A Guide to Cleaning Your Shoes

Unboxing a new pair of shoes is one of the best feelings. Every sneakerhead loves that smell of a fresh new pair of shoes. However, once you’ve taken them out of the box and started to wear them, it will be incredibly easy for them to quickly get dirty. They can get scuffed, stained, have liquids spilled on them, etc. So at some point, you may be wondering, “what is the best way to clean shoes?”

In this guide, we will go through the most popular types of shoes and give you suggestions for the best way to clean them.

How to Clean Sneakers

Sneakers are popular for a reason. They are usually comfortable, and they just look cool. But how can you keep them clean? Here are the steps you’ll need to take.

  1. Knock the soles together and use a toothbrush or other small brush to scrub off dirt.
  2. Gently wipe away any stains with a washcloth and laundry detergent that is mixed with lukewarm water. It’s important to find a detergent that won’t cause yellow discolorations due to toxins.
  3. Dip your washcloth into water that is warm, and use it to remove excess suds and soap. If needed, clean the outsoles or edges with a small brush like a toothbrush.
  4. Let them dry out at room temperature.
  5. If they still need to go through the washer, take out any laces and put them in a pillowcase before you put them in the washer. Do not put your shoes in the dryer, but let them dry naturally.

How to Clean Canvas Shoes

Canvas shoes are another type of shoe that’s extremely popular. They’re so comfortable, it’s easy to see how they can quickly become your go-to pair of shoes. But keeping them clean can sometimes feel overwhelming. Follow these steps:

  1. Get rid of any mud or dirt by scrubbing with an old toothbrush.
  2. Fill a nearby bucket or bowl with water that is warm and dish soap or liquid detergent. Dip your toothbrush into the solution and continue to scrub away any stains on your shoes.
  3. After your shoes have been cleaned thoroughly, you’ll want to use warm, clean water to rinse your shoes.
  4. Stuff your shoes with dry paper towels so they will retain their shape. Let them dry out. Keep them indoors because direct sunlight can warp them.

How to Clean Suede Shoes

A number of the most popular types of shoes have suede in them. Unlike canvas shoes and sneakers, you do NOT want to use water to clean suede at any point. Water can actually stain suede shoes. What you can do is follow the following steps:

  1. Get your old toothbrush and gently scrub any stains or dirt.
  2. To work out the deeper stains, start applying pressure with the brush.
  3. Use a suede polish kit or white eraser to get out tough stains.
  4. If stains are very difficult to get out, consider dipping a washcloth into rubbing alcohol or white vinegar and scrub your shoes with the washcloth.

How to Clean Faux-Suede Shoes

Suede is so popular that now faux-suede has even become popular. There are quite a few shoes that feature this material. But how do you clean them? Take the following steps:

  1. Use a suede brush to clean away any major stains or dirt from your shoes.
  2. Use a cloth that is slightly damp and a synthetic shoe cleaner or mild soap (like dish soap or hand soap) to clean any areas that have tough stains.
  3. Blot any stains with a dry, clean cloth.
  4. Allow your shoes to dry at room temperature.

How to Clean Leather Shoes

Leather shoes are incredibly common. When they are brand new, they look amazing. But how can you keep them looking brand new? It’s necessary to follow these steps when trying to clean your leather shoes:

  1. Take a paper towel and wet it with water. Squeeze out any excess water. Wipe the entire exterior of the shoe. This first step is just about an overview of the shoe, not scrubbing out tough stains.
  2. Let your shoes dry in room temperature.
  3. Scrub the shoe with your old toothbrush or a washcloth. Use a mixture of detergent or soap and water. You may have to scrub harder if the dirt is really stuck on there.
  4. Let your shoes dry once more in room temperature.

If you still need to clean your shoes further after following these steps (for any type of shoes), you may want to look into special shoe cleaning products like Wonder Balsam from Dr. Martens or Reshoevn8r products.

There are a ton of inexpensive products that will help you to remove stains and keep your shoes clean, no matter what material they are made out of.