A Basic Guide to Keep Your Shoes Clean

Caring for your shoes is part of the thrill of owning the coolest-looking ones. It’s important to know that different types of shoes must be cared for in different ways. Here’s a look at what it takes to care for various types of shoes.

Different Types of Shoes and How to Clean Them

Before you go on a cleaning spree, make sure to apply the proper cleaning solutions for specific shoe types. Here are five different types of shoes and how best to clean them:

  1. Fabric Shoes – These shoes may be in the form of strappy sandals, sneakers, pumps, or flats. Any type of fabric ends up getting dirty at some point. Fabric shoe surfaces are best cleaned by hand using warm soapy water. Scrubbing gently with a toothbrush will work fine. Then just dry the shoes with a paper towel.

  2. Leather Shoes – Whether it’s patent or faux leather, it is helpful to wipe off dirt with cool water mixed with distilled white vinegar. Then let the shoe air dry. Scuffs on genuine leather can be removed with an appropriate polish. Check the label to make sure the solution is safe for leather.

  3. Suede Shoes – The surface of suede shoes should be kept dry at all times. Cleaning is best done with a soft-bristled brush. If a substance spills on the shoe, try to remove it immediately. Use an eraser to remove marks and scuffs. Baby powder is useful for removing oily stains. For wet stains, simply blot the shoes with a towel to absorb the moisture.

  4. Wedge Shoes – Once you’ve cleaned the leather or other fabric on a wedge shoe, clean the sole with a mix of white vinegar and a small amount of dishwashing detergent. Carefully scrub small areas with a toothbrush. After the shoes are cleaned, wipe them with a damp cloth and rinse away the soap. Then let them air dry.

  5. Athletic Shoes – The best way to clean athletic shoes is to throw them in the washer with a strong household detergent like Tide. Make sure you remove the soles and laces, which should both be cleaned separately. Never put athletic shoes in a dryer. Just let them air dry.

Essential Tools for Shoe Care

One of the core fundamentals of taking care of your shoes is to own different sets of shoes that you can rotate. The more frequently you rotate shoes, the more you protect the durability of each. If you only wear one pair every day, the shoes will wear out faster, which may impact your budget over time. Owning at least two pairs of shoes can help keep your shoe budget under control and extend the life of each pair.

Letting your shoes air out every other day is another way to help extend their life, especially if you devote one pair to long walks. The most important tools to protect the longevity of your shoes include:

  • Microfiber Cloth – Apply the cloth gently to your shoe to clear away any marks. It’s best to remove dirt or scuff marks as they appear. Using a white cloth will help preserve the shoe’s color.
  • Soft-medium Bristle Brush – Brushing your shoes can help remove the dirt left behind by a cloth. The bristle strength of a brush determines how much pressure to apply. Be careful not to use too much force since this can damage the shoe. Using a toothbrush is often sufficient for this task.
  • Iron – Using a heated iron regularly will remove the wrinkles on your laces. An alternative method is to soak the laces in warm water with shoe cleaner. Be careful while using bleach since it can weaken the lace fibers.
  • Shoe Cleaner Solution – Use a high-end shoe cleaner to protect the shoe’s fabric. Mix the solution in warm water and apply it to your shoes with a brush.
  • Leather or Suede Protector – Leather or suede shoes need a special solution that can be applied overnight. Read the label to make sure the solution is specifically designed to protect leather or suede.
  • Washing Machine – As a last resort, throw your sneakers in the washing machine if you can’t find any appropriate shoe cleaners at the supermarket. Make sure you remove the laces and footbeds and put them in a separate wash bag.

Follow These Steps to Keep Your Shoes Clean

  1. Remove Dirt – Shake the shoes to remove loose dirt, then use a brush to remove stains on the surface. Be aware of the different types of brushes that have different functions. Hard brushes work well on rubber and leather, while soft brushes are required for delicate surfaces.

  2. Wipe Stains – Keeping wipes in your pocket comes handy whenever you need to quickly wipe away stains from your shoes. For the most difficult stains, try rubbing with a microfiber towel.

  3. Use Soap – An efficient way to clean some types of sneakers is to dip them in a container of hot water as you gradually add an appropriate shoe cleaner. Use a brush to gently scrub back and forth. Laces can be thrown in the washer or scrubbed by hand.

  4. Let Dry – Once you’ve removed the soap completely with a microfiber towel, give the shoes another scrub with soap and hot water if the dirt isn’t gone yet. Then let the shoe air dry.

  5. Weatherproof Your Shoes – A reliable way to protect sneakers from environmental elements is to coat them with a weatherproofing spray.

  6. Safely Store Your Sneakers – One of the most crucial ways to extend the life of your sneakers is to store them in a safe, clean place where they aren’t tossed around or stepped on.

Follow these cleaning guidelines to keep your shoes looking new.  At Fresh & Clean, we are your one-stop shop for all your laundry needs, whether it be laundry or dry cleaning. Visit our website or call us today at 619-691-7626 to learn how we can help you do your laundry and dry cleaning in no time.

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