Patent Leather in all its glory. Most of us have at least one or two good buys or ill-advised patent leather accessories lurking in the depths of our drawers and closets. Sure there’s the adage that, “There’s a time and place for patent leather, and that’s never and nowhere,” but if you’re in more of a waste-not-want-not frame of mind this season, thereby looking to maintain what you’ve got, PD has you covered.

First things first, what exactly is patent leather? Well, despite how many people mistake it for plastic, patent leather is actually leather. Really—come on, we leave lying to the political class.

Patent leather is made from fine grain leather which is then coated (originally called Japanning) with special resins (in the past linseed oil was used) to create its glossy finish.

Of course, it’s that glossy finish that collects fingerprints and scoffs like mad. The solution? A deep breath, clean cloth and a spritz of Windex.Windex: no longer for windows.

Definitely do not go overboard here (do you really want to tote around a bag that reeks of window cleaner?), but stick to just one quick spritz of Windex (if you are of a trusting nature, generic should be fine) and then gently wipe your item down with the cloth.

There you have it, clean patent leather accessories for you to toss and turn over whether or not to add them to your look.

You’re welcome.