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How to Soften Patent Leather

by Melissa King
Stiff leather shoes hurt your feet.

Stiff leather shoes hurt your feet.

If you have a new patent-leather item, it might feel stiff and inflexible, making it uncomfortable to wear. Fortunately, you don't need to suffer until it softens on its own. You can soften any patent-leather item by applying leather conditioner after a proper cleaning.

Scrub your patent leather item gently with a soft-bristle brush. Scrape off all of the dirt and other stuck-on debris.

Dampen a washcloth with lukewarm water and a drop or two of mild soap. Wipe all surfaces of the leather.

Dampen a clean cloth with water and wipe the leather again to rinse. Use another towel to wipe dry. Allow the item to dry fully.

Apply a few drops of leather conditioner to a soft cloth. Rub the conditioner into all exterior parts of the item, then buff until the leather shines. Wipe off excess conditioner with a clean towel. If you don't have leather conditioner, you can also use baby oil, mineral oil or petroleum jelly.

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