Just another reason to love coconut oil – it functions as a leather shoe conditioner!
We’ve had a lot of customers inquiring about leather boot care, so we compiled this guide for you, with the primary tool being a simple one, and one of our favorites: coconut oil.
This guide covers shoe care for leather shoes that have been through the tanning process, a process that seals and polishes leather, giving it that clean leather look rather than the more raw suede leather look.When caring for your leather boots there are three main steps: 1. Dry 2. Clean and 3. Condition.
This is an important step in maintaining leather shoes. When wearing boots, it’s probable that your feet will get warm, wet and/or smelly. These conditions are ideal for fungus – and fungus growth will cause your leather boots to age quickly.
To avoid fungus, keeping boots dry is essential. This can be done in a few ways:
+ Switch it up; don’t wear the same shoes everyday so they have some time to air out between wears.
+ Make sure socks are fresh.
+ When you’re not wearing your shoes, insert cedar shoe trees. Not only do shoe trees help prevent fungus, they also help shoes retain shape and smell good.
This step is a crucial part of the process. If you condition the shoes when they have dirt on them, you can trap the dirt and it can actually cause the boots to wear down faster.
To clean, simply dampen a cloth with water and rub on boots to remove excess dirt. You can also brush your boots with a horsehair brush. This step can be done frequently (about every 5 times you wear them).
Since coconut oil is one of our favorite ingredients in the world, we condition with the coco. However, these same conditioning methods can also be done with olive oil and/or beeswax, whichever is most accessible to you.
Conditioning shouldn’t be done as regularly as cleaning. Conditioning every 4-8 months should be sufficient, depending on how often you’re wearing your boots. A good way to tell when boots are ready for a condition is simply by the feel. When the leather feels like it’s starting to get dry, they’re ready. *Always remember to clean the leather before conditioning it.
Conditioning with coconut oil works best when the oil is in liquid form. It has a melting point of 76 degrees F, so you can condition them in a warm setting, or warm the coconut oil with your breath and hands before use. *Do not use an external source of heat like a hairdryer. This can cause an over-absorbtion of the coconut oil, damaging the leather.
When coconut oil is sufficiently softened, work a thin, even coat of oil onto the boots. This can be done with hands or a cloth. *Always use an undyed cloth so colors do not transfer onto the boots. When conditioning shoes with zippers, clasps, exposed stitching, etc., coconut oil residue may build up on these areas. Try to avoid getting oil on these areas, but if it does happen, it can be removed easily with clean hands or cloth.
Once the oil has been thoroughly distributed on the boots, use a fresh cloth to wipe excess oil off. Your shoes should be looking nice and new again!
AFTER: Before (on left), After (on right):
What boot cleaning tricks do you use?