How to wash shoes so they look new again

Your shoes will eventually start to look their age, but with a bit of cleaning they can look like new again.

Cleaning shoes can seem a mundane chore to many, however, if you take the time your shoes will not only look new, they’ll last longer too. Here are some tips on how to wash your shoes.

Leather shoes

Daily upkeep is essential if you want your leather shoes to last. Most people wait too long before cleaning their leather shoes. Inspect your shoes after you wear them, not before you want to wear them. Use a cloth to wipe off dirt and dust and a spot cleaner for stubborn spots.

For bigger jobs, use a leather shampoo and conditioner or special soap, then let the shoes dry before conditioning them with polish or cream. If you have deeper stains (like oil) or the leather is extremely soft or delicate, leave it to an expert. Your local shoe repairer should be able to do the job relatively cheaply. For synthetic or faux leather, water and a gentle soap are fine to use.

Canvas shoes

Canvas shoes are so casual you can be tempted to throw them in with your wash. This is not good for the shoes as it damages the structure and reduces the life of the shoe. The best way to wash canvas shoes is to hand wash them.

First, remove the laces and inner sole. Fill a bucket with warm water then dip the shoe in the water just to wet it. Place it on newspaper or a towel. Squirt a bit of dishwashing liquid on a nylon scrubbing sponge and use it to scrub the shoe inside and out. Rinse with running water. To clean the insoles, dip them in the water, scrub with the sponge and soap, and rinse. To help the shoes retain their shape, stuff them with white paper towels during the drying process. Let both the shoes and inner soles dry naturally.

Suede shoes

Use a suede brush or suede eraser to brush off any dirt or remove stains on a daily basis. For bigger stains or very dirty shoes, use a suede cleaner. Brush it in with a soft brush and use a cloth to wipe off the soap foam.

When you buy suede shoes, it’s best to take precautions and apply water and stain repellent to avoid bigger stains and prolong the life of the shoes.