Shoe Catastrophe! 2nd February 2016

Shoe Catastrophe!

Hello again loyal Pediwear patrons, recently I blogged about how white distilled vinegar can help draw out beer stains and coincidentally a week later a disheartened customer visited our Halifax store with a sorry-looking pair of Grenson’s.

An evening of heavy rain (and possibly alcohol) had taken its toll. He came with a thought that there may be a product he could buy to save them but believed in his heart that these shoes were now only fit for the bin, which we could entirely understand. However rather than send them packing to the big man upstairs we took them off his hands and said that “we will see if we can help clean them up a little”, obviously by “we” they meant ME!













As you can see the stains on the shoes are extremely bad due to a combination of being heavily soaked and salt/dirt/miscellaneous. As the shoes have been saturated it has allowed all the nasties to become embedded deep within the leather so giving them a wipe over is never going to work. This is where drawing the stains out is necessary however (and more importantly) a salt stain remover is needed to take out as much salt as possible. Salt within shoes can cause the surface leather to bubble and once this has occurred it is almost impossible to reverse, all you can do is try and flatten it using a spoon which is not overly effective.

To start with I used a brush to clean off surface dirt and then I grabbed a bottle of Saphir Hiver Stain Remover, over the course of a day I probably used about 8 applications. This involves wetting a clean cloth with the solution and then firmly wiping the affected areas, you should note that the stain remover foams slightly but this is normal. It then needs to be left to dry completely then brushed and then you can start the process again. As you can see from the following picture the stain remover works but it is a gradual process.












Once I was happy that I had got most of the salt out, and that the stains had lessened I used vinegar for the overnight process, this is detailed in my last blog but as a reminder I use 1 part white distilled vinegar to 2 parts water. I then wipe the shoes with the solution and using kitchen towel that as been soaked and wrung, wrap the shoes with the towels making sure the stains are covered. These then need leaving until the shoes are completely dry, which is why leaving them overnight is convenient.

When I checked the shoes the next day I was greeted with this…

As you can see the vinegar solution has done a fantastic job of drawing out most of the stains, they are certainly in a much better condition than when they started.

I then went back to the stain remover and gave 2 more applications just to remove any residual dirt left from the drawing out process and then moved on to rejuvenating and restoring.

To do this I started with Saphir Renovateur and worked this in with a small brush, once dry I brushed off and then repeated. As the leather had been through a lot I felt it need extra nourishment.

I then used a Saphir Pommadier cream, I tried to match the colour as closely as possible as the colour on the shoes had faded and needed restoring, I used 3 coats of the cream, one on top of the other with 10 minute intervals between. This was to allow the pigments within the cream to properly absorb into the leather. Now the shoes were starting to come alive again!













Needless to say I was quite pleased with these results as the shoes although not perfect were certainly wearable again, as such I decided to finish the job with some Saphir Pate de Lux just to enhance the shine and give a little better water resistance with the end result being…..














With a little hard work and some insider knowledge you can achieve some pretty remarkable results and needless to say our customer was exceedingly happy with his shoes.

Selling shoes is only one side to our business, myself and my colleagues are always on hand for advice and tips so please do feel free to contact us if ever you have any shoe worries or concerns. Until next time my friends, happy shoe loving.


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