Shoe Cleaning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Many people often think that shoe cleaning is a simple task that anyone can do. However, there are certain mistakes that people make that can actually damage their shoes in the long run.
Let's go through each of them and learn how to avoid them, so you can keep your shoes looking their best for longer.
Using the Wrong Cleaning Products
As much as possible, we want to use cleaning products that are specifically designed for the material of our shoes.
Let's take leather shoes, for example. The care of your shoes made from leather differs significantly from those made of suede or other materials. For daily cleaning, a damp cloth is often enough to wipe off dust and light stains from the leather surface.
However, for deeper cleaning, it's best to use a leather cleaner and not just any generic cleaning product. It's important to remember that leather is essentially skin and needs to be treated with care. This will keep the leather looking its best, and prevent it from drying out or cracking.
Using a leather cleaner removes dirt and stains without stripping the natural oils of the leather, while a leather conditioner helps to restore moisture and keep the leather soft and pliable.
On the other hand, suede shoes require a different cleaning approach. Never use a damp cloth on suede, as this can cause the leather to lose its unique texture. Instead, use a special suede brush or crepe brush to remove dirt and stains.
The soles of shoes, regardless of the material of the upper, are also a critical area to clean. Avoid soaking them in water or putting them in the washing machine, as this can weaken the glue holding the shoes together and cause the leather and other materials to warp or shrink.
Knowing the right cleaning products for different shoe materials is crucial in the care of your shoes. Always read the care instructions on your shoes and use cleaning products that are designed for the specific material of your shoe. This way, you can avoid common shoe cleaning mistakes and keep your shoes looking their best for longer.
For cleaning products that are designed specifically for shoe materials, you can check Stone and Clark's Amazon store. From horsehair brushes and water and stain repellant for leather shoes, to suede and nubuck cleaning kits, we have everything you need to keep your shoes in top condition.
Using Too Much Water or Detergent
If we don't have the right cleaning solution, we often use water or detergent as a substitute, especially when cleaning sneakers or tennis shoes. However, this can lead to over-saturation and may damage your shoes.
Instead, it's advisable to use a slightly damp clean cloth to gently remove dirt and stain from the surface of the shoe. Remember, the type of shoe you have greatly determines how you should clean it. For instance, sneakers can handle a bit more moisture compared to suede shoes, but still, avoid using too much.
When cleaning the inside of the shoe, it's important to be even more cautious. A gentle wipe-down with a clean cloth should suffice. Never pour water or detergent directly into the shoe. The objective is to clean your shoes with just the right amount of solution, ensuring they stay in good shape for a long time.
Ignoring the Laces
Included in our list of common mistakes to avoid when cleaning shoes is overlooking the laces. Cleaning shoes means cleaning the laces too; they are a significant part of the shoe, and neglecting them can detract from the overall appearance, no matter how well you clean the rest of the shoe.
It's important to recognize that the laces are often the first thing to get dirty when you wear your shoes, collecting dust and grime every step of the way.
When it comes to your cleaning process, laces should not be an afterthought. It's best to remove them and clean them separately, ensuring they get as much care and attention as the rest of the shoe.
After cleaning, remember to let them dry completely to prevent any possible mildew or unpleasant odors. By including this in your cleaning process, your entire shoe, laces included, will look its best and be ready for your next adventure.
Not Rinsing Properly
This applies especially when it comes to leather cleaning. After using a cleaning product on your leather goods, it's essential to rinse thoroughly to remove all residues. If not properly rinsed, a leftover cleaning product can build up over time, dulling the shine and finish of your leather shoes. Moreover, your shoes may suffer from discoloration, drying, or even cracking.
This is why it is crucial not only to be diligent in caring for your leather goods but also to ensure you're taking all steps correctly and thoroughly, particularly when it comes to rinsing after leather cleaning.
Always remember, proper cleaning and conditioning can significantly extend the lifespan of your leather shoes.
Not Following Up With Protection
Protection such as shoe trees or dust bags is yet another crucial aspect of shoe care, often overlooked by many.
Once you've cleaned your shoes and allowed them to air dry naturally, the next step is to ensure that they maintain their shape and are kept safe from dust and other potential damage.
Shoe trees often come in handy for this purpose, especially for leather shoes. They help in maintaining the shape of the shoe, preventing creases and cracks, and also aid in absorbing any residual moisture from inside the shoe.
In addition, applying a leather care product in a circular motion can rejuvenate and restore the luster of clean leather shoes. This method ensures the product is evenly distributed and well-absorbed.
For the inside of the shoe, consider using an antibacterial spray or shoe deodorizer to keep them fresh and odor-free. Sprays specifically designed for shoe care can eliminate bacteria that cause odor, extending the freshness of your shoes between wears.
The use of proper tools and techniques is vital in shoe care. A horsehair brush and a soft cloth are two indispensable tools that can help maintain the longevity of your shoes. When it comes to cleaning tips, it's important to remember not to rush the process.
Be gentle while cleaning to avoid causing any unnecessary damage. Once the cleaning is done, it's crucial to allow the shoes to dry naturally, away from direct heat and sunlight, which can cause shrinking or discoloration.
Finally, remember to brush the shoe surfaces gently to remove any remaining dust or dirt. This not only makes them look neat and clean but also extends their life.