swab the shoes with a soft, damp cloth. Rub a bit of liquid soap across the surface of the shoes, and then wipe clean with a dry cloth or paper towel.

Shine your shoes once they have dried by rubbing on a bit of mineral oil or petroleum jelly. Coat a cotton ball with the remedy of your choice and apply to the surface of the shoe, moving the cotton in a small circular motion. Buff any excess away with a lint-free cloth.

Remove scuffs with a light application of acetone-based nail-polish remover. Dip a cotton swab into the bottle of polish remover and brush over the scuffed area with gentle strokes. Allow the shoe to dry, then cover the treated area with a light coating of vegetable oil.

Treat clean, dry and shined patent-leather shoes with a commercial water-repellent product. Spray the shoes, evenly covering the entire surface. Set the shoes aside and allow them to dry for at least four hours before wearing.

Store your patent-leather shoes carefully when you are not wearing them. Place shoe horns inside dirt-free shoes to help them retain their proper shape. Then wrap each shoe in a piece of tissue paper and place the shoes inside a shoe box. Label the box with a description of the shoes and stow in a cool, dry place.

Place the shoes in individual bags when packing them for a trip. This will keep them from rubbing together and will prevent any debris from your shoes rubbing off onto your clothing.

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