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Leather Care OverviewUpdated 2 months ago

The beauty of premium leather is in its ability to evolve.

When properly cared for, leather retains its strength and durability. As it ages, a leather shoe will mould to fit your foot and the leather will soften. Premium leather is also breathable, thus eliminating sweaty or smelly feet.

Protecting your shoes

Before wearing your footwear outdoors for the first time, we recommend spraying them with a protectant spray to help prevent water damage. While this will protect against the elements, it does not make the shoes waterproof. Leather is a natural and porous material, and should never be worn in excessive rain, slush, or snow.

Increasing your shoes' longevity

To keep your leather looking its best, we recommend caring for your shoes and boots every 8-10 wears. A proper routine for smooth or pebbled leathers combines four key steps:

  1. Cleaning away dirt, salt or dust.
  2. Conditioning to moisturize the material and keep it supple.
  3. Polishing for a high shine and colour maintenance.
  4. Protecting to shield the leather from the elements.

How do I remove salt stains from my shoes?

It's important to remove salt stains as soon as possible. Once the salt stains dry and set, it's very difficult to get rid of them. Use a mixture of warm water and lemon juice or vinegar to dab away salt stains (do not use this solution on suedes or nubucks). You can also use cleaning wipes if you are on the go. Allow the leather to dry on its own. Do not use heat to accelerate the drying process.

How do I clean the fabric lining of my accessories?

Start with pulling the lining out so it's as exposed as possible. You'll need rubbing alcohol, a cloth and cotton swabs. Use a swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to scrub any ink or set-in makeup stains. After this, use a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol to wipe the entirety of the lining (this may take a while, so keep wiping!) Then, use a cloth damped with water to clean off the alcohol and let the lining dry completely.

How do I clean the wooden heels of my shoes?

A wood-wrapped heel will get damaged by water, so we recommend avoiding it as much as possible. However, to freshen the look of the heel, you can wipe off any dirt/mud with a lightly dampened cloth. After this, take food-grade mineral oil/cutting board moisturizer (available at Home Depot and Canadian Tire) and apply sparingly to the heel using a cloth. This helps moisturize and revitalize the look of the wood heel!

If the heels of your shoes are beginning to peel and show water damage, we would recommend taking them into a cobbler for professional repair. This wear will occur naturally over long periods of time, but with proper care, you can extend the life of your heels.

How do I clean the lining of my shoes?

Most of Poppy Barley's footwear is made with a vegetable-tanned leather that comes from a Gold Certified Leather Working Group tannery. This natural colored leather is chemical and chrome free and uses less water to process. It also fights bacteria to improve foot health and reduce unpleasant odours and has a very soft finish for ultimate comfort.

The lining of your shoes will darken with wear, which is normal. To clean the lining, use a dampened cloth with a small amount of liquid detergent and water to rub the insole, creating a lather. To avoid shrinking or drying out the leather, dampen the cloth with cold water instead of using hot temperatures.


How do I remove deeper stains from Nubuck and Suede?

If you get a substance on your Nubuck or Suede, we would recommend these steps before following our regular procedure. First, wipe the area with a slightly damp cloth (not too wet, as water can change the appearance of the material.) Next, use the wire-bristle side of a nubuck brush to brush up the substance and revitalize the original texture of the material. Clean and treat as usual after this.


If you have any further questions regarding leather care, you can reach out to our team at any time at [email protected].

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