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How to: best ways to clean cloth shoes

Best ways to clean cloth shoes

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What are the best ways to clean cloth shoes? Most cloth shoes can be cleaned in the washing machine, if not, our guide shows which home remedies help.

Cloth shoes should not be missing in any shoe cabinet. The light and comfortable treads accompany us through summer, into autumn and go with jeans as well as with the colorful linen dress. 

Find more handy cleaning guides, tips and advice

Best ways to clean cloth shoes

Unfortunately, especially light-colored fabric shoes, you can see after just a few weeks of wearing that they were loved by their wearers. Signs of wear on cloth shoes are not a death sentence, because with the following tips and tricks cloth shoes can be cleaned and then look almost like new again.

Clean the surface of the shoes

Anyone who undertakes regular cleaning of their textile shoes prevents coarse dirt and a correspondingly intensive cleaning effort. Brushing off the shoes removes superficial dirt from the fibers before it can stick. Therefore remove dust, earth and sand after each use with a soft brush. Cloth shoes can be cleaned with a simple clothes brush (ideally with natural bristles). The brush from the shoe cleaning box should not be used. Remains of shoe polish would possibly contaminate the fabric.

Wet cloth shoes – check material!

best ways to clean cloth shoes

Despite regular brushing, it can happen that stubborn stains occur and the cloth shoes have to be cleaned with a damp cloth. However, caution is required here, because not every fabric shoe can tolerate contact with water. Some models use cardboard or leather in addition to the top layer made of fabric. If you bring these materials into contact with water, the shoe loses its shape and color.Attention:
Check the material composition of the fabric shoes before wet cleaning. If there is cardboard or leather under the fabric, the shoe must not be cleaned wet.

Shoes that must not be washed do not have to be disposed of automatically. Superficial cleaning is also possible with a damp cloth.

And that’s how it’s done

  • Use a damp sponge and use it to rub off the dirt.
  • For stubborn stains, cleaning additives such as a mild dishwashing detergent or shampoo can be used.
  • Wash the sponge from time to time, otherwise the loosened dirt will spread unnecessarily on the shoe.
  • After damp cleaning, the fabric shoe has to dry in a warm place for some time. Avoid direct sunlight and placing it directly on the heater.

Use the washing machine

Cloth shoes wash washing machine

If it is a washable shoe whose upper is made entirely of fabric, cleaning in the washing machine is possible provided that a few things are observed.

How to do it

  1. Remove the insoles and laces from the shoes.
  2. First remove coarse dirt (brush) from the shoes.
  3. Choose a gentle cycle with a washing temperature of 30 degrees and a maximum of 600 spin rotations.
  4. After the wash cycle, the cloth shoes must be dried at room temperature.

If the cloth shoes are placed in a wash bag, they are well protected. It is also an advantage to wash shoes with towels.

Advantages and disadvantages of wet and dry cleaning

Type of cleaningbenefitsdisadvantage
Dry cleaningsuitable for every fabric shoeremoves dirt before it can settlenot suitable for deeper dirt
wet cleaningintensive cleaningalso removes stubborn stains
not recommended for every fabric shoe

Cleaning tips for white cloth shoes

Most colored fabric shoes can be cleaned in the washing machine. White sneakers or chucks, on the other hand, do not belong in the washing machine. The action of heat and detergent can loosen the adhesive on the rubber soles and leave unsightly yellow edges. After cleaning, the fabric is white again, but the glue stains are even more noticeable.

Cleaning white cloth shoes – what is needed?

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • baking powder
  • Toothbrush or dish brush
  • Glass
  • water
  • towel

How to do it

  1. Dishwashing liquid and baking powder are put in a glass in a ratio of 1: 1 and mixed together.
  2. The mass is spread over the dirty shoe with the toothbrush or dishwashing brush.
  3. After a short exposure time, the foam can be removed using a damp cloth.
  4. Then the shoes are dried and the dirt should be gone.

Clean white rubber soles

Not only the colorful fabric, but also the white rubber soles are eye-catchers. If the soles turn yellow, the shoes look worn and dingy. This can be prevented with a simple trick.

What is needed?

  • bleach
  • Brush or cotton swab
  • rubber gloves

How to do it

  1. First put on the rubber gloves.
  2. Put some bleach on the brush or cotton swab and wet the rubber sole with it.
  3. Let the bleach take effect until the stains are removed.

When applying bleach, make sure that the bleach does not come into contact with clothing.

Clean cloth shoes from the inside

In addition to removing external dirt, hygiene must also be ensured in the shoe. In summer, cloth shoes are often worn barefoot, the result – sweat accumulates inside the shoe. This not only leads to bad smells, but is also a playground for bacteria.

How to deal with smell in cloth shoes

If the fabric shoe ends up in the washing machine, it is cleaned inside and out.

  1. Shoes that must not be washed wet can be treated with baking soda. Soda has the property of binding moisture and neutralizing odors.
  2. A spray can be made from distilled water, alcohol and baking soda, which acts against odors and has an antibacterial effect.

»Tip: If the shoes smell pleasant, simply add a few drops of essential oil of your choice.

Protect cloth shoes from dirt

Cloth shoes get dirty almost every time they are worn. Cleaning quickly takes over and no fabric shoe is made to be continually spun in the washing machine drum. If you often wear cloth shoes, you should get an impregnation spray. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. The spray is applied to the cloth shoes, then let it dry. Impregnated shoes keep dirt off better and do not need to be cleaned as often.