How to Clean Ivory Leather Shoes

by Amy Davidson ; Updated September 28, 2017

Keep ivory leather from stains with regular cleaning.

Hemera Technologies/ Images

Ivory leather is a luxurious material in fashion and is commonly used in high-end shoes. The creamy look makes for a versatile pair of shoes to fit many styles, but one style it won’t fit is worn and dirty. Cleaning your ivory leather shoes is the most important step in preventing aging and ensuring they look their best.

Remove any laces prior to cleaning. Brush away dried dirt or debris gently with a shoe brush. Ensure you use a softer brush, intended for use on leather, and never brush too vigorously, as this can damage ivory leather.

Apply a dime-sized amount of saddle soap to a white washcloth and work up a lather with cool water. Wring out the washcloth to remove excess water, and then, gently wipe down the ivory leather.

Apply half a drop of soap to a soft-bristled tooth brush and work up a lather with water. Use this to, very lightly and carefully, work out any heavier stains.

Run another clean, white washcloth in cold water, wring it out and wipe away soap with the washcloth. Run the washcloth under water, wring out and repeat a few more times.

Use a dry white cloth with small strokes to dry off and polish your ivory leather shoes. Let them sit for 30 minutes, then apply a dime-sized amount of leather conditioner by gently rubbing it in with a clean cloth or clean fingers. Let shoes sit at least an hour before wearing.


  • Alternatives to saddle soap that are also gentle on ivory leather include moisturizing dye-free body soap, white vinegar diluted with water, and dye-free baby shampoos.

    Never run ivory leather under running water or use a lot of water when cleaning leather. Water should be used as a light coating to apply soap and wipe it away, but water should never soak leather.

    Wash shoes once a month if you wear them often, otherwise wash them after five or so wears. In between washes, brush shoes down for a minute after every wear to prevent debris and dirt build up.

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About the Author

Amy Davidson is a graduate from the University of Florida in Gainesville, with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She also writes for local papers around Gainesville doing articles on local events and news.