Recipe For Blacking

2 ozs. of ivory black, 4 ozs. of treacle, 1/2 oz. of sweet oil, 1/2 oz. oil of vitriol, and 1/2 pint sour beer. Add the treacle to the ivory black, stir, and add half of the beer, to which add, when well mixed, the vitriol and oil, gradually, with the remainder of the beer. The treacle and vitriol preserve the leather.

Method Of Cleaning Leather Boots

1. If very wet and muddy, they should be wiped with a damp flannel when removed from the feet.

2. Dry thoroughly in a warm kitchen away from the fire.

3. Brush off all dirt.

4. Apply a small quantity of blacking.

5. Brush at once with a soft brush.

6. Polish with a second brush.


If boots, when wet, are placed too near a fire they shrink, become hard, and are never comfortable again. They should be turned on their sides while drying, and, unless trees are available, should be stuffed with paper to retain the proper shape.

All dirt must be removed before the blacking is applied, or the boots will become grey.


A knife or sharp metal instrument should never be used to remove the mud, as in this way the stitches are often cut.


The brush should travel lightly in long, regular sweeps from end to end, without force or pressure. Always clean the waist, that is the portion of the sole between the heel and the instep.


The leather in a new boot is more open, porous, and greasy than at a later stage. It will not readily shine until the surface is filled and the grease subdued. It may be slightly damped, then rubbed with a bone before applying the blacking. The bone used is preferably from a deer's leg, but any kind with a smooth surface answers the same purpose.

Patent Leather

Dust thoroughly, then rub with a cloth dipped in white of egg and polish with a soft duster or chamois leather; or it may be rubbed over with a damp sponge, and then polished with a very small quantity of vaseline after it is dry. This method keeps boots soft and bright, and prevents cracking. Patent leather cannot be guaranteed; the best brand is the "Summer-dried." Varnishes which dry quickly, and leave a substantial deposit, are not to be recommended, though they may be useful as a last resource for old boots.

Glace Kid

Should be rubbed over with an old rag dipped in a little milk, and polished with an old soft duster; or boot cream may be applied in the same way. A brush should never be used, as it would scratch the kid.

SPIRIT BLACKING, sold in bottles with a sponge attached, often contain ingredients of a most destructive character, such as strong acids.

White Kid

Clean with benzine rubbed on with a flannel, being careful not to leave streaks. Put in the open air to remove the smell of the benzine, and then polish with boot cream.

Recipe For Boot Cream

1 oz. crushed white wax (3d. per oz.), 1/2 oz. powdered castile soap ( 1/2d. per oz.), and 4 tablespoonsful of turpentine. Pour the turpentine over the crushed wax and soap, leave for twenty-four hours, then add gradually sufficient boiling water to make it of the consistency of cream. Cork in wide-mouthed bottles. When a black mixture is preferred, add lamp black to the above ingredients until a good black is produced.

Creaking Boots

Soak the soles in salt and water, and leave them overnight in linseed oil. If not successful, hammer three or four sprigs through the outside sole.

To Preserve Boots Watertight In Snow

Rub the crevice between sole and upper with "dubbing," and apply a little linseed or castor oil to the sole and the upper part.

Waterproof Mixture

1 pint drying oil, 2 ozs. turpentine, 2 ozs. yellow wax, and 1 oz. of Burgundy pitch. Shred the wax and pitch, dissolve in the turpentine, lastly add the oil, and mix thoroughly.