How to Wash Kids Shoes - Your Ultimate Guide

How to Wash Kids Shoes

Kids are always on the go, running around and getting their shoes dirty. As parents, it can be challenging to keep up with the constant wear and tear of our children's shoes. However, washing your kids' shoes doesn't have to be a daunting task.

With the right knowledge and techniques, you can easily clean your kids' shoes and extend their lifespan.

Read our favorite tips and tricks on how to wash kids shoes and make them look as good as new.

Importance of Cleaning Kids Shoes

Importance of Cleaning Kids Shoes

Kids' shoes are not just an accessory; they protect their little feet and provide support while they run, jump, and play. Here are some of the reasons why it is important to keep your kids' shoes clean:

  • Get Dirty Fast: Children's shoes get dirty fast due to active play and outdoor adventures. It's crucial to clean them regularly to prevent the build-up of dirt and grime.
  • Dirty Sneakers Can Cause Health Issues: Dirty sneakers can harbor bacteria and fungi, which can lead to foot infections. Therefore, cleaning is not just about aesthetics, but also health.
  • Clean The Shoes To Extend Lifespan: When you clean the shoes frequently, it helps to preserve the material and extend the life of the shoe.
  • Shoes May Lose Comfort: If you neglect to clean your kids' shoes, they may lose their comfort and cushioning over time due to the accumulation of dirt and grime.
  • Appearance: Dirty shoes can be an eyesore. Regular cleaning keeps shoes looking their best, ensuring your child always steps out in style.

Can You Put Kids Shoes in the Washing Machine

Can You Put Kids Shoes in the Washing Machine

Probably the fastest way to clean shoes is to use a washing machine, but this depends on the materials the shoes are made from. Shoes crafted from leather or suede can't withstand the washer, while polyester and canvas shoes are machine washable. Always remember to read the shoe care label before attempting a machine wash.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to wash kids' shoes in the washing machine:

Steps to Wash Kids Shoes in a Washing Machine

  1. Remove the laces and insoles: Start by removing the laces and insoles from your toddler shoes. This will allow you to clean each part of the shoes effectively.
  2. Brush away obvious dirt: Using a dry brush, scrub off the visible dirt and grime from the shoes, especially from the sole.
  3. Pre-treat the shoes: If there are any tough stains on the shoes, pre-treat them with a stain remover before you put the shoes in the washing machine.
  4. Insert shoes in the mesh laundry bag: To protect your shoes during the wash cycle, put them in a mesh laundry bag. This will prevent them from banging around in the machine.
  5. Run the cycle: Add a little detergent and run the cycle with cold water. Never put clothes and shoes together in the same cycle to avoid cross-contamination.
  6. Clean the insoles: While the shoes are in the wash, scrub the insoles manually using soap and water.
  7. Air dry shoes, laces, and insoles: Once the wash cycle is complete, remove the shoes from the bag and air dry them. Never put your shoes in the dryer as the heat can cause damage. Also, air dry the laces and insoles separately.

By following these steps, you can effectively wash shoes in the washing machine and keep them looking good as new.

Cleaning Shoes Made from Suede

Cleaning Shoes Made from Suede

Leather or suede shoes require a different cleaning method compared to fabric shoes. Suede to be specific, is not suitable for the washing machine. It's more delicate and requires a gentle touch.

Here are the steps on how to clean suede shoes:

  1. Use an eraser: Start by using a suede eraser to rub off the dirt and grime from the shoes. The eraser works by sticking to the dirt particles, making them easier to brush away. Apply gentle, even pressure to avoid rubbing too hard and damaging the suede.
  2. Brush the shoes: After using the eraser, use a soft-bristle brush to further clean the surface of the shoes. Always brush the suede in one direction to maintain its nap and texture.
  3. Spot clean: If the shoes have any stubborn stains after using the eraser and brush, spot clean these areas with a mixture of warm water and a gentle soap. Use a cloth or sponge to apply the mixture, and be sure not to soak the suede.
  4. Let them dry: Allow the shoes to air dry naturally. Avoid using a heat source to speed up the drying process, as this can cause the suede to shrink or become too stiff.
  5. Final brush: Once the shoes are completely dry, give them a final brush to restore the nap of the suede. This should leave your kids’ suede shoes looking clean and refreshed.

A crepe brush is also an effective tool for cleaning suede shoes. It's made from rubber and has a rough texture that can remove dirt, mud, and salt stains.

Stone and Clark Crepe Brush

Make sure to check out Stone and Clark's Crepe Brush which is specially designed for suede and nubuck shoes.

Cleaning Toddler Shoes Made from Leather Material

Winter boots, formal shoes, and some sneakers are often made from leather material. Leather is a durable and versatile material used in shoe-making. However, it requires proper care to maintain its appearance.

Here's how you can clean leather toddler shoes:

  1. Brush off the dirt: Start by using an old toothbrush to gently brush off the dirt and grime from the surface of the leather shoes. Get into the crevices and ensure all visible dirt is brushed away.
  2. Remove scuffs: Scuffs can detract from the appearance of your child's leather shoes. To remove them, dampen an old towel and gently rub the scuffed area until it disappears.
  3. Clean with a horsehair brush: A horsehair brush is an ideal tool for cleaning leather shoes due to its soft bristles that won't scratch the leather. Gently brush the shoes to remove any remaining dirt and to restore the shoe's natural shine.
  4. Drying: After cleaning, use old towels to pat dry the shoes. It's important not to expose them to direct heat as it can cause the leather to crack.
  5. Polish and Protect: Once dry, consider using a leather conditioner or polish to maintain the shoe's shine and protect against future scuffs and marks.

shoe shine kit from Stone and Clark

Stone and Clark offers horsehair brush sets specifically designed for leather shoes, which can save you the hassle of searching for individual tools. We also have an All-in-One shoe shine kit that includes everything you need to keep your child's leather shoes looking brand new.

Additional Tips When Cleaning Your Kids Shoes

There are many other types of shoes made from different materials that need different cleaning approaches. The techniques for cleaning these shoes might differ from the methods described above, where you put shoes in the washing machine or hand wash them.

Below are additional tips:

  • Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda inside the shoes to eliminate odors. Let it sit overnight, and then shake the shoes out in the morning before wearing them.
  • For nylon shoes, consider a gentle hand wash instead of using the machine. Use a mild detergent and soft cloth to clean the surface, then rinse the shoes under running water.
  • To quickly dry the shoes after washing, use paper towels or a dry towel to absorb the water. Remember, heat drying can damage the shoe material, so it's best avoided.
  • If you're dealing with yellowing canvas sneakers, using a toothbrush and a paste of baking soda and warm water can help. Apply the paste on the sneakers, let it dry, then scrub off the hardened paste.
  • Tennis shoes, in particular, can acquire stubborn stains. A mixture of warm water, a small amount of laundry detergent, and a splash of vinegar can help get rid of these stains.
  • Remember, putting shoes in the machine is not the only solution. For shoes made from delicate materials, hand washing is the best approach.
  • With proper care and maintenance, shoes can go for years without needing replacement. Always read the shoe care label before starting the cleaning process.

Closing Thoughts

Don't compromise on the cleanliness and longevity of your kids' shoes. Keeping shoes squeaky clean not only elevates their appearance but also enhances their durability.

Always adhere to the shoe care instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure you're cleaning them in the best possible way. For those tricky stains or stubborn grime, consider investing in a good shoe cleaning kit designed specifically for your shoe material.

Doing so will ensure your kids' shoes stay looking fresh and new, and it may even extend their lifespan, saving you money in the long run.

Check out Stone and Clark's Amazon store and find the perfect shoe-cleaning tools and solutions for your child's shoes!

12PC Leather Shoe Shine & Care Kit for Men & Women

3.5 oz Mink Oil Leather Care Kit with Applicator

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