Easy Shoe Cleaning

by Karen Bates
(last updated May 18, 2009)

Shoes are prone to collecting dirt and becoming stained. With all the walking you might do during the day, all the collected dust and dirt build up on your shoes and, over time, make them look old and worn out. Even after only a few wears a new pair of shoes can quickly get that worn look, and especially white shoes begin to look dirty fast.

In most cases, you can effectively clean your shoes and make them look brand new again without too much trouble. How to do achieve this depends on the shoe and what it is made out of. Try these ideas for cleaning dirt from different kinds of shoes:

  • Athletic Shoes. To clean most types of tennis shoes, start by taking out the laces and any inserts. Rinse the shoes out in the sink, letting them soak a little in water if needed. Make a mixture of water and soap (dish soap should work well). With a small sponge, brush or old toothbrush, scrub the outside of the shoe with the soapy water mixture until the dirt has been removed. Once the dirt is gone, wipe the shoes off and stuff them with paper towels or an old rag. This will allow the shoes to dry inside and out. Once dry, replace the laces and inserts.
  • Leather Shoes. Leather requires special care to prevent damage. It is a good idea to use special leather cleaners designed for the type of leather that your shoes are made of. You can try carefully cleaning with a damp towel and a little soap, then wiping the soap off with another damp towel. Don't rinse. Polish the shoes as needed and condition.
  • Shoe Laces. Shoe laces can get dirty, too. To clean them, remove them from the shoes and place them in a sink filled with water. Let them sit for about 30 seconds, then take them out and rub them with soap until the dirt begins washing away. After another short soak in the water, wring the laces out and let them dry before putting them back in your shoes.
  • Inside Shoes. Try wiping out dirt spots with a wet towel. To help remove odor, you can use Odor Eaters or a similar product designed to kill bad smells in shoes.

For quick cleaning, you can use baby wipes to clean off spots of dirt from most shoes. Remember that while in many cases shoes can be cleaned, there comes a time when a pair of shoes is just too old and dirty to be salvaged. If so, it's time to go shoe shopping!

Author Bio

Karen Bates

An English student who enjoys writing and art, Karen has had her poetry published in her university's literary journal and has several novels in the works. ...

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