omairp

Super Member
I went into a shoe store looking for conditioner for dress shoes, the tailor gave me mink oil. I applied it to one shoe and wiped it off, now it won't take a shine anymore! How do I strip it off? What do I do???
 

J.Marko

Senior Member
If you are not going to take them to someone, you could try waiting a while to see if the oil is absorbed by the shoe and try to polish them again. If that doesn't work, packing the shoe with fuller's earth could suck the oil out.

What kind of shoe is it? Do you know if it is chrome tan or vegetable tanned? Smooth (grain) or sueded? Did it change color, or is polish just not sticking?
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
I went into a shoe store looking for conditioner for dress shoes, the tailor gave me mink oil. I applied it to one shoe and wiped it off, now it won't take a shine anymore! How do I strip it off? What do I do???
I must ask, what is a tailor doing in a shoe store?

I once did the same thing about 25 years ago. I cleaned the affected shoe about three times with saddle soap. It improved substantially, but frankly never looked the same again.

If you decide to try this, I would suggest Meltonian. Use a smooth damp cloth, lather a bit of saddle soap on it, and wash the shoe with it. Don't scrub. Let it dry, buff it to the extent possible with a horse hair brush. Then repeat twice more. After that you can try shining it with shoe creme. Shoe cremes penetrate leather better than paste wax.

The reason it won't shine is that mink oil seals the leather so the polish won't hold.

Hope this might be helpful if you wish to attempt a do-it-yourself approach. But I am very sorry that you may not be able to restore the shoe to the original appearance.
 

J.Marko

Senior Member
In theory pure mink oil shouldn't harm the shoe, but you probably have mink oil compound that includes silicone to waterproof the shoe and that is what is keeping your polish from sticking. I agree with the saddle soap suggestion. Also, try using a cream polish, that might stick better. Don't skimp on the polish.
 

omairp

Super Member
UPDATE: Reading some of the more pessimistic responses here, I almost had a heart attack at the thought of lose my best pair of Canali dress shoes over $9 jar of mink oil. :icon_pale:

I went back to the cobbler and insisted he find a way to undo it.After a bit of bickering, he pulled out some acetone and wiped it down which broke down the mink oil pretty well, although the leather still felt a little oily when I left the store.

I went home, wiped off the excess polish/oil with a damp rag, dried it, and doused it in talcum powder and massaged it in with my bare hands. After letting it sit for about 15 minutes, I brushed the talcum off, washed off the remaining residue, polished it again and it's good as new!

I only applied the mink oil to one shoe, since i wanted to see the before/after results. Now when I put the two polished shoes side by side, they both look terrific! :icon_smile:

I must ask, what is a tailor doing in a shoe store?
I meant cobbler, I guess I was so livid and panicky when I posted this, I used the wrong word.
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
UPDATE: Reading some of the more pessimistic responses here, I almost had a heart attack at the thought of lose my best pair of Canali dress shoes over $9 jar of mink oil. :icon_pale:

I went back to the cobbler and insisted he find a way to undo it.After a bit of bickering, he pulled out some acetone and wiped it down which broke down the mink oil pretty well, although the leather still felt a little oily when I left the store.

I went home, wiped off the excess polish/oil with a damp rag, dried it, and doused it in talcum powder and massaged it in with my bare hands. After letting it sit for about 15 minutes, I brushed the talcum off, washed off the remaining residue, polished it again and it's good as new!

I only applied the mink oil to one shoe, since i wanted to see the before/after results. Now when I put the two polished shoes side by side, they both look terrific! :icon_smile:



I meant cobbler, I guess I was so livid and panicky when I posted this, I used the wrong word.
Delighted it all worked out! :icon_smile_big:

I would use the acetone sparingly, however. Though I doubt you'll ever have need of it again. Mink oil is compounded of oil/grease that saturates the leather and fills the pores making it almost waterproof, and pretty much also polish proof. Best reserved for work boots, hunting boots and the like.
 
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