What to do when your leather shoes get soaked wet
- Step 1: Let’s remove a few things
Remove excess moisture.
Remove dirt, mud or debris (use a cloth if needed).
Remove the insoles if your insoles are remove-able. Removing the insoles is very important when your shoes are soaked wet, because there is definitely moisture trapped between the insole and the bottom of the shoes. And especially, it prevents the shoes from getting smelly after.
- Step 2: Use crumped newspaper to stuff in the shoes.
It depends on how wet your shoes are, you might need to replace wet newspaper with the dry ones, until all the moisture is absorbed. If you don’t have newspaper, using regular paper is fine too, but it might not be as effective as regular paper tends to be thicker. I would not recommend toilet paper as it is too thin, so it might get stuck on the shoes and it’s hard to remove.
Tips: As my shoes were soaked wet, I had to change newspaper six times. I checked every few hours to make sure that the wet newspaper doesn't stay inside the shoes for too long.
- Step 3: Let them air dry completely.
When there is too little moisture left in the shoes and the newspaper strategy doesn’t work anymore, elevate the shoes against the wall to let them air dry slowly at room temperature. For somewhere that is very humid like Hội An, you might see mold developed. In this case, just use a piece of dry cloth to wipe it out. And be patient, as this step might take a few days.
Tips: Do not rush the process by placing the shoes near heat source as it will destroy the shoes' shape. Let them feel the air and dry naturally.
- Step 4: Follow up with leather cleaner & conditioner.
Once the shoes are completely dry, apply high-quality leather cleaner and conditioner to help ensure consistency in the leather. After you finish polishing the shoes, let them rest for 30 minutes before putting the insoles back and lacing up.
Tips: Use shoe trees to place inside the shoes once the shoes are completely dry. This helps leather from drying out as well as to prevent wrinkling in the shoes. Bonus if you have cedar shoe trees as they are the best for keeping the shape and bringing a pleasant scent.
I hope that you do not have to use these tips, but I also hope that if your beloved shoes accidentally get wet, these tips will help bring them back to life.
If you have more questions, Swing Love Team is here to help! You can leave a message below or email firstname.lastname@example.org or chat us on Facebook & Instagram during business hours Monday through Friday.
With lots of swingouts,
Châu & The Swing Love Team.