Finding the Cinderella of shoes brushes
Mirror mirror on the wall, tell me which brush should I use to buff or to remove polish?
Well, polish or wax brushes are aplenty in the market, and there are those that are horsehair, pig bristle and synthetic bristle. So, which is which and how to use them?
- Generally, pig bristle brushes have stiffer bristle hence suited for textured leathers such as pebble grain or or some reptillian skins and/or shoes with elaborated decorative performations, seams and grooves.The bristle will allow polish or dirt buildup to be removed much effectively.
- Given its softer texture, horsehair brushes, are mostly use for cleaning and buffing as it would not scratch leather. It will have good polishing and cleaning effect due to the variable hair thickness and density as well as its ability to absorb shoe cream and polishes better.
What to take note of -
- When using natural brushes such as horsehair or pig bristle - we need to be aware that such brushes can lose hair as it breaks off or ages. So, don't worry when you start seeing it losing hair as you use more of it.
- Remember to use the different coloured-hair brushes for shoes with different colours to avoid colour-mix. E.g., do not use the brushesmeant for black/dark brown shoes and that for biege, green, blue shoes, etc.
You may also find goat hair brush, suede brush, and many other types when it comes to leather brushes.
Find the right one and it will bring you far in caring for your leather!
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Make sure you're armed with the right advice to maximise the use of your leather cleaning and conditioning products, download your very own user guide below.
In the meantime, some general rules on leather care and protection.
Regular leather cleaning prevents the build-up of dust, dirt, mildew and bacteria. Use your clean fingertip to gently rub out the scratch as the natural oils from your skin will remove most small scratches. To remove dirt, grime or surface residue, use a soft damp cloth. Gently rub for removal. For a deeper clean, use a cleaner to help preserve the natural lubricating oils instead of stripping them. Cleaning is an irreversible process and therefore, thorough consideration should be made before any such attempt. Do not use coloured rags that are not dye-colourfast as the dye may come off onto your leather.
Leather, like our skins, loses suppleness in time if it is not provided with regular nourishment. Use a wax-free leather conditioner that will work on nourishing and restoring the flexibility and suppleness of your leather article. To waterproof your leather, protect it with a layer of "guard" while maintaining the leather's breathability.
Leather is a natural material and should be stored in a breathable, non-plastic or non-porous container, to prevent the growth of mildew and bacteria. If you have to store it in a garment bag, make sure to keep it open for ventilation.
Avoid at all cost:
- Harsh detergents, abrasive cleaners or solvents as they may contain alcohol, turpentine and minerals spirits and can pull the colour off leather.
- Prolonged and direct exposure of leather to hot and humid weather.
- Putting too much mink oil or animal fats may darken the leather. Animal fat may also turn rancid, causing the leather and stitching to rot.
- Place leather near open fireplaces or room heaters. If need to dry wet or damp leather, let it air-dry naturally.
- Waxes or silicone formulas as it will impair the leather's ability to "breathe".
- Sharp objects that may damage leather such as shoe buckles, scissors.