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How To Protect Your Patent Leather Purchases

Dear Sugar
I've always loved patent leather shoes and bags and after seeing the great new styles for this season on FABSUGAR I'm itching to buy more.

The problem is that I worry about ruining them. I've had patent leather shoes in the past and they always end up scruffy and dull after a week or two. But when I try and clean them there always seems to be a grody residue. How can I ensure that my new duds will remain shiny and clean even with weekly wear? Shiny Shaniqua

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Dear Shiny Shaniqua
It's nice to hear that you take such great pride in your patents; it says a lot about you. There are just a few simple steps involved in caring for patent leather goods. And the best part is that you don't have to buy a thing.

  • Before you begin, remove dust with a dry, but very soft cloth (chamois or shoe shine cloth).
  • Cleaning should be done with a mild soap and a wet cloth. As soon as you are finished, dry immediately with a fresh dry cloth to help prevent streaking.
  • It's been said, that in a pinch, you can remove fingerprints with a drop of vinegar mixed with warm water. Do a test patch first if you dare to dabble.
  • Contrary to popular belief, do NOT use grease, Vaseline or regular shoe polish on patent leather. Although it will create a super shine at first, after a few minutes, dust will stick, and it will turn out looking muddy. These products will permanently ruin the patina.
  • Also, do NOT leave patent leather in direct contact with patterned or colored polythene bags. The fine film that patent leather is covered in, may pick up an imprint from the polythene that will result in permanent damage.
  • Voila ... Shiny spankin' new!

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