1. Leather Cleaner, $20, from Coach.
With the rain and wind, your leather shoes are definitely going to get soiled by the end of the day.
Always keep a good leather cleaner in your home or office. We recommend Coach’s cleaner, because we find that the solution is tough on stains and dirt (take it from a person who once spilled juice all over his leather sneakers).
What makes this cleaner our go-to product as well is that it leaves out the harmful solvents and cleaning acids that might discolour or damage your stuff.
Even better, you can use this product to clean everything leather; from jackets and bags and even your leather furniture.
2. Leather Water Repellent, $22.47 (US$15.97), from gotrinova.com.
If it isn’t broken, it’s best to fix it before it is.
That’s always our mantra with leather care, which probably explains our love for leather-friendly water repellent sprays. Before you head out the door, spray on one or two coats and watch with satisfaction as the rainwater rolls right off your favourite pair of suede heels.
We love the repellent spray from Trinova for its added protection against water damage and its sealing properties that help your products remain new-looking.
If Trinova proves hard to obtain, pop into your local home supplies store and get a similar product. Just make sure to test it on a hidden area first before coating your products.
3. Jason Markk Quick Wipes (pack of 30 sheets), $21.75, from mrporter.com.
This is a heaven-sent cleaning solution for sneakerheads who are obsessed with keeping their kicks looking box-fresh wherever they go.
Known for their cleaning products, Jason Markk’s cleaning sheets are the ideal portable solution if you don’t fancy carrying a bottle of cleaning solution everywhere. When your leather products gets dirty, a simple swipe with these wipes will help eliminate most stains.
Each sheet also features a textured side so it doubles up as a surface scrub for slightly peskier stains.
4. Smooth Leather Care Cream, $14.90, from ECCO Shoes.
Due to the cleaning process, your leather will inevitably lose some of its shine and smoothness (it’s the same concept as your skin feeling dry after a shower).
After the cleaning is done, don’t forget to apply a coat of leather cream to keep your product feeling supple and soft. The cream that ECCO sells works well on smooth leather surfaces because the cream is enriched with conditioning oils that won’t dry out your leather products, and locks in the colour for a longer-lasting pair of shoes. It also helps to keep water from penetrating your products and leaving unsightly water spots.
5. Suede Restorer Brush, $19, from Timberland.
Suede is definitely a trickier material to care for, but not entirely impossible with the help of this brush.
Featuring soft crepe rubber bristles, you can easily get dirt and stains off most nubuck or suede items with light brushing.
Living up to its name, the brush can also help bring back the nap (aka the “fuzzy” texture of suede), by using longer drags across the surface of your bag or shoe.
6. Melamine Foam Eraser (various sizes), $2, from Daiso.
Here’s a trick straight from the stylist’s bag: never leave home without a small piece of melamine foam. Also known as “magic sponge”, this humble piece of foam really does wonders in lifting dirt off surfaces without harming the quality of the textile or fabric.
Daiso carries this foam in a selection of sizes, and all you need is a bit of water to help you get those pesky dirt stains off your shoes and bags.
Furthermore, this works on removing just about anything else, be it removing crayon marks from your wall or gravy spills from your carpet!
This post was first published on April 10, 2017, and updated on July 6, 2019.