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How To Clean My Shoes? Top Tips For Fresh Looking Shoes

Unfortunately, there is just no way around getting your shoes dirty. No matter how much you try to keep them clean, walking around puddles or checking the weather forecast before leaving the house. Somehow, someway, they won’t stay clean.

While cleaning your footwear seems like a simple enough task, there are a few factors to consider. For instance, what type of material are your shoes made of, what cleaning product to use, and how you should apply the product. To help you figure this all out, we’ve put together this helpful guide. So, follow these handy tips to have your shoes looking box fresh once again.

  • Know Your Material Before You Start 
  • What You Will Need
  • Leather
  • Suede
  • Sheepskin Boots
  • Canvas Shoes
  • Running Shoes
  • White Sneakers
  • Don’t Forget The Laces

Know Your Material Before Your Start 

When thinking about how to clean your footwear, the crucial factor to keep in mind is what material they are made from. Cleaning leather is an entirely different operation than cleaning suede. Likewise, techniques for cleaning canvas footwear can vary from cleaning sheepskin boots. 

So, before you start cleaning your beloved new boots, make sure you know if they are leather or suede. Similarly, make sure you know the difference between your canvas’ and your running shoes. Having this knowledge will allow you the best possible chance of restoring your footwear to their former glory.

What You Will Need

Before you start the cleaning process, there are a few things you should have available before starting. A dry brush is useful for almost all types of shoes. If you don’t have access to an actual soft-bristled shoe brush, don’t fear. An old toothbrush should do the trick just fine. But, when cleaning suede, we would advise using a suede brush, as this material is more delicate than others. 

Also, access to some laundry detergent and vinegar will prove helpful depending on what type of material you are cleaning. 

Leather Shoes

Leather shoes are an essential part of most peoples work attire. Consequently, keeping them clean is necessary for people hoping to look smart at work. 

When cleaning leather, start by removing any debris by wiping a solution of equal parts water and vinegar over the affected area. Once the leather is dry, rub with a soft cloth. Likewise, when trying to remove scuffs, use a wet cloth dipped in baking soda. After this, wipe your shoes off, then buff them again once they’ve dried. 

Suede Shoes 

Cleaning suede often strikes fear into most peoples hearts. But, try not to panic, there is an art to cleaning suede, that can leave you with fantastic results. 

Start by finding a nailbrush or suede brush. Once you have one of these, work in one direction to gently buff away stains. Now you have removed the surface dirt from the suede, start adding pressure, going back and forth with the brush to work at the harder to remove stains. For the extremely stubborn stains, use a white washcloth to rub either white vinegar or rubbing alcohol onto the affected area. Don’t worry this won’t leave a watermark, but it will give your suede a new lease of life. 

Sheepskin Boots

Sheepskin is a material similar to suede, which means extra care is needed when dealing with it. Like with suede, use a nailbrush or scrub brush, to gently wipe off any dirt at the surface of the boots. After that, wipe the outside of the boot with a damp cloth. Make sure it is not too wet, as you could ruin the material. Next, using a mixture of equal part’s cold water and vinegar, gently rub the areas that need spot cleaning. Finally, finish by wiping the mixture off with a damp cloth and leave to dry.  

Canvas Shoes

People often use canvas shoes for playing sport or in their everyday activities. Because of this, they require cleaning more regularly than the other types of shoes already mentioned in this guide. 

Start cleaning by wiping dirt off the canvas shoes with a clean toothbrush. Next, make a paste of equal parts baking soda and water. Administer this paste onto the soles of the canvas trainers using the toothbrush to remove any unwanted dirt. Finally, run the gentle cycle on your washing machine with cold water, adding roughly half the amount of detergent you would usually use and toss in your shoes. Make sure you leave them out to dry, using the dryer could shrink your shoes and no one wants that! 

Running Shoes

Running shoes bring there own unique issues when it comes to cleaning. One of the major ones being the smell from the sweat produced when using them for sport. 

Start with removing loose dirt off with a toothbrush, then clean the brush after. Once the brush is clean, dip it into a teaspoon of laundry detergent mixed with a cup of water. Now use the brush on the fabric, mesh and rubber areas of the shoe. After this, use a wet sponge to wipe off the excess solution. Lastly, leave outside to dry in the fresh air to remove any unwanted odour picked up on your runs. 

White Trainers

White trainers are often the ones we want to preserve the most. Nothing compares to the look of a fresh white pair of trainers but keeping them that colour is often an uphill battle. 

To try and restore that pearly white colour your trainers was when you first purchased them, start with applying a small amount of nail polish remover to a cotton ball. Then use it to wipe away any stains you see on the white shoes. However, if the stains persist and you feel the need to resort to bleach, make sure you dilute it first, you don’t want to end up with discoloured shoes. Use a toothbrush to scrub the trainers with a solution of one part bleach to five parts water. Finish off by rinsing with warm water. 

Don’t Forget The Laces

Keeping your shoelaces clean is an imperative aspect of maintaining that fresh out of the box look. Often people will clean the exterior of their shoe but neglect their shoelaces, leaving them with an unflattering contrast of clean and dirty.

To start with, remove the laces from the shoes, this will make cleaning the laces easier for yourself. Next, use a toothbrush to loosen any dried dirt or grime, this should come off with relative ease. After this, you can start mixing a solution of 3 tablespoons of bleach to 1 gallon of water in a sink or basin. Once the solution is ready, place the laces in a small mesh laundry bag and soak in the cleaning solution for several minutes. Be sure to wear gloves as you don’t want the bleach to irritate the skin. Finally, place the laces in the washing machine, then launder with detergent and a 1/2 cup of bleach. You can then hang the laces outside to air dry for fresh, clean laces.

If you are having a bad case of laundrophobia and don’t want to clean your shoes, we are here to help. Laundryheap offers a same-day laundry & dry cleaning collection with free next-day delivery. 

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How To Clean Suede Shoes

Cleaning suede shoes uses almost the same methods as cleaning suede clothing. It’s essential to clean suede shoes properly if you want to keep them from discolouration and permanent marks.

How To Clean Suede Shoes

  • Scuffed edges: Use a suede brush in a vigorous back and forth motion ONLY on the scuffed area, avoiding the undamaged suede areas.
  • Stubborn dry marks: Use a white pencil eraser to remove dry marks and even scuff marks that won’t brush out. Apply light pressure first and increase pressure if marks are too tough.
  • Water stains: Water stains when dry can cause discolouration to the shoe but water applied properly can help remove them. Use a damp sponge or cloth and gently dab it onto the stain. Then, use a brush to brush it out. Repeat the process if necessary but let it dry before adding more water.
  • Mud stains: For fresh mud stains, gently dab or wipe away the excess mud and let it dry before cleaning. Once the mud is dry, use a brush to remove the remaining dirt. 
  • Oil/grease stains: Blot out excess liquid and sprinkle baking soda or cornflour to the stained area. Let it to sit for a few hours until fully absorbed and brush it off.
  • Stubborn stains: Apply a mixture of white vinegar and water to the stain with a soft towel or cloth and gently dab/ wipe away the stain. Let it dry and then brush it out.

If you want to invest in a proper cleaning kit for your suede shoes, you can purchase a suede care kit that can include a mixture of the following: suede shampoo, eraser, protector spray and shoe brush. Alternatively, you can take your shoes to get professionally cleaned by a cobbler.

Laundryheap can’t clean your suede shoes for you, but we are more than happy to take care of any suede garments that you need professionally cleaned.


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10 Ways To Remove Bad Odour From Shoes

Smelly shoes are really unpleasant and can be totally embarrassing when exposed to others around you.

Here are 10 Ways To Remove Bad Odour From Shoes:

  1. Baking Soda: This is a natural deodoriser and is great at absorbing bad odour. Simply sprinkle some baking soda inside your shoes, leave it overnight and remove the powder the following day. Alternatively, you can put two tablespoons of baking soda into a piece of fabric like a coffee filter, socks and even stockings; tie it and place it in your shoe overnight.
  2. Citrus Peels: Place fresh citrus peels, like lemon, lime or orange peels, into your shoes and leave them in overnight. This will help give it fresh scent.
  3. Essential Oils: Add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice, into your shoe for a refreshing smell. Alternatively, you can add a few drops to cotton balls or tissues and leave them in your shoe overnight.
  4. Rubbing Alcohol: Pour or spray rubbing alcohol inside of your shoes. Rubbing alcohol is a natural antiseptic that will disinfect and will help dry out the odour.
  5. Water and Vinegar: Add a mixture of water and white distilled vinegar of equal ratio into a spray bottle, and spray the mixture a few times into your shoe. Let it air dry for 30 mins before use. You can also choose to speed up the drying process with a blow dryer if necessary.
  6. A Bar Of Soap: If you have a few spare soap bars, use them to get rid of the shoe odour. Place a bar of soap inside each stinky shoe for a few hours or overnight and it will absorb the odour, leaving a fresh clean scent behind.
  7. Fabric Softener Sheets: Tuck in a few of these sheets inside your shoes (scrunch them up too if you wish) and leave it overnight to neutralise the odour. 
  8. The Heat: If your smelly shoe problem is due to excessive moisture, leave them to dry out in the sun or on a heater. This will help prevent bacterial growth that causes the odour.
  9. Freeze them: Seal your shoes in a Ziploc bag or an ordinary plastic bag and place them in the freezer overnight. Then, thaw them in the sun the following morning. This method is meant to kill the bacteria that produces the odour.
  10. Cat litter: Unusual as it may sound, cat litter is infused with deodoriser and works well to absorb moisture. Seal a few tablespoons of cat litter (unused, ofcourse!) into socks or stockings and place them in your shoes overnight.

Unfortunately, we at Laundryheap can’t clean your shoes nor can we take the odour out of them either, but you can count on us to clean your clothes, and home & bedding items! 


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How To Clean White Shoes

Whether it’s your classic white chucks or a pair of white Vans, it’s difficult to maintain the pristine condition of your white shoes once they’re taken out of the box.

Fortunately, there are a few simple yet effective ways to clean white shoes.

How To Clean White Shoes

Although some shoes are machine washable, it’s better to hand wash them yourself as you have more control over how much water and agitation is applied.

So before you commence cleaning, make sure to have these items prepared:

  • An old toothbrush
  • A small mixing bowl 
  • Cloth/ towel
  • Newspaper

and choose any of the following methods that works for your dirty shoes.

  • Baking Soda & Vinegar
  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda and vinegar into a bowl of lukewarm water to create a paste.
  2. Use an old toothbrush to apply the mixture onto your shoes and brush in circular motion.
  3. Clap shoes together to remove dried paste and remove excess paste residue with a cloth.
  4. Stuff shoes with newspaper to keep it’s shape and let completely dry in the sun.
  • Baking Soda & Laundry Detergent 
  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1.5 tablespoon of detergent into warm water to create paste.
  2. Brush paste with toothbrush and let it sit before rinsing.
  3. Rinse shoes, stuff with newspaper and let dry in the sun.
  • Toothpaste 
  1. Apply toothpaste on toothbrush and scrub all over your dirty shoes and let it sit for 10 mins.
  2. Rinse off shoes, take a damp towel to remove excess toothpaste and pat dry to remove excess water.
  • Laundry Detergent 
  1. Mix a small amount of laundry detergent in a bucket or basin full of warm water to create a soapy, not frothy, consistency.
  2. Soak shoes in bucket for a few minutes and then begin to clean shoes with a toothbrush in circular motions.
  3. Rinse residue off shoes and use an old towel to remove excess water.
  4. Stuff shoes with newspaper and let shoes dry in the sun.

Remember:

  • Always take off shoe laces before cleaning shoes
  • Don’t put your shoes in the dryer as it will ruin the canvas.
  • Always fill you shoes with newspaper/paper when leaving it to dry to keep it’s shape.

If you clean your white shoes a different way, let us know how by leaving a comment. 🙂