These boots are made for licking (Day 274)…

shoe polish

Today was one of those sad days when I realized it was time to drag out my winter boots from the back of the closet. It’s finally cold enough in Toronto that my tootsies are demanding more coverage than just an old pair of Converse; unfortunately, the alternatives include a salt-stained pair of brown Uggs or a salt-stained, dusty and cobweb-covered pair of black leather boots (wearing these, by the way, does not violate my no-leather rule because I already owned them and am just reusing).

Now, when it comes to getting salt off suede, I’m not sure what the most eco-friendly way of doing that is, so if anyone can offer a suggestion, please do! I’ve tried a salt-stain remover already, but it seemed to just be spreading it around, and plain water isn’t doing much either.

But when it comes to polishing the leather boots, I have Treehugger to thank for this great suggestion: Pozu’s edible shoe polish. One major downside is that this brand is only sold in the UK. So because the carbon cost of shipping it across the pond is far too great, I’m going to try and make my own natural shoe polish using their main ingredient, coconut oil.

As I’m quickly discovering, coconut oil is right up there with baking soda and vinegar as one of the essential all-purpose items in any certified hippie’s toolbox. Olive oil would probably work, too, but I think coconut smells nicer and it’s more solid in consistency. I haven’t tested it out yet, but am just about to, so I’ll post a little update in the comments section to let you all know how it turned out.

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9 Responses to These boots are made for licking (Day 274)…

  1. emma says:

    salt stain remover works you just have to brush the boot after to get it velvety-uggety-soft. xo

  2. Vanessa says:

    Haha — velvety-uggetty-soft? Wow, that’s a new adjective… I dunno, Em, I tried to do that with a brush and everything but they’re still kinda hard and gross looking. I think you just take better care of yours (and probably don’t wear them every single day like I do!).

  3. Rhett says:

    I’d be careful trying that with olive oil. Refined coconut oil is 90% saturated fat. I can’t find an olive oil that has more than 20% saturated fat. Saturated fats tend to be highly stable while unsaturated fats can go rancid. In addition, if you’re going to use olive oil, it should be a “light” or “refined” olive oil. Virgin olive oils have simply been mechanically processed, and there’s more in there than just the oil, so you’ll end up with pulverized olive on and in your leather, and I’m fairly sure that can putrify, too.

    For leather, it’s best to stay with highly stable oils. Traditional shoe polish recipes generally involve wax or tallow…things that are heavy in saturated, stable fats.

  4. Jennie says:

    I’ve not tried this, but have heard that a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar & water applied with a rag works to get salt stains off leather…maybe do just test patch first?

  5. Clare says:

    Actually, coconut oil is much better for probably everything than olive oil. I don’t really know much about boots, but I know that coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils one can cook with, and it’s really good for your skin–even though it’s supposed to be comedogenic, some people have actually found that it helps with breakouts, and it’s a wonderful moisturizer.

  6. mary says:

    i have used olive oil to wash my face with for years, it is great to take off your make-up, and cocnut oil is a good mositurizer, but does nothing for my wrinkles. the vinager and water does work some what for getting off the
    salt on boots,i was looking for something to keep the salt from staying there in the first place.

  7. Angelo says:

    Hi,
    Thanks for your site regarding tips on taking care of your leather boots. I’ll have to try coconut oil on my Rocky leather hunting boots. (Health Friends told me to use it for cooking but if it has 90% saturated fat, then it’s a heart attack aching to manifest itself.) Down here in Tallahassee, FL, my boots were kind of stiff, so I put some refined olive oil and water on them lightly, it seems to help. You environmentalists crack me up. I love your faith in doing a good deed for humanity, e.g. the environment, but it’s too bad you’re not a Biblical Christian for then you would know about Rev. 20:1 “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…” God’s going to dump this place, if He created it, why not create a new one instead of trying to cleanup man’s dump. People try to better it, and we should, but environmentalists are killing themselves with depresion over the environment.(Al Gore) And you’re “no leather rule” is funny, since you have leatherstores.org ad on your site. Heh, heh… I suppose you’d rather wear synthetic boots and garments, which are horrible for our health (cancerous). Anyway, I’m a humble person and I’m sorry if I sound a little arrogant. P.S My cousin lives in Toronto and she has a newborn, I’ve been there and it’s a beautiful city.

    Fellow Conuc, down in Florida
    Angelo

    • CoconutLover says:

      It’s saturated fat but not like fat from French fries.. Coconut oil is known to raise your “good cholesterol” which in turn helps reduce the “bad cholesterol” :) don’t be afraid to use coconut oils. Though it is saturated, our body does good with it instead of bad! :)

  8. Hello MOTO says:

    im actually, waiting for it to dry up now on my emu’ss. :P
    i hope the salt and vinegar worksss, :].

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