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How to Clean And Care For Shoes at Home

Step into the best tips to keep your shoes looking snazzy


How to Clean And Care For Shoes at Home: Guide

Clean And Care For Your Shoes at Home

We all want to look our best from head to toe. But what do you do when your favorite pair of shoes start to look and smell a little funny? Don't despair. Cleaning shoes doesn't have to be a challenge. Regardless of the material, all your shoes deserve a little care and attention to keep them looking snappy. Taking care of shoes extends their lifespan and keeps their soles happy. Follow our helpful guide on how to take care of your shoes, and you will always be steps ahead.

What to Use When Cleaning Shoes?

To effectively clean all types of shoes, you will need:

  1. A soft brush or an old toothbrush

  2. A mild detergent, such as Sunlight dishwashing liquid or Handy Andy

  3. A soft cloth

  4. Vinegar

  5. Warm water

  6. Bicarbonate of soda

How to Clean Shoes?

Before attempting to clean them, examine your shoes for any washing or cleaning instructions. Then separate them by their material, such as leather and suede. Lastly, before washing shoes, remove any laces and tap them together to remove any loose dirt. Consider sprinkling some bicarbonate of soda in the shoe the night before a wash to get rid of any odours.

Now that you're ready to clean, follow the tips below on how to clean different types of shoes:

The Poll

How do you choose your cleaning products?

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  • Fabric, canvas, and mesh - clean the surfaces by hand, using Sunlight Dishwashing Liquid, warm water, and a toothbrush.

  • White sneakers – if your shoe has a stain, dip a clean cloth into a solution of equal parts white vinegar, Sunlight Dishwashing Liquid, or Handy Andy Cream, and water and gently rub onto the stain. Otherwise, you can toss them in the washing machine on a cold delicate cycle.

  • Climbing shoes – you should never wash climbing shoes in a washing machine because the soles can get damaged. Instead, hand wash them in lukewarm water, using a mild detergent and a toothbrush. Once they're clean, air-dry until completely dry before storing.

  • Leather – you can clean leather shoes with a brush to get rid of dust and dirt. For stubborn dirt, use a damp cloth. Afterwards, polish them with a matching colour polish and shine with a soft cloth.

  • Suede – suede is softer and more delicate than leather and needs a different type of care. For details on how to take care of your suede footwear, read our article on how to clean suede shoes and boots.

  • Patent leather and synthetic – wipe them down with a soft cloth and a solution of Sunlight Dishwashing Liquid and water. To remove scuff marks, wipe with a cloth dipped in olive oil or rub with Vaseline.

  • Athletic – you can toss most athletic shoes into your washing machine every few months. Be sure to remove the laces and wash them separately. We'd recommend inside a pillowcase or pouch to avoid tangling. For the insoles, remove them beforehand and wipe them down with a solution of equal parts bicarb and warm water instead. Always air-dry the shoes and the insoles.

  • Slip-slops and slippers – just toss these into the washing machine on a cold-water cycle.

Best Ways of Caring for Shoes

Caring for your shoes regularly promotes the longevity of your shoes. To achieve this, here’s what you can do:

  • Consider having shoe polish, a shoe brush, and a soft cloth on hand for daily shoe care. And shoe wipes and leather lotion too. You should polish or wipe your shoes clean after wear, before storing.

  • Be sure to only wash shoes when necessary.

  • Air-dry shoes that collect sweat to prevent bacterial growth and to get rid of smells. Similarly, you want to avoid drying your shoes in the dryer. Always allow them to air dry.

  • Frequently, sprinkle bicarb on the insoles to prevent bacterial growth. Just pour it out before you wear them.

  • And lastly, keep your shoes away from dust, moisture, and direct sunlight.

Why Is It Important to Clean/Wash Your Shoes?

It’s important to know how to clean and care for your shoes properly, especially if you want to be sole mates for as long as possible. Remember different shoes need different care. To learn more, check out our article on how to clean white shoes.

Originally published