Top 5 tips for cleaning leather work shoes

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Once you invest in a pair of nonslip shoes with leather uppers, you'll want to take good care of them to ensure that they'll last for as long as possible. Good shoe maintenance will help you stay safe and look great on the job, not to mention make sure that you get the most out of your investment. The No. 1 step for safety is clearing out the tread grids on the soles of your shoes to keep them in prime condition to grip the floor. Every pair of Shoes For Crews shoes comes with a Sole Grid Cleaner to accomplish this task, but what about the leather upper? Here are five tips for keeping those in top shape.

1. Consider waterproofing your work shoes
If you're around water or other liquids on a regular basis on the job, it's worth waterproofing your shoes before you start wearing them. There are many water repellents on the market that will get the job done. Choose one and follow the manufacturer's instructions for application. This will help seal out stains from water, mud, dust, snow and salt. See what the directions say about reapplying and keep it up as part of your regular shoe maintenance routine.

2. Clean dirt and dust regularly
Whenever your shoes are looking a little grimy, take a few moments to give them a good wipe down. Use a soft, dry cloth to start with to get rid of extra dirt and grease, then dampen the cloth with warm water and wipe them again. A shoe brush can also accomplish this task easily.

3. Give them a good polish
After cleaning your shoes, use a cream-based shoe polish to keep your work boots or shoes looking great. Bring the shoes with you when you pick out a shoe polish to make sure that the color will match. Remove the shoelaces before you start polishing them for easy access to the tongue and to prevent staining the laces. Use a soft, dry cloth to apply the polish in an even layer all over the shoes. Men's online magazine Ask Men recommended using a pair of pantyhose to buff the polish off of the shoes for maximum shine.

4. Spot treat when necessary
Sometimes your work shoes may get spotted or stained. In this case, it's fairly simple to do a spot treatment, but always test a small, inconspicuous spot on the shoe first to make sure that it won't stain the leather. DIY Network suggested using a mixture of 1 part lemon juice to 1 part cream of tartar for normal stains. Just apply the paste to the spot with a soft cloth, then rub it in. If the stain is stubborn, let the paste sit on the stain for a few hours, apply a bit more paste and wipe it clean afterward. For salt stains in the winter, Real Simple magazine advised using a mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water. Just dab it on a cloth, rub the entire shoe and let it dry.

5. Dry them properly
After a waterproofing, cleaning, polishing or spot treating session, it's important to let your leather shoes dry properly before you start wearing them. A shoe tree can help your leather shoes maintain their shape. If you don't have one, just stuff the toes with crumpled up newspaper or tissues. Never leave your leather shoes outside to dry in the sun or use direct heat on them.

Do you have any special tricks that help you keep your leather work shoes spotless? We'd love to hear them on our Facebook page!

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