Keeping your shoes looking fresh and stain-free is important for maintaining their appearance and extending their lifespan. But with so many cleaning methods and products out there, what is the best way to clean shoes? In this article, we’ll break down the most effective shoe cleaning options.
Using a Shoe Cleaning Kit
One of the easiest ways to keep shoes spotless is with a dedicated shoe cleaning kit. These kits contain a cleaner formulated specifically for shoes, along with tools like a brush, microfiber cloth and protective applicator.
The cleaner in shoe care kits is designed to break down dirt, oil, grime and stains without harming shoe materials. Look for cleaners that contain detergents mixed with ingredients like optical brighteners to restore whiteness. A brush with short, stiff bristles can work cleaner into the shoe and lift ingrained dirt.
Some of the best shoe cleaning kits include Jason Markk Premium Shoe Cleaner, Pink Miracle Shoecare Kit and Gear Aid ReviveX Shoe Care Kit. Using an all-in-one kit makes it convenient to keep all types of shoes looking like new.
Baking Soda as a Shoe Cleaner
For a budget-friendly DIY shoe cleaning solution, baking soda is a great cleaning agent. Thanks to its abrasive texture, baking soda can break up and lift dirt and stains without scratching shoe materials. Mix baking soda with just enough water to form a paste. Use an old toothbrush to work the paste into shoes, then wipe clean with a damp cloth.
Baking soda is safe for most shoe materials. Avoid using it too aggressively on delicate leathers. It can also leave behind a light residue that requires extra buffing to fully remove.
Other Household Cleaners for Shoes
You likely already have other cleaning staples at home that can be used to clean shoes in a pinch:
Dish Soap – Mix with water and use a toothbrush to create suds that break up oil and grease. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning.
White Vinegar – Helps remove stains and disinfect shoes. Mix 1 part vinegar with 1 part water and wipe down shoes.
Hydrogen Peroxide – Whitens and deodorizes shoes. Apply it directly to stained areas and let fizz for 5 minutes before wiping.
Cleaning Different Shoe Materials
The cleaning method you use should take the shoe material into account:
Leather: Use a cleaner made for leather followed by a conditioner to keep material supple. Avoid excess water.
Canvas: Machine washing is okay for canvas shoes – just remove the laces and insoles first. Air dry thoroughly.
Mesh: Use a delicate brush and mild cleaner. Stuff shoes with paper to retain shape as they dry.
Suede: Use a suede brush and specialized suede cleaner. Never get suede wet.
Getting in the habit of regular shoe cleaning will help preserve the look and longevity of your favorite kicks. Using quality cleaning kits or DIY solutions like baking soda keeps shoes in top shape.