Today I’m cleaning a pair of Gaziano & Girling loafers in fox suede — join me by posting photographs here today of you shining/polishing your shoes (before and after shots, please)!

Without further ado, let’s get to it…

These loafers are well worn and in need of a deep cleaning, having never been cleaned since delivery:
The “damage”

Today’s set up includes:
-Saphir Pate de Luxe polish in dark brown
-Saphir Omni’Nettoyant suede cleaner
-Saphir spatula brush
-Saphir Renovateur
-Saint Crispin’s edging tool
-Leather Shoeshine Carpet

Contrary to popular assumption, suede can get wet — in order to clean it, that is. I didn’t have any shiny areas on the shoes or other serious marks that would otherwise have required me to use a Saphir Gommadin suede eraser before cleaning, so to begin I created a 50/50 mixture of water and Saphir Omni’Nettoyant suede cleaner in a small bowl. I soaked the spatula brush in the mixture and began lightly scrubbing the shoes (with trees removed) in large circles, making sure that the cleaning mixture lathered up and saturated each shoe. Try as best you can throughout this process to keep the sole, sole edges and heels dry.

Lather up

It’s important to not allow the cleaning mixture to dry on the shoes. So, once each shoe was thoroughly scrubbed with the cleaning mixture, I rinsed the spatula brush and then used a bowl of clean water to continue lightly scrubbing each shoe. I took care to continually rinse the spatula brush and lightly scrub each shoe until no lather was created upon scrubbing, i.e., the cleaning mixture was completely cleansed from each shoe.

Lather down

Once the cleaning mixture was removed from each shoe, I stuffed each shoe with some newspaper and cleaned the dry heels and sole edges with a bit of Saphir Renovateur (if yours are soaked after the process above, hold off on treating the heels and sole edges until dry). After allowing the Saphir Renovateur to dry and buffing the heels/sole edges with a rag, I carefully applied Saphir Pate de Luxe polish in dark brown to the heels and sole edges.

Edge waxing

Before the wax completely dried, I used a Saint Cripin’s edging tool to smooth out and seal the sole edges.

Wood n’ leather n’ suede

The shoes needed to completely dry before moving on to finish the job, so I stuffed some more newspaper into the shoes and headed off to brunch. I left the shoes to dry overnight — next week’s Shoe Shine Sunday will feature the conclusion of this particular cleaning exercise.

Halfway there… check back next week for part 2!