Aina Care - How to Clean Shoes: The Right Approach for Any Shoe Type

How to Clean Shoes: The Right Approach for Any Shoe Type

Shoes come in all materials, styles, and colors. To keep them looking good and serving you a bit longer, it is important to clean your shoes properly, as well as protect and preserve the material.

At Ainaclean, we are passionate about providing premium eco-friendly shoe care and cleaning solutions to help you safely and effectively remove dirt and stains from your shoes. In this article, we are going to talk about how to clean shoes of any type to ensure their longevity.

Step-by-Step Guide to How to Clean Shoes of Any Type

With just a few supplies and a couple of quick and easy steps, you can clean virtually any type of shoe made of any material.

Leather Shoes

If you have a closet full of leather boots, sneakers, and pumps, it is important to learn the basics of leather care and invest in high-quality leather cleaning products from Ainacare.

  1. Remove the laces. If the laces are dirty, you can either wash them in the washing machine or replace them completely.
  2. Clean debris and loose dirt. Use a soft cloth or soft-bristled brush to get rid of any grime that could be stuck to the leather surface.
  3. Apply Ainacare Leather Cleaner. The Ainacare Leather Cleaner presents a safe way to effectively remove any dirt, stains, or mold from the leather.
  4. Follow up with Ainacare Leather Nourisher to condition and keep the material shiny and well-moisturized.
  5. Finish off with Ainacare Leather Protector. Use the protector spray to keep the shoes safe from dirt and water.
  6. Dry your shoes. Let your shoes dry naturally. Don’t place them near the heater or in direct sunlight, as this could cause the leather to fade or crack.

Suede and Nubuck Shoes

While suede and nubuck shoes combine smart look and classic styling, they require some effort to keep them looking great. To safely and effectively remove any dirt and residue from suede shoes, we recommend using the specially-designed products from Ainacare’s Premium Leather Care Kit for Suede & Nubuck.

  1. Remove the laces and either replace them with new ones after the cleaning or run them through the washing machine.
  2. Remove dirt. Remove the dirt and gently brush any worn shiny areas on the shoe surface to restore the nap of the suede.
  3. Apply Ainacare Cleaner & Conditioner. For stubborn stains, you can apply a little bit of  Ainacare Cleaner & Conditioner designed specifically for suede and nubuck material.
  4. Dry your shoes. Let your shoes dry naturally, away from direct sources of heat or sun.
  5. Apply the protecting spray. As the next step, we recommend applying our Water Repellant Propeller to ensure that your suede or nubuck shoes remain protected from any weather. Make sure to spray the shoes evenly from a 30 cm distance.
  6. Polish the shoes. Finish off by polishing your shoes with a special soft brush.

Fabric Shoes

Fabric shoes can include sneakers, pumps, strappy sandals, or flats. However, regardless of the style, you can expect the fabric to get dirty over time.

You may find some information online recommending tossing your fabric shoes into the washer, but it is almost always a bad idea. Some fabric shoes have leather linings, and most of them are assembled together with glue that isn’t water-resistant.

Instead, always clean your fabric shoes by hand with premium shoe care products from Ainaclean.

  1. Remove dirt. Use a dry paper towel to wipe away any loose surface soil from the fabric.
  2. Apply Ainacare Sneaker Cleaning Solution. Use a microfiber cloth to apply the cleaning solution to the shoe surface. Its natural cleaning agents are safe to use on any materials, such as cotton, nulon, vinyl, and more. Lightly scrub the fabric, and make sure to work with the fabric’s grain.
  3. Remove soapy residue. To remove any residue left by the cleaning solution, use a wet paper towel to wipe the entire shoe.
  4. Dry the shoes. Blot the shoes with dry paper towels and let them air dry away from direct sunlight or heat. You can stuff dry paper inside the toes and heels of the shoes to help them hold their shape.

Athletic Shoes

Most tennis and athletic shoes are safe to be tossed in the washing machine and cleaned with a heavy-duty laundry detergent. For more stubborn stains and unpleasant orders, you can also use the Ainacare’s Athletic Care Kit.

  1. Remove the laces and inner soles. Make sure to take out inner soles and the laces. Wash the laces separately in the washing machine.
  2. Wipe away dirt. Use the brush from Ainacare’s Athletic Care Kit to wipe away any excessive dirt or soil.
  3. Pretreat stubborn stains. Apply Ainacare’s Athletic Shoe Cleaner to stains and give them a good brush before throwing the shoes in the washing machine.
  4. Wash the shoes. A regular washing cycle should be enough to give your sneakers a fresh start.
  5. Dry the shoes. Remember to always air-dry your athletic shoes in order to avoid the excessively high heat of the drier.
  6. Clean the inner soles. To control fungus and odor, wipe down the inner soles with Ainacare’s shoe cleaning wipes before placing them back inside the shoes.
  7. Apply Ainacare’s Freshener. Spray the inside of your shoes with the Freshener spray to absorb and destroy any remaining odours.
  8. Apply Ainacare’s Shoe Shield. Evenly spray the outside surface of your sneakers with the Shoe Shield spray to build a protective coating and prevent any future water damage.

How to Clean Different Parts of Shoes

To keep your shoes truly clean, you not only need to learn how to clean shoes themselves, but also how to take care of all the different parts and shoe components.

The Outsole

The outsole is the very bottom of your shoe, which will always be a lot dirtier than any other part of the shoe. While it is impossible to keep this area completely clean, there are certain things you can do to maintain a neat appearance.

Brush your shoes’ outsoles every week. Then, apply a mixture of warm water and detergent, and wipe the residue off with a clean cloth.

The Midsole

The midsole section of a shoe is clearly visible and is often intended to be bright white, so it is important to keep it clean.

After you remove the dirt with a brush, you can use an old-fashioned Magic Eraser to enhance the colour of a rubber midsole.

The Tongue

The tongue of your shoes is easy to skip during your shoe maintenance session. For cleaning the tongue, simply apply the material-specific techniques described above.

The Interior

Cleaning the shoe interior is a must-do step to remove any noxious odours. There are a number of different ways to clean the shoe interior, but the general rule is to treat it much like you would treat the outside.

To clean shoes inside out, remove the insole and wash it either with water and detergent or specialized shoe cleaning solution from Ainaclean. Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the interior, let it air dry for a few hours and spray it with a special odour removing spray.

The Laces

Finally, don’t overlook the laces. To clean the laces, you can simply take them off from your shoes and throw them in a washing machine. If you are lazy, you can simply buy new ones.

How to Keep Your Shoes Clean for Longer

Now, that you know how to clean shoes properly, it is important to also understand how you can keep them clean for as long as possible.

  1. Spot-check. Spot-check your shoes every time you come home. It may seem like a nuisance, but finding stains as soon as they appear will help to keep your shoes clean for longer.
  2. Clean stains right away. As soon as you notice a stain, attack it immediately, even if it is just with soapy water in a restaurant bathroom. Gunk, dirt, and debris are a lot easier to disrupt immediately after they come in contact with your shoes.
  3. Apply protective coatings. Finally, make sure to apply specialized protective coatings when appropriate. This is especially important for suede or leather shoes.

Keep Your Shoes Clean at All Times with Ainacare

There is no way around regular and intensive maintenance if you want your favourite pair of shoes to look great at all times. However, good intentions and pure determination to keep your sneakers clean forever aren’t enough. You need to learn how to clean shoes correctly and how to treat every type of material out there.

Luckily, with shoe care products from Ainacare, you can be sure to find the right approach to any pair. Shop now.