Buying tip - New Saphir shoe cleaners

The French shoe care company Saphir has in recent years released three new shoe cleaners, which fill various voids their premium Medaille d’Or range previously had. The most recent one is the strong Reno Cleaner, we have the gentle leather Cleanser, and the fully organic Plant Based Cleaner.


All shoes need to be cleaned regularly, it’s vital for their longevity. In what way they need to be cleaned vary a lot depending on type of leather, how the shoes have been used, what one need to remove from the shoes, and so on. That’s why all good shoe care brands offer a variety of cleaners, in the same way as various car care companies have lots of different types of cleaners for various areas of application.

Saphir is the leading brand in the world of fine shoe care, not least with their Medaille d’Or range. With a history dating back to 1925, they have been in the forefront of the shoe care industry for a long time. The company constantly develop their range, and in recent years they among other things have introduced several new cleaners with various properties. One of them is the allround Plant Based Cleaner, which is a fully organic product, which is very important for some people. It removes both dirt and old waxes, how efficiently one can regulate by the amount of product used and how many times one go over the shoes with it. The chemical nature of the plant-based solvent used takes longer to dry, it cleans effectively without drying out the leather

The Plant Based Cleaner.

The Plant Based Cleaner. Picture: Potter & Sons

Another relatively new product is the Cleanser, which is a very gentle leather cleaner suitable for regular use, when you need to remove surface dirt and which open the pores to make the smooth leather ready to receive the nourishing ingredients of the shoe cream when you polish the shoes. This is a favourite product of mine, since if you go over the shoes gently with the Cleanser you mostly get dirt off without doing much damage to the shine, so one can just polish the shoes as normal again and easily bring back the high shine one have worked to achieve. I was actually part of naming this, since when I visited their factory a while back (read a report from that here) they were in the process of developing it, I tried an early version and we talked about potential good names for it.

The Cleanser is a very gentle cleaning product from Saphir.

The Cleanser is a gentle cleaning product from Saphir.

Lastly, the most recently launched cleaner, is a finer Medaille d’Or version of their standard range product Reno’Mat, here it’s called Reno Cleaner. This is a stronger cleaner, which can remove stubborn stains but also is perfect when you need to strip the shoes of old creams and waxes. This is good to do maybe once a year or so, or less if it’s shoes one don’t wear that often and therefore don’t polish them that often. But eventually you do clog up the pores of the leather and new nourishing ingredients have a harder time to penetrate, with Reno Cleaner you can sort of restart from the beginning again with shoe cream and waxes, without needing to go to even harsher products like acetone.

Reno Cleaner is great to remove old shoe cream and wax polish. Picture:

Reno Cleaner is great to remove old shoe cream and wax polish. Picture: Saphir