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How to Take Care of Every Shoe in Your Closet

How to Take Care of Every Shoe in Your Closet
Happy shoes, happy feet.

They say good shoes will take you to good places. But if you wear them out due to neglect and carelessness, you're stuck with misshapen pairs that you're bound to throw out after just a few uses. To keep this from happening, you need to know how to maintain and clean them properly based on their style and material. Below, we have all the things your need to know, from cleaning your pairs down to properly storing them. Read on!


Don't store your shoes if they're still dirty because the longer you let the dirt sit on them, the harder it is for the dirt to get off. Additionally, keep your pairs in dust bags and clean boxes if you have the space and make sure they are stored in cool, dry places. We suggest to keep those silica packets to help your shoes breathe. For your boots and other soft shoes, stuff a balled (acid-free) paper inside them to help retain the shape.




With a soft, clean, and dry toothbrush, remove all the mud and dirt that you can. Get a slightly damp cloth and wipe off the remaining dirt on the shoe. Add polish that comes in your shoe's color via soft cloth, going in circular motion across the whole shoe. Buff with a second clean cloth then buff again with a soft brush once dry.

Patent leather

Dab a small amount of petroleum jelly onto a soft cloth and buff the shoes for high shine. This method also works to remove scratch marks on it.


If you forgot to spray some suede protector on your shoes, get a soft brush and get scrubbing while the mud is still quite wet! Work in one direction to gently buff the stains away. Once you've gotten rid of the surface dirt, go back and buff once more with added pressure to work on the deeper stains. If there are scratches on it, scrub it with a white rubber eraser (still going in one direction) to get rid of those pesky marks.


Wipe off the dirt on canvas slip-ons and sneakers with a clean toothbrush. Then scrub a paste made of equal parts baking soda and water into the shoe’s soles. Run a gentle cycle in your washing machine with cold water, adding about half the amount of detergent you’d typically use when the machine is about half full and then toss the shoes in once it's about three-quarters full. Let the pair air dry. Heat can shrink the shoes. You can also add a few towels to the wash to reduce noisy banging while they spin.

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Loosen the dirt first with a toothbrush. Clean the same brush before dipping it into a teaspoon of laundry detergent mixed with a cup of water. Go over the fabric, mesh, and rubber areas then reach for a wet sponge to wipe the suds off. Pretreat your dirty laces with a dab of laundry detergent then place them in a garment bag before throwing them into the washer. Wipe clean the areas around the shoes before restringing your laces.

White sneakers

Apply a bit of vinegar to a cotton ball, then use it to wipe stains away from white sneakers. Wipe off with a slightly damp soft cloth. If you need to use bleach, make sure to dilute it first so you don’t end up with yellowed shoes. Use a toothbrush to scrub your sneakers with a solution of one part bleach to five parts water. Rinse by wiping a slightly damp cloth dipped in warm water.

Cork wedges

Mix a gallon of warm water with ½ cup of white vinegar and several drops of dish detergent for 30 seconds. Wipe the shoe using the solution before going back to focus on the cork heel. Work on getting rid of the grime using little circular motions. Wipe the wedge with a clean cloth once done.

Flip flops

After a beach trip, run warm water over your flip-flops. Then sprinkle the wet sandals with baking soda. Let them sit for at least five minutes before using a soft toothbrush to scrub them.


Rope wedges

For rope wedges, use a toothbrush to gently rub the heel with carpet or upholstery cleaner. Work in the direction the rope runs to avoid fraying.


If you find yourself walking in puddles, causing your shoes to get wet, the best option is to let your shoes dry naturally. But to speed up the process, you can stuff them with tissue. Check on them in an hour to erplace with fresh and dry pieces if necessary. Repeat this process until your shoes have dried off.

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