Leather shoes can last a lifetime if they are properly taken care of. Since shoes are subject to so much wear and tear every day, it is important to use a horsehair brush regularly to remove any dust or debris. Start off by giving your shoes a wipe down with a warm sponge in order to make the leather more porous. Next, apply the waterproofing compound of your choice. About once a month, be sure to condition your shoes to help soften and moisten the leather in order to prevent any cracks. However, if your shoe starts cracking, there is nothing that can be done to save it. The next step is to apply polish with mild pressure in circular motions throughout the shoe. Once your shoe starts achieving a mirror-like shine, you’re pretty much done!
Your first instinct may be to throw your canvas shoes into the washing machine and then hope for the best. However, the blades and heavy spin cycles may end up destroying your whole shoe. A better method is to apply a small amount of detergent and water to each spot that needs to be cleaned. A toothbrush can be used to expertly spot clean any stains, while also preserving the integrity of the shoe.
It is recommended to use a suede protector; in order to better protect your suede shoes from stains. They should also be sprayed monthly with a waterproofing solution because when suede gets wet, it’s damaging. Suede stains extremely easily, so any suede shoes that you own should be cleaned immediately as soon as they start getting dirty. A suede brush uses nylon bristles for lighter, gentler cleaning off any dirt and oil stains. For marks that have already set in, a solution made up of two parts water and one part vinegar can be applied to the stains to try and combat the damage.
While purely rubber shoes may be uncommon, rubber soles are often found on the bottom of many sneakers. It can be annoying to see that white strip of rubber turn into an unsightly mess, covered with dirt and tar. The combination of a toothbrush and toothpaste can actually clean stubborn stains away. Another alternative is to use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser with water to wipe away dirt from the bottom of your shoe. The Erasers are made of melamine foam, which is really effective at removing tough set-in stains.
Most athletic shoes are made, for the most part, out of mesh. You’ll want to soak your mesh shoes in a warm bath (your sink should suffice) with liquid dish soap. After they’ve been soaking for a while, use a soft cloth or brush to scrub away any dirty areas. Once you’re done, allow your mesh shoes to air dry in a place that doesn’t get direct sunlight (like your porch or a safe place indoors).
Just like any of your other clothing items, your shoes should be cleaned and maintained regularly. By taking care of your shoes on a regular basis, you’ll protect all of your purchases so that they last as long as possible. Keep them clean, and you’ll ensure that you’re always putting your best foot forward.