Safety shoes are mostly used as protective equipment in those places where it is necessary to protect the feet. Although they are sturdy, they require regular cleaning and constant care, in order to last long and keep the feet safe and healthy. A bad maintenance of your safety footwear can compromise the performances and the level of protection, exposing you to risks. Let’s see how to make a proper cleaning of safety shoes.
Cleaning of leather safety footwear
Products you will need
• A shoe brush
• A cleaner suited for leather
• Clean cloths
• Mink oil
• Waterproofing spray
• A suede cloth
• Sodium bicarbonate
• Protective spray coating for suede
First of all do some brushing, in order to remove dust and dirt. The cleaning of safety shoes must be done when they are dry, and without encrusted dirt on it.
Pour some drops of cleaner on a clean and soft cloth, then rub the leather with it to remove dirt and stains. After that, dry the shoes off with a clean and dry cloth and let them dry completely.
Make the leather shine rubbing some mink oil on it. Mink oil is a paste similar to Vaseline, which is absorbed by leather. After that, clean it up with another cloth to remove the excess.
At this point, use a waterproofing spray on the outer surface of your shoes to make them resistant to rain, snow and moisture, so that they won’t get easily stained.
Cleaning of Safety Shoes: suede safety shoes
Use a special scrub shoe brush for suede to carefully rub the areas where there are stains or encrustations.
Pour a bit of sodium bicarbonate on each water and/or oil stains and leave it overnight. It will absorb oil and humidity.
Use a cloth to clean the shoes and remove the sodium bicarbonate.
Finally, use some spray on your safety shoes to make the surface waterproof again.
• Let the shoes dry completely before you wear them again, otherwise you’ll risk the formation of mildew and in the worst case a fungal infection.
• In order to maintain the performances and the look of your safety footwear at its best, don’t forget to also clean the outsole, paying attention to remove the encrustations. Clean the upper regularly with a moist cloth to remove the excess dirt and grease.
Why is the cleaning of leather very important
1. Filth can get trapped in the leather. Use a shoe brush and some clothes to do a first cleaning and to remove the excess filth and dust before starting to polish.
2. Take the laces away before starting to polish the shoes. So it will be easier to clean the tongue and you won’t risk to soil the laces.
3. If you use a shoe paste for better results, rub it on the shoes uniformly with a paintbrush, a small brush or a soft cloth first. Once dry, spread a shoe polish with a brush with natural bristle.
4. As a cheaper and quicker alternative, there is instant polish. First, brush the shoes as explained above to remove excess dirt and dust, then spread the instant polish on the leather uniformly. The colors will get brighter and the surface shinier, withouth needing further cleaning.
5. Use waterproofing products to protect your footwear against water, mud, dust, snow, salt etc. Your footwear will not be so easily stained.
6. Use a shoe tree to store your shoes, so that they won’t lose their original shape. If you don’t have a plastic or wooden shoe tree, put some pieces of paper or some towels in your shoes. Don’t keep or dry the shoes near sources of heat.
7. Always air-dry your leather shoes, preferably outdoors if it’s not too cold. Otherwise, in the house it is fine, but it must be in an aired place, far from direct heat.
Cleaning of Safety Shoes: sneakers
1. Start taking a shoe brush or an old toothbrush and brush dust and dirt away before starting the washing.
2. Optional: take the laces off the shoes before starting.
3. Stir some drops of dish soap in a bucket or a sink full of cold water.
4. Dip an old toothbrush in the water and soap and brush the cloth gently with circular movements, until all stains are gone.
5. Don’t pour water in the shoes, use a clean and damp cloth to rinse the soap off the shoe. Repeat until the cloth is clean and all the shoe has been removed.
6. Crumple up some paper towel or shreds of newspaper and put them into the shoes. That will help maintain their original shape while they dry.
7. Place the shoe in some well-ventilated place, so that they can dry naturally.
Cleaning of Safety Shoes: nubuck
1. Your shoes deserve special attention. Make sure clean them and waterproof them regularly.
2. If your safety shoes have a removable insole, take it off before starting.
3. Rinse the shoes thoroughly with plain water, to quickly remove the bulk of dust and dirt.
4. Use a soft cloth to remove any remaining dirt from the shoes surface.
5. Now rinse the shoes thoroughly again and let them dry completely.
6. Avoid leaving the shoes near heat sources or exposed to the sun, because they may shrink or undergo deformation.
7. If the shoes get wet, put some shreds of paper in them, so that they will maintain their shape.
8. Always let them dry naturally and never leave them near direct heat sources.
9. Your nubuck shoes will look almost like new once they dried and you gave them a quick brush.
Cleaning of Safety Shoes: further suggestions and tricks
• To make your shoes last longer, wear them in rotation with another pair.
• When you buy a new pair of safety shoes put some protective product (like a waterproofing spray) on them before you wear them the first time.
• If your shoes get wet let them dry completely before you wear them again. Once dry, waterproof them.
• Use a shoehorn to wear your shoes, to avoid the deformation of the heel.
Best accessories for cleaning safety shoes, by SafetyShoesToday:
Cleaning of Safety Shoes: recommendations
Those were my suggestions for cleaning your leather safety shoes.
Once you have learned the right method for cleaning your safety footwear you will be safer and more protected at work.
I guarantee that if you clean your safety shoes regularly you’ll live a better working experience!
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