Shoes and boots made out of exotic skins such as snake, lizard, alligator, eel, ostrich or otherwise will require some extra special care beyond what you’d see for typical leather. You can’t just grab a bottle of leather conditioner off the shelves at your nearest big box store and hope it will do the trick—if you’re going to invest in this high-quality, exotic leather, then you need to make sure you’re prepared to do the necessary high-end leather shoe maintenance in Baton Rouge, LA to protect that investment for the long term.
It’s important to note that you should not use any product intended for mammal leather, because the composition of that leather is very different. If you use the wrong product, it could cause permanent damage to the leather, and result in scales drying and falling off, which means a deterioration of both the quality and the attractiveness of the footwear.
So, with this in mind, here are the steps you should take to make sure you’re performing proper high-end leather shoe maintenance in Baton Rouge, LA:
- Cleaning: The cleaning process should be performed with a mild leather shampoo or cleaning foam, and a high-quality brush. The brush will help you remove any loose dirt on the surface. You should generally try to clean the boots while they are dry. If the boots are wet, let them dry and insert a boot tree to make sure they maintain their original shape during the drying process. Do not place the boots near heat to hasten drying, as this could result in some shrinkage.
- Conditioning: After you’ve completed the cleaning process, it’s important to proceed with conditioning, a process that must be performed to keep the leather soft and in good condition. You must find a conditioner that is specifically designed for exotic or reptile leather, as any products designed for use on standard, smooth leather will likely leave behind a film that can build up around the scales and cause them to fall off or become damaged or discolored. Never use a shoe shine cloth to buff exotic leather, as this could also damage the scales. Instead, if using a polish, use a wool dauber, and do not press too hard on the surface of the leather. Be gentle, and you will find this yields the best results.
- Weatherproofing: The final maintenance step you need to take with your exotic leather footwear is weatherproofing it. This is especially important if you frequently wear your shoes or boots out in the elements, where they’re exposed to moisture and sunshine. Look for waterproofing or weatherproofing products specifically designed for exotic leather or reptile skin so you can be certain it will not harm the leather on your footwear.
These are the three most important steps for you to take when maintaining your high-end leather shoes in Baton Rouge, LA. For more information about specific products we recommend or processes you should use when cleaning, we encourage you to contact the experts at Acadian Leather today.