Homemade Shoe Cleaner Recipe for Leather Shoes and Boots

Shoe leather can get dirty and grimy, hard, and cracked. Many shoe leather cleaners on the market promise to clean and shine your shoes, but I find them OK with shining but they don’t perform so well in keeping the leather soft and pliable.

Also with commercial shoe cleaners, it is so easy to leave residues of dye that can stain your clothes and skin.

This homemade shoe cleaner recipe is easy to make and will leave your shoes looking new!

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Leather shoes and boots are expensive so you want to take care of them and keep them looking new.

Homemade DIY Shoe Cleaner Recipe Ideas

How to Clean and Restore Leather Shoes and Boots

I use this method to regularly clean my leather shoes and boots. It brings the shoes up to a lovely soft shine and keeps the leather soft. This recipe will also work to bring back leather that is dry and cracking.

Cleaning the Leather

Use this mixture to clean the shoes or boots, allow to dry before moving on to moisturizing and polishing the lather.

  • Make a mixture with a squirt of dish soap, 3 Tbsp white vinegar, and 4 Tbsp baking soda.
  • Use a soft brush rub the mixture into the leather until it is clean.
  • Rinse thoroughly and dry the leather with a soft cloth

Make sure the leather is dry before moving on to the next process of applying the polish moisturizer.

  • coconut oil
  • food color gel
  • vegetable glycerine
  • essential oils to provide perfume (clove or lemon)

Place 2 ounces of soft coconut oil in a bowl and add food color gel. Add the food color slowly as you don’t want it too dark. Mix these together testing the color on the leather as you go to make sure it is a match.

Then add 1 oz vegetable glycerine and essential oils. Mix well. Use this cream to massage into the leather using a soft cloth.

If the leather is very dry the mixture will be absorbed very quickly. Just keep adding more cream until the leather won’t absorb any more.

At this point, the leather will look a bit greasy and dull that’s OK. Leave the cream on the shoes for about 2 hours. Then buff up the leather using a soft shoe shone brush until you have a pleasant soft shine.

This process can be used on all leather items around your home from leather purses to leather sofas. Don’t use food coloring when treating light-colored items.


As you can see shoe cleaners are easy to make and can be used on all types of leather shoes and boots.

This recipe won’t damage your shoes or leave any residue that might stain your clothes or hands.

With this homemade shoe cleaner, you can make your own and save money! Plus it only takes a few minutes to make.

This simple recipe will leave your shoes looking brand new in no time at all. Why not give it a try next time you have shoes to clean and polish!

More Homemade Cleaning Product Information

Homemade Shoe Cleaner Recipes