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Tuxedo Shoes Care and Cleaning Instructions

Keeping your tuxedo shoes looking and feeling perfect.

The first think a person notices about your shoes is their cleanliness. The cleanliness and shine of a tuxedo shoe is important to maintain and shine because patent leather and faux patent leather tuxedo shoes have a very high luster. We will show you how to care and shine your tuxedo shoes so that you may enjoy them for years to come. Feel free to print this page for your records.

Basic Shoe Care 
Always shine your shoes when you first buy them and and before you wear them to your formal event. If you store your patent shoes for long periods, be sure to give them thorough shine twice a year. This tuxedo shoe cleaning strategy will keep your shoe's patent leather moisturized and will maintain the original high luster of the shoe.

Shoetrees are a must if you keep your shoes in their shoe-bags or box for long periods of time. A shoetree will keep the shape of the shoe and not allow gravity to do its damage. Your shoes will keep their original form and feel great because the leather will not shrink.

Don't use any cleaner on leather that contains an acid or a detergent on alcohol.

Shoe Scuffs
There are different types of shoe scuffs so be sure to read both sets of instructions so you maintain a handsome pair of tuxedo shoes.

Surface Scuffs are the most common type of shoe blemish. These are scuff that are actually on top of the shoe glaze. To be sure the scuff is on the surface of the shoe, hold the shoe at an angle and look at the marking. If it is raised above the rest of the shoe surface, then it is a surface scuff. To remove, rub the scuff with a clean soft rag that has a tiny (a spec) dot of liquid soap. What happens is that the soap makes the water wetter and the mixture will remove most scuffs with the friction you apply by rubbing. If your efforts are less than desirable, have your shoes professionally cleaned at a shoe repair shop. The service provider will be able to buff the scuff out for you. Typically the shine or luster of the shoe will not be harmed because it is a surface scuff. 

The second type of scuff is a gouge-scuff. This means that the surface or glaze over the patent leather or faux patent material has been passed through. The most effective option to fix the shoes is with a chemical removal of the scuff which will remove the finish of the shoe. Since your probably don't have the expensive shoe glaze (not available to consumers) in your home, your only option is to have the shoe professionally fixed by a shoe repair shop.

Shoe Luster Damage
Polishing will not restore a patent leather shoe's high luster if they have been sun damaged or have been bent by raising your heel and pressing the ball of your foot into towards the ground. Be sure to store your tux shoes away from direct sunlight and try not to bend the shoes.

Shining Tuxedo Shoes (Never Try To Polish)
There are few ways to accomplish shining your formal tuxedo shoes. It all depends on what kind you own. Patent leather and faux patent (PVC) have very different materials. Patent leather is really leather while faux patent if PVC which stand for "polymer of vinyl chloride" and is also known as "poly vinyl chloride".

For both shoe types, first be sure the shoe is clean. Wipe the shoe clean with a soft rag that is damp with warm water. Then dry the shoe with another soft rag. Let sit for about 15 minutes to allow the space between the shoe covering and the heel of the shoe to dry. Usually there are small nooks that cannot be reached easily. In the same time that it takes to dab each tiny nook, these spaces will air-dry.

To shine patent leather tuxedo shoes simply wipe clean with a clean and soft rag with warm water. If you need a little more shine, try a tiny amount of furniture polish.

To shine faux patent or PVC shoes, you can try to wipe clean with a soft rag and warm water. If that fails, apply (don't laugh) regular Armorall all or furniture polish and wipe clean.

Because the patent material in non porous, they will not absorb any form of shoe polish. An analogy of what it would be like to use shoe polish on patent tuxedo shoes would be like trying to clean a window with shoe polish, it smears everywhere but wipes off with no lasting effect.

Never use harsh chemicals such as alcohol, detergent or liquor to shine your tuxedo shoes. Though they may provide an instant shine to your shoe, they will ultimately completely remove the shine and luster from your tuxedo shoes.


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