This post comes from A dictionary of Every-day wants ©1872
BOOTS AND SHOES, Care of—Boots and shoes, if taken care of properly, will last two or three times longer than they usually do, and, at the same time, fit the feet far more satisfactorily, and keep them dry and more comfortable in wet and cold weather. The upper leather should be kept soft and pliable, while the soles need to be hard, tough, and impervious to water.
The first thing to be done with any pair of new shoes, is to set each one on a platter or a dinner-plate, and pour on boiled linseed-oil sufficient to fill the vessel to the upper edge of the soles. Allow the leather to absorb as much oil as it will for eight hours. Linseed oil should not be applied to the upper leather, as it will soon become dry, rendering the leather hard and tough. But if the soles be saturated with this oil, it will exclude the dampness and enlarge the pegs, so that the soles will never get loose from the upper leather.
If the shoes be sewed, the linseed oil will preserve the thread from rotting. Now wet the upper leather thoroughly when the boots or the shoes are to be put on the feet, so that those parts which are tight may render a trifle, and thus adapt the form of the shoe to the foot far more satisfactorily than when the upper leather is not wet. Keep them on the foot until nearly dry. Then give the upper leather a thorough greasing with equal parts of lard and tallow, or tallow and neat's foot oil.
If shoes be treated in this manner, and a row of round-headed shoe nails be driven around the edge of the soles, they will wear like copper, and always set easy to the feet. Boots and shoes should be treated as suggested, and worn a little several months before they are put to daily service. They should be cleaned frequently, whether they are worn or not. and should never be put to stand in a damp place, nor be put too near the fire to dry. In cleaning, be careful to brush the dirt from the seams, and not to scrape in with a knife, or you will cut the stitches. Let the hard brush do its work thoroughly well, and the polish will be all the brighter. Do not put on too much blacking at a time, for if it dries before using the shining brush the leather will look brown instead of black.
BOOTS AND SHOES, India Rubber, Water Proof for.—Spermaceti, 4 parts; India rubber (small), I part. Melt with a gentle heat, then add tallow or lard, 10 parts; amber or copal varnish, $ parts. Well mix and apply the composition to the leather with a paint-brush. Cut the rubber into very small pieces, and let it take its time to dissolve, say four or five hours.
BOOTS (White Jean) To Clean.—-If you have not boottrees, stuff the boot as full as possible with common cotton wadding or old rags, to prevent any creases; then mix some pipeclay with water to rather a stiff paste, wash the jean boots with soap and water and a nail-brush, using as little water as possible to get the dirt off. When they look tolerably clean rub the pipeclay with a flannel well over them and hang them to dry. When dry beat out the superfluous clay with the hand and rub them till they look smooth. Flake white may also be used.
BOOTS, KID, To Clean.—-If the kid boots are not very soiled they may be cleaned in the following manner:—Put half an ounce of hartshorn into a saucer, dip a bit of clean flannel in it and rub it on a piece of white card soap ; rub the boots with this, and as each piece of flannel becomes soiled, take a fresh piece; the boots will look like new.
BOOTS, KID, To Restore color of.—Take a small quantity of good black ink, mix it with the white of an egg, and apply it to the boots with a soft sponge.
BOOTS, KID, To Soften.—Melt a quarter of a pound of tallow, then pour it into ajar, and add to it the same weight of olive oil, stir, and let it standstill; apply a small quantity occasionally with a piece of flannel. Should the boots be very dirty, cleanse with warm water. It will soften any leather.
BOOTS, PEGGED, To Prevent Ripping.— Pegged boots, it is stated, if occasionally dressed with petroleum between the soles and the upper leather, will not rip. If the soles of boots or shoes are dressed with petroleum they will resist wet and wear well. The pegs, it is said, are not affected by dryness after being well saturated with this liquid.
BOOTS, (PATENT LEATHER), Care of. —The old plan of washing them with milk is simply absurd—a waste of time. If they crack, brush a little blacking into the cracks, and then rub them over with French polish, or common furniture polish, using the finger to lay on the polish, and a soft dry rag to finish off with. In lieu of furniture polish, a mixture of sweet oil and turpentine will answer. This treatment will preserve their bright polish until they are utterly worn out.
BOOT LEATHER, Preservation
BOOTS AND SHOES(Summcr) ToPreserve though the Winter.—Wash the blacking off; let them dry; then oil them with castor or neatsfoot oil. When you wear them they will be soft and pliable, and will last longer if preserved in this way. After you have worn them a few days they are ready for blacking.
BOOTS AND SHOES, (RUBBER), To Mend.—I. Get apiece of pure rubber—an old shoe—vulcanized rubber will not do; cut it into small bits. Put it into a bottle, and cover to twice its depth with spirits of turpentine or refined coal tar naphtha—not petroleum naphtha. Stop the bottle and set one side, shaking it frequently. The rubber will soon dissolve. Then take the shoe and press the rip or cut close together, and put on tlie rubber solution with a camel's hair brush. Continue to apply so fast as it dries until a thorough coating is formed. Spirits of turpentine dissolves the rubber slowest, but forms the most elastic cement.—2. Purchase a can of rubber cement, which can be found in large cities at rubber stores; also some rubber for patches, as new rubber is much better than old boots or shoes. To make the patches adhere, it is necessary to remove the cloth from them. To do this, moisten the cloth with benzine and remove immediately. Cut the patches the proper size to cover the hole in the boot. Make the boot around the hole rough, the size of the patch, with a wood or shoemakers file; apply the cement to the boot, and the patch with a case knife, and let them lie in a warm, dry room from thirty to sixty minutes; then put the patch on the boot, and press it down firmly. Be very particular about the edges of the patch. After it has been on a short time examine it again, to see that it has not started off; if it has, press it down again. Do not use the boot under forty-eight hours after the patch is put on. One fifty cent can of cement will last a family several years. Keep the cover on the can when not in use, as it dries up very quickly. If the cement becomes dry, cut it with benzine.
BOOTS,SQUEAKING,ToPrevent.—Squeaking boots or shoes are a great annoyance, especially in entering a sick room, or a church after the service has commenced. To remedy it, boil linseed oil and saturate the soles with the same.
BOOTS AND SHOES, (Soles of) To Make Waterproof.—Experience has proved that a coat of gum copal varnish applied to the soles of boots and shoes, and repeated as it dries, until the pores are filled and the surface shines like polished mahagony, will make the soles waterfiroof, and also cause them to last three times as ong as ordinary soles.
BOOTS AND SHOES, Water.pr oof-composition for.—Boiled oil 1 pint; oil of turpentine, black rosin, and bees' wax, of each 3 oz. Melt the wax and rosin, then stir in the oil, remove the pot from the fire, and when it has cooled a little, add the turpentine.