Cart 0

How To Clean Leather Shoes and Boots

Leather shoes and boots should and can last for many years with maybe minor repairs for heeling or resoling at your local store. Click here to See our article Get The Most Out Of Your Leather Shoes with lots more details and story of a vintage pair of polo boots restoration project!

Pickstones Leather Balm not only restores the leather with natural oils that can seep deep into the biological structure restoring and reviving the leather micro fibres to allow it to perform to the degree of suppleness to as intended when new (some leathers are designed to be stiff and self supporting others to be soft).  

This treatment of Pickstones Leather Balm is all occurring underneath a natural waxy finish which not only looks smart but protects with a natural sheen preventing moisture and dirt from being absorbed which is another cause of serious damage to the structure of the leather. By the very same actions it helps prevent the drying of the natural oils from the leather surface from wind and sun damage. Pickstones Leather Balm is the obvious choice for antique or more aged leathers as it is unadulterated unlike so many current manufactured  oils and treatments many of which contain cheaper petroleum refined products which actually help break down natural cotton stitching and organic material eg leather!

PLEASE NOTE DO NOT USE ON SUEDE OR ANILINE LEATHERS – suede is created by distressing the fibre structure of leather during the tanning process and therefore Pickstones Leather Balm which works by restoring the fibre structure would not be appropriate. For further information re regarding types of leather click here

Always test on a small non noticeable area first if worried that a change of colour could occur. It only restores to a natural colour it cannot replace artificial dyed colours that have worn away or faded – a re-dyeing process is the only way to effectively restore permanent colour. Avoid applying to sensitive light fabrics but other utility fabrics often used in footwear are not adversely affected so no need to worry about laces or metal studs or ornamentation in fact they benefit from this protection.

Brush off or kitchen paper towel off as much dirt as possible first, probably best done outside or over a newspaper covered area. Use the Pickstones Leather Wash by applying to a sponge or lint free rag and wipe down until all traces of dirt have gone , that is none can be seen on the rag.If very dirty you may wish to use clean rags or wash out the sponge but really squeeze dry as you do not want to over wet the boots or shoe with just water. This would soak into the leather filling up the miniscule air spaces between the fibres with just dirty water leaving less room for the Pickstones Wash and then Balm and far worse leaving the harsh grime below the surface where it will do more damage than if simply left on the outside.

As soon as touch dry apply the Pickstones Leather Balm with small sponge or lint free rag you can easily see if a second application is needed as keep applying until a fine coat is left on the surface. Leave this to dry for 10 mins and simply leave or burnish up with a soft brush or polishing cloth for a low sheen.If the shoes are very decorated with cut out details such as in some men's brogues or if unusual type of textured or patterned leather apply the Pickstones Leather Balm with a soft rounded brush such as used when applying decorative chalk paint.


This cleaning system which was made originally for the tough sweat and dirt covered leathers of the cavalry: harness, boots, and saddle bags, can easily take on the requirements of modern day to day footwear. You will find that occasional  use of the Pickstones Wash may be all that is required with maybe a month or bi monthly application of the Pickstones Leather Balm. It of course all depends upon what type and amount of wear .The one thing that you can be sure of that you are doing the very best for your shoes so even if left un worn for a year they are being looked after.

Many country and walking boots are now made with an almost nubeck leather finish for softness and comfort but it has been been pre soaked with a waxy oil treatment prior to making up. This is what enables them to be water proof and still breathable so Pickstones Leather Wash and Balm properties are absolutely the right product to maintain.

My spanish style work and riding boots are of this type.Not only do they have to cope with any normal mucky outside wear they get salty sweat marks on the one from the horse's sides on hot summer days which not only looks bad but continues to dry out the leather whilst there. On top of this the lovely black rubber riding arena surface always leaves a charcoal black look on any surface it comes into contact with. This is why the Pickstones Leather Wash comes into its own with first using paper kitchen towel to clean away rather than into the leather. Then simply apply The Pickstones Leather Balm and apart from the slight crease and change in shape for comfort around the ankle they are as new but in reality they have being doing hard work here and in Spain !

When new

After real hard work and testing weather conditions the one on the left has been wiped using Pickstones Leather Wash..

What a difference one application of Pickstones Leather Balm to the bot on the left almost as new!