The Best Way to Clean Your Shoes

The Best Way to Clean Your Shoes

The best way to clean your shoes

If you’re pulling some shoes out of your closet that you haven’t worn all summer, they might need a good cleaning.  I thought I would share some quick and easy tips to keep your shoes in tip-top shape.  We spend so much money on our shoes; it’s important to take some time to maintain them.  Doing so will allow you to wear them season after season (as long as they are in style, of course).

Clean the inside.  

The inside of our shoes can get gross fast, but it’s super easy to clean them up.  I use a Clorox wipe to get all the gunk out.  It takes seconds and makes a huge difference. You could also remove it with a paste made of baking soda and detergent.  Let it air dry for 24 hours. Don’t use heat (like with a hairdryer) to speed up the process.  You’ll ruin the shape and fit of the shoe.

Remove dirt.  

I’m always amazed by the amount of dirt that gets caked on my heels. You would think I went hiking in them.  Ideally, you would remove any dirt at the end of the day  but that’s not always the case.  Use a shoe brush, toothbrush, or clean cloth to remove any dirt and dust as necessary. If your shoes are suede, take a minute to brush them.  I like this suede shoe brush. 

Get rid of scuffs.   

A magic eraser gets rid of most scuffs like, well, magic. You can also use a damp cloth with just the tiniest bit of detergent/soap and scrub them right out.  Note, though, there is a difference between a scuff and a scratch.  A scratch is almost like a cut in the material so it requires a professional to see if they can fix it.

Going forward.

With new or newly cleaned shoes, a few tools will help to keep them clean longer.

  • These inserts will protect the insides of your shoes from dirt and goo.
  • Use a cedar shoe tree to keep the shape and absorb moisture.
  • Slip a dryer sheet into your shoes when you put them back in your closet to keep them smelling fresh.
  • For a quick fix keep, these heel caps on hand. You can use them preventatively to cover a new heel or put them on when the metal pops throw until you can get to the shoe repair.
  • Be sure to clean your closet like the rest of your home. Dirt and dust will ruin and dull the shine of your shoes. Every few weeks, wipe down your shelves and baseboards and sweep or vacuum.
  • At the end of each season, take your better shoes and boots to be professionally cleaned, polished and resoled.



Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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