How to Clean Your Shoes

Last update: 1 year ago

How to clean your favourite pair of shoes.
Ukrit Theengarm /

If you’re looking for the easiest, fastest and most appropriate way to clean shoes, you’ve come to the right place! Find below the type of shoes you want to clean and follow the instructions to make them look like new!

How to clean leather shoes

Cleaning leather shoes is not as hard as you think! Both the genuine leather part of your shoe and the rubber sole can get dirty. Here we have solutions for both!

Start by adding some dish soap and some water to a bowl and stir it up. After that, dip a soft cloth into the mixture, start rubbing it onto your shoe in a circular motion, and then wipe it clean.

Make a bit of sole paste with baking soda and dish soap, and loosen the dirt with some water to clean your soles. Mix it all, and then use a toothbrush to apply it to the sole. When you’re done, rinse it off with a clean, soft cloth and allow your shoes to air dry.

Some tips to help you with cleaning your shoes:

  • Don’t put your leather shoes to dry in the sun.
  • To clean winter salt stains use a clothed dipped in equal parts water and distilled white vinegar.
  • Don’t forget to clean the shoelaces. Mix equal parts of dish soap and baking soda and soak them in for 5 minutes. Use a brush to scrub them and rinse in water.
Polish and shine: If you want to get extra bonus points you can get some shoe polish. It’s pretty easy to come by. Just make sure it matches your leather. Just buff it on with a dry cloth and then when that’s done, you can use a shoe brush and brush the leather well.

How to clean patent leather shoes

Patent leather is regular leather, but at the end of production, they put a high gloss finish to add some shine to it.

Patent leather tends to scuff easily. To remove unsightly marks, it’s best to use petroleum jelly. Put some of it on a cotton bud and rub it onto the spot. Soon you’ll see the mark disappear.

To restore their previous shine, all you need is some glass cleaner. Spray it on a soft cloth and rub it gently on your patent leather shoes.

How to clean suede shoes

Suede is an excellent material for boots, jackets and belts. However, men are afraid to wear this great material because they aren’t sure how to take care of it. The best way to keep suede clean and looking great is to brush it after heavy use. There are three tools you can use to clean and brush your suede.

The first tool is a suede wire brush. You use this tool for very short suede. The bristles are very effective at getting deep into the fibres to clean out dirt and dust. Use quick light strokes, but be careful not to push too hard, or you could damage the suede.

The crepe brush is another great tool, and it’s softer than a wire bristle brush. It doesn’t clean quite as deep, but, according to experts in the cleaning business, it’s gentler on the suede and is less likely to cause damage.

Finally, you have the eraser block, which works very well at removing marks and stains. Like the crepe brush, the suede block won’t damage the suede if you get a bit rough with it. You can also use a standard pencil eraser.

Tip: When you’re cleaning or removing stains, you can brush back and forth when working on a tough spot of dirt or scuff. But, to finish, go in one direction so the nap is laying in the same direction across the whole shoe.

For tough stains, use a little white vinegar on a cloth and blot carefully over the stain rather than rub.

For liquid stains, dap the liquid with a paper towel to remove as much of it as possible. After that, apply cornstarch or talcum powder. Let it sit overnight, then use the suede brush to remove the dried powder.

Important: Never brush a wet stain!

How to clean sneakers

We all know that if you own a pair of sneakers, you will inevitably have to clean them. So here is the best way to do it:

Start by preparing a solution of toothpaste, dish soap and baking soda. Add the toothpaste to a small bowl, then add a cup of baking soda, a tablespoon of dish soap and a cup of water. Mix it until you have a liquid, somewhat bubbly solution.

Remove the laces to make the cleaning process easier. Also, remove the insoles if they’re removable. After that, use a toothbrush to apply the solution all over the sneakers. It’s going to foam up just a bit, which means it’s working. You don’t need to scrub too hard, especially if you’re using a new toothbrush.

Tip: Don’t waste a new toothbrush. Older ones are actually better because they’re softer and they won’t damage your sneakers.

After you’ve applied the solution all over the sneakers, wash them thoroughly with warm water. To achieve the best results, repeat the whole process. What’s going to make your sneakers nice and white is the second layer of the product.

Tip: Make sure you wash all of the solution off. Rinse your sneakers well. Otherwise, you may find stains on your sneakers when they dry off.

To dry the sneakers, place them on a wall and let them dry. Avoid direct sunlight because it may damage the colour and the fabric.

How to clean the shoelaces and the insoles:

Fill a bucket with warm water. Mix equal parts of dish soap and baking soda and soak them in for 5 minutes. Use a brush to scrub them and remove dirt and stains. (For the shoelaces, you can use a toothbrush.) Rinse them well. Put them on a dry cloth to dry overnight.

How to clean canvas shoes

Many people tend to wash their canvas shoes in the machine. However, this contains many risks. So, better apply some elbow grease but make sure you won’t destroy your shoes. To clean canvas shoes like a competent cleaner, all you need is:

  • Bucket
  • Warm water
  • Laundry detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Scrub brush
  • Towel
  • Paper towels

Start by using the scrub brush to remove any dirt and debris. You can also use an old toothbrush. Be gentle. You want to loosen the dirt, not damage your shoes. After that, remove the laces. If they are too outworn, you should consider replacing them.

The second step is to fill a bucket with warm water and add a few drops of the detergent to it. Mix it up nicely. Dip your brush into the soapy water and start scrubbing the outside of your shoes in small circular motions.

If the soles have tough stains, make baking soda paste by using equal parts of baking soda and water and use a toothbrush to scrub them. Use water to rinse the shoes off gently, but try not to get the interior of the shoe wet.

Finally, ball up some paper towels and put them inside the shoes to help them maintain their shape until they dry. Plus, it speeds up the drying process.

Tip: Don’t put your shoes in the dryer. The heat can break down the glue that holds the shoe together. Let them air dry.

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