The Ultimate Guide to Shoe Cleaning: How to Keep Different Types of Shoes Looking Their Best

The shoes we wear proudly on a daily basis serve both as both a necessity and an accessory, providing comfort and contributing to our overall style. From elegant suede heels to casual canvas sneakers, different shoe materials require different cleaning methods. That’s why it’s crucial to know how to clean and care for your shoes correctly. 

In this guide, we’ll take you step by step through the various shoe cleaning processes for different types of shoes, ensuring they stay looking their best for longer.

How to Clean Different Types of Shoes

Close-up shot of a person walking up stairs, wearing black pants and white sneakers

1. Canvas Shoes: Casual yet Tricky

Canvas shoes, like your beloved Converse or Vans, can take a beating, but cleaning them requires care.

Shoe Cleaning Instructions:

  • Remove the laces and soak the shoes in a mixture of warm water and mild detergent.
  • Use a soft toothbrush or a cloth to gently scrub the surface of the shoes.
  • Rinse thoroughly and air dry away from direct sunlight to avoid discolouration.

2. Leather Shoes: Classy and Demanding

Leather shoes provide a timeless appeal, but they demand specific care.

Shoe Cleaning Instructions:

  • Wipe the shoes with a damp cloth to remove surface dust and dirt.
  • Apply a leather cleaner with a soft cloth, using circular motions.
  • Let the shoes dry naturally, then apply a leather conditioner to keep them soft and shiny.

3. Suede Shoes: Delicate and Detailed

Suede shoes offer a unique texture and look, but their porous nature requires careful cleaning.

Shoe Cleaning Instructions:

  • Use a suede brush to remove surface dirt. Brush gently in the direction of the fibres, not against them.
  • For stubborn stains, use a specially designed suede cleaner and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Let the shoes dry, then brush them again to restore the texture.

4. Athletic Shoes: Active and Resilient

Athletic shoes are built for endurance but benefit from regular cleaning.

Shoe Cleaning Instructions:

  • Remove the insoles and laces, then rinse off surface dirt under cold water.
  • Mix a solution of warm water and mild detergent, then scrub the shoes with a soft brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly, then air dry. Avoid heat, as it can warp the shape of the shoes.

Shoe Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

Pink sneakers on a white background

Regardless of the type of shoe, certain mistakes can damage your footwear:

  1. Avoiding Regular Cleaning: The longer you wait, the more ingrained the dirt becomes. Regular cleaning can extend the life of your shoes.
  2. Using the Wrong Cleaning Products: Always ensure you’re using the right cleaning products for your specific shoe material to avoid causing irreparable damage.
  3. Drying Shoes Near Heat: Shoes should always air dry naturally away from direct heat sources, which can warp the shape and fade the colour.

It’s worth remembering that correct shoe care not only maintains the appearance of your shoes but also their lifespan. However, while many of us can manage our shoes, keeping the entire house clean can sometimes be overwhelming. 

That’s where SweepSouth comes in. As South Africa’s #1 home services platform, we offer professional cleaning services that will have your home sparkling, giving you more time to focus on the things that matter. Let us take the hard work out of housekeeping while you put your best foot forward in beautifully cleaned shoes. Book a SweepSouth cleaning service today!

SweepSouth refer a friend banner
Social Share :