Hi there–I hope you enjoyed your weekend! Friday we attended my very favorite church rummage sale that my dear friend Nancy introduced to me two years ago. Sadly, she couldn’t make it this year. So my sweet husband acted as my buyer/transport service. I’d fill a box and he’d take it to the checkout area, pay, and deliver it to the van. Yes, I do know how lucky I am. I bought so much, I think I found one of EVERYTHING. Except for skates, that is, the topic of today’s post: how to clean & care for vintage skates.
But that’s fine because I have an entire box full that I picked up recently at a different church sale for just two dollars, so I have my work cut out for me. But really, finding them now is the right time for planning my own Christmas decorating and for making them available for sale in my shop. Here are some other posts about caring for vintage and antiques that you might enjoy: old bottles, vintage luggage, and rusty metal.
Sometimes when you find skates at sales, they just need a light wipe down. Other times, they need a more refined approach in order to remove the dirt, grime, and scuffs. That was the case with the pair you see here. These leather beauties cost just $2 but are obviously in need of a little TLC.
*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links for products I use and love. If you use my links to buy these–or any other–products, I’ll receive a commission that helps keep my blog going. Thanks in advance!
Supplies for Cleaning Vintage Skates
Here are the basic supplies you’ll need to clean vintage skates:
1) LA’s Totally Awesome spray cleanser
2) Quick Erasers (or Mr. Clean Magic Erasers)
3) SAS Soft Leather Cream (white)
4) Sponge with a scrubby side (not shown)
Clean with Awesome & Scrubby Sponge
The first step in the cleaning process involves spraying the skate lightly with LA’s Totally Awesome spray cleanser (find it in your dollar store or here in my Amazon shop) and scrubbing it with a sponge that has a scrubby side. It will remove some of the surface dirt, but as you can see, it’s still pretty dirty.
Shout-out to Kathy A., a reader who introduced me to this fabulous product (Awesome). She told me that you can spray it on dirt and grime and watch it slide right off, and she didn’t steer me wrong! Bonus Tip: I just discovered that it removes hard water deposits off of Corian® sinks (you know, around and behind the faucets).
Clean with Quick Eraser & Apply White Wax
Next use the dollar store Quick Eraser (or Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser), spritzed with some Awesome, to remove the last of the grime and scuff marks. Don’t be afraid to rub those marks aggressively and plan on using up one eraser completely. After letting the skates dry, I applied a light coat of SAS Leather Wax in white to give it some protection from the elements and to whiten the leather and the stitching up a bit. Buff after allowing the wax to dry for ten minutes or so.
Before & After Cleaning Vintage Skates
Pretty amazing results, right? It took me a total of about ten minutes to clean both skates and another ten to wax and buff them. I sell pairs of skates easily for $25, so it is well worth the effort to clean them up before hand.
Decorating with Vintage Skates
I’ll be cleaning another five pair of vintage skates, including one pair of men’s, which also sell well, to bring to my shop at the Gristmill Antique Center in Troy (NY) and to sell at the Shaker Christmas Craft Fair which starts at the end of October. I better get busy!
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