While clothes are easy to clean in the washing machine, there are a few things to consider when cleaning cloth shoes. When it comes to textiles on feet, dirt, unsightly stains and scuffs accumulate faster than clothing. In addition, shoe care and cleaning differ significantly from those used for clothing fabrics. Luckily, you can make the cleaning process easier for yourself with the right steps and home remedies. Here are some tips and proven cleaning methods to give your textile shoes a refresh just in time for spring.
How can you clean cloth shoes that have become unsightly?
Maybe some of your favorite shoes look like they’ve passed their prime. It is of course difficult to restore them to new condition, but you can freshen up their look. Before you do this, there are a few factors to consider. This can be a variety of footwear, such as light or white canvas shoes or braided uppers. It is therefore important to use the appropriate cleaning technique. Whatever the fabric, you can easily turn it back into a part of your favorite spring or summer outfit.
In addition, cleaning cloth shoes should be done by hand, taking care not to damage them. In the warmer season, many people value breathable fabrics that require a specific approach and cleaning products. This not only improves your appearance, but you can also wear them longer. However, before you begin cleaning your canvas or other athletic shoes, you should remove any loose debris such as sand, grass, mud, leaves, sticks, or rocks that have accumulated on and inside the shoes. This is easily done by shaking them outside or over a trash can. You can also bang the soles of your shoes against each other or on the sidewalk. Otherwise, for the cleaning task, you can use the following means:
- Old toothbrush
- paper towels
- Soft cleaning cloths
- Dishwashing liquid
- Distilled white vinegar
- Ammonia and alcohol-free cleaning agents such as glass cleaners
So you can properly clean any cloth shoes
Textile shoes can be strappy sandals, sneakers, pumps or other sports shoes and shoe materials. Although there are ways, for example, to wash canvas shoes in the washing machine, this is not a particularly smart idea. The cleaning cycles of the household appliance, such as spinning, combined with higher temperatures and friction, can deform or even tear the shoe. For this reason, you should clean the upper materials of the cloth shoes by hand.
- Start by wiping off excess dirt with a suitable cloth. You can dip this in a homemade cleaning solution made with equal parts cold water and distilled white vinegar.
- After that, you should air dry the shoes.
- First, you can polish out the scratches and other marks by again dipping a damp cloth in some baking soda and scrubbing the sole with it. Gently rub the worn area and wipe away the residue with a clean cloth.
- Let the shoes dry again and polish them with a clean cloth.
- Restore shine with a squirt of non-ammonia and alcohol-free glass cleaner and buff with a soft cloth.
- Then, wipe the shoe fabric with a dry paper towel to remove any loose surface dirt, dirt, or debris.
- First, mix a teaspoon of dish soap in two cups of warm water.
- Use this to scrub the shoes by dipping a toothbrush in the soapy solution and using it to clean the cloth shoes. Be careful not to get the shoe fabric wet and use circular movements to protect colored fabrics and prevent stains.
- You can then use a damp paper towel to wipe the cleaning solution off the shoes, repeating this as necessary.
- Finally, pat dry with kitchen paper and leave to dry in the sun.
- To prevent the textile from deforming, you can stuff the inner shoe with paper in the area of the toes or heels.
Clean shoe soles made of rope or cork properly
Both leather and textile shoes can have cork soles or rope soles. It is about natural fibres, whose shoe care should be a little different. Once you clean your cloth shoes by following the steps above, you can also treat such materials on soles with care. To do this, you can, in turn, make a homemade cleaning solution and apply it.
- Again, use 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to combine with 2 cups of warm water to form a solution.
- To do this, add a few drops of a non-aggressive and non-toxic detergent.
- When scrubbing, try to work your way through small areas slowly, using an old toothbrush or cloth to clean the facestocks.
- When it comes to rope on the soles, you should only clean the cloth shoes in one direction to prevent the rope from fraying.
- Now wipe off the homemade cleaning solution with a damp paper towel and let the shoes dry.
Can running shoes and other fabric shoes be cleaned in the washing machine?
As already written above, washing textile shoes in the washing machine is not recommended. However, there is an exception for running shoes or tennis shoes that are made of foam or other footwear materials. Such upper materials can also be wool or silk, with sports shoes usually having more robust footwear. Your construction could therefore use a machine wash from time to time.
- When washing, use a gentle cycle and a quality heavy-duty detergent.
- It is also advisable to remove the insoles and shoelaces before washing.
- As a rule, you can clean the laces of the fabric shoes separately and by hand by treating them with washing-up liquid or detergent in the sink.
- To remove bacteria and unpleasant odors from sports shoes, you can treat the insoles with a homemade cleaning solution made from equal parts vinegar and water. It is best to do this before putting them back in the shoes or simply replace them with new insoles.
- However, if there is some leather in the shoes, consider using other leather shoe cleaning methods.