Best way to clean your shoes

If your shoes are dirty, but you want to find out whats the right way to clean them? Then you came to the right place. This article will go the proper way to dry your shoes, and how to properly clean them. If your shoes are just dirty, click here to jump to the relevant section.

Wet shoes?

If your shoes are completely wet, from running in wet conditions or walking through a big puddle, follow these steps and make sure you take care of your shoes properly to maintain its longevity.

Make sure to dry your shoes straight away, DO NOT put them in a washing machine to spin dry, this will cause the glue and stitches from your shoes to come undone.

The best way to dry your shoes is to first remove your shoelaces, and place them in your delicate bags for your next wash. If your shoelaces cannot be removed because the shoelaces are frayed or they are missing the end caps (called aglets), then you may want to look into new shoelaces.

The second thing you want to remove from your wet shoes are the interior shoe soles, when you remove the insoles, sandwich them between newspaper until they are relatively dry and then leave them in an open place to let them air dry. Sometimes you are not able to remove the shoe insoles, as they maybe glued to the shoe, if that is the case leave them be and continue with the next steps of drying your shoes.

After removing the shoelaces, and shoe insoles, then you want to start stuffing newspaper into your shoes, the newspaper will absorb water from your shoes. You can use a piece of cloth, old t-shirt or a towel and wipe the exterior of your shoes removing any mud or dirt.

Constantly replace the newspaper until dried, make sure to leave it in a well ventilated and shady place. To speed up the drying process, use a portable fan and blast air at it, this will cause the water to evaporate.

How to clean your shoes

There are different type of shoes, and they are made from different materials, so they will need to be cleaned slightly differently.


Use a toothbrush and lightly brush off any loose dirt. Once done clean your toothbrush under water. Then create a mixture of 1 teaspoon laundry detergent with a cup of water. Dip your toothbrush into your cleaning solution and work around your shoe, be sure to avoid leather or foam areas. With the leather areas, use a 1 to 1 mix of water and vinegar to clean. You can take off your shoelaces and pop them into your delicate bag when doing laundry. Allow your shoes to air dry at room temperature.

Leather shoes

Use a small cloth and have a small batch of 1 to 1 ratio of water and white vinegar, and go over dirt and stains on your shoes. Let you shoes dry, then use wet cloth with baking soda to buff scuffs from your shoes. Use a soft cloth to rub your shoe to dry. Then apply your favourite shoe wax to protect the outside layer of your shoe, and to restore its shine.

PU leather shoes

If you have shoes with scuff marks, rub some petroleum jelly like Vaseline into the scuff using a cotton tip. If they need a little shining, use a little windex to restore its sheen.

Suede shoes

Use a small brush, like a nailbrush or a toothbrush and work in one direction to gently buff stains away. Once you have remove the dirt off, add a little pressure and work at the deep stains. If the stain is really stubborn, use a cloth and white vinegar or rubbing alcohol to clean the spot.

Canvas shoes

Wipe of any dirt off your shoes using a small cloth. Progress with your cleaning by using a toothbrush to get more excess dirt off your shoes. Then create a paste made from equal parts baking soda and water, work on the stained or dirty spot. Use a damp cloth and wipe your shoes clean and allow them to dry.

About our writer - Yoona

Yoona is passionate, carefree soul, who loves to travel. She has been working in the podiatry industry for most of her working career, she loves to actively promote feet care. She has seen too many feet problems that could have been prevented.

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