Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Little Kitchen Shoe Cobbler

Salt Removal Act 

Son of a bitch if it didn't snow again last night. Here in the Midwest, we've finally learned to accept negative temperatures being the norm, and new cleverly named snowstorms everyday. My personal favorite, the Saskatchewan Screamer. All this weather makes it so the only shoes you can wear are boots. Why even invest in nice boots when they'll only get salt-cured after walking two blocks in slush. I've even gotten to resent my boots. Remember other shoes? Me neither. I tried to wear my favorite pair of vintage loafers on Valentine's Day, only to have them seemingly destroyed by the salt. There is nothing worse than salt-rimmed shoes. Good news though! You can use two kitchen basics to wash and condition your shoes! It actually works, unlike some at-home methods like coke bottle abortions. This trick will only work on finished leather. If you were dumb enough to buy suede shoes and wear them in snow or rain, it's your own fault they're ruined.

you will need the following 

Old salty shoes
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 cup cold water
vegetable oil
heavy duty paper towels

Step 1: Mix tablespoon vinegar with cup of cold water. Mix with a spoon. Dip cotton balls or paper towels in mixture and gently scrub salt off. The acid will break down the salt so you don't ruin the finish by over-scrubbing. 

Step 2: Leather is skin, and skin is what your body is covered in. When you feel dry in the winter, you put lotion on. Using paper towels, smear the shoes in vegetable oil. Vegetable oil is going to basically hydrate the leather that has been drying out under all that salt. The oil will keep the leather pliable so it's not as likely to pull away from the sole. A real live cobbler once taught me this trick. 

Step 3: You may want to repeat the oil step a few times. The leather will quickly absorb the oil. Now you just want to wait another six months until it's actually dry and clean enough out to wear these shoes again. 

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