how to clean shoes naturally 4
how to clean shoes naturally 4

Cleaning your shoes can be a hassle, but did you know you can clean them naturally without harsh chemicals?

In this article, we will explore some simple and eco-friendly methods to keep your shoes looking fresh and clean.

Whether they are made of leather, canvas, or suede, you’ll find easy and effective ways to remove dirt and stains.

Say goodbye to expensive cleaners, and hello to a greener way of shoe cleaning!

How To Clean Shoes Naturally?

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How to Clean Shoes Naturally?

Keeping your shoes clean and well-maintained is not only crucial for their appearance but also for their longevity. Regular cleaning helps remove dirt, stains, and odor and ensures that your shoes stay fresh and comfortable.

While many commercial shoe cleaning products are available, you can also clean your shoes naturally using simple household materials. In this article, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of cleaning different types of shoes using natural ingredients.

1. Materials Needed

Before we dive into the cleaning process, let’s gather the materials you’ll need to clean your shoes naturally. These materials can be easily found in most households:

  • Natural Soap or Detergent: Choose a mild soap or detergent without harsh chemicals that can damage the shoe material.
  • Water: Clean water is essential for rinsing off the cleaning solution.
  • Soft Brush: Use a brush with soft bristles to avoid scratching or damaging the shoe surface.
  • White Vinegar: Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that removes stains and odors.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda is known for its odor-absorbing properties and can help eliminate funky smells from your shoes.
  • Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent that can help lighten stains on certain shoe materials.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil can condition and moisturize leather shoes.
  • Cornstarch: Cornstarch is effective in absorbing grease stains from suede shoes.
  • Toothpaste: Non-gel toothpaste can treat scuffs and stains on shoes.

Now that you have all the necessary materials, let’s move on to cleaning.

2. Preparing the Shoes

Before you start cleaning your shoes, preparing them properly is important. Follow these steps to ensure a thorough and efficient cleaning process:

– Remove the Laces

Start by removing the laces from your shoes. This will allow you to clean the entire shoe surface without any obstructions.

– Brush Off Loose Dirt

Take a soft brush and gently brush off any loose dirt or debris from the surface of the shoes. This will make cleaning more accessible and prevent dirt from spreading or getting trapped in the shoe material.

– Check for Stains or Spills

Inspect your shoes for any visible stains or spills. Identifying these spots beforehand will help you choose the correct cleaning method for your specific shoes.

– Identify Shoe Material

Different shoe materials require different cleaning techniques. Determine the type of material your shoes are made from, whether it’s leather, suede, canvas, mesh, rubber, or plastic. This will help you choose the appropriate cleaning method and avoid damaging the shoes.

– Read Manufacturer’s Instructions

If your shoes come with specific care instructions from the manufacturer, it’s essential to read and follow them accordingly. This will ensure that you clean your shoes most effectively and safely.

Now that your shoes are ready for cleaning, let’s move on to the specific cleaning methods for different shoes.

3. Cleaning Leather Shoes

Leather shoes require gentle cleaning to maintain their quality and appearance. Follow these steps to clean your leather shoes naturally:

– Mix Soap or Detergent with Water

Mix a few drops of natural soap or detergent in a small bowl or bucket with water to create a cleaning solution. Ensure the solution is well-diluted to avoid leaving any residue on the shoes.

– Dip a Soft Brush into the Solution

Dip a soft brush into the cleaning solution and gently scrub the leather surface in circular motions. Be careful not to apply too much pressure to avoid scratching or damaging the leather.

– Gently Scrub the Leather Surface

Continue scrubbing the leather surface until all dirt and stains are removed. Pay extra attention to areas with visible stains or spills.

– Wipe Away Excess Soap

Wipe away any excess soap or detergent from the shoe surface using a clean, damp cloth or sponge. Make sure to remove all residue to prevent any damage to the leather.

– Rinse with Clean Water

Once the soap residue is wiped away, rinse the shoes with clean water to remove any remaining traces of soap.

– Remove Soap Residue

Gently blot the shoes with a clean towel or cloth to remove excess water and ensure no soap residue is left behind.

– Allow Shoes to Air Dry

Place your leather shoes in a well-ventilated area, allowing them to air dry naturally. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or heat sources, which can cause the leather to crack or fade.

– Condition the Leather

After your leather shoes are completely dry, apply a small amount of olive oil to a soft cloth and gently rub it onto the surface of the shoes. This will help condition and moisturize the leather, keeping it soft and supple.

Cleaning your leather shoes regularly using this natural method will help maintain their appearance and quality, ensuring they last long.

How To Clean Shoes Naturally?

4. Cleaning Suede Shoes

Suede shoes require special care to avoid damaging their delicate texture. Here’s how you can clean suede shoes naturally:

– Remove Stains with a Brush or Eraser

Using a suede brush or eraser, gently rub the stains in a circular motion. This will help lift and remove surface dirt or stains without damaging the suede.

– Use Cornstarch to Absorb Grease Stains

If your suede shoes have grease stains, sprinkle a generous amount of cornstarch on the affected area. Let it sit for a few hours, allowing the cornstarch to absorb the grease. Once the stain is dry, gently brush off the cornstarch with a suede brush.

– Remove Odors with Baking Soda

To eliminate unpleasant odors from your suede shoes, sprinkle some baking soda inside them and let them sit overnight. The baking soda will absorb any lingering smells. In the morning, brush off the baking soda with a suede brush.

– Revive the Suede with a Toothbrush

To restore the texture of your suede shoes, use a soft toothbrush to brush the suede in one direction. This will help lift the fibers and restore their softness and appearance.

– Brush the Suede to Restore Texture

After you’ve brushed the suede in one direction, use the suede brush to gently brush the suede back and forth to restore its texture further.

– Spray with Vinegar Solution

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the suede surface, being careful not to saturate it. Allow the shoes to air dry naturally. The vinegar will help remove any remaining stains and odors from the suede.

Cleaning your suede shoes using these natural methods will help maintain their texture and keep them looking fresh and clean.

5. Cleaning Canvas Shoes

Canvas shoes are famous for their casual and comfortable style. Here’s how you can clean canvas shoes naturally:

– Make a Baking Soda Paste

Mix baking soda with a small amount of water in a small bowl to create a paste-like consistency.

– Apply the Paste to Stains

Use a sponge or cloth to apply the baking soda paste directly to any stains or dirty areas on your canvas shoes. Gently rub the paste onto the surface, focusing on the stained areas.

– Scrub with a Toothbrush

Scrub the baking soda paste into the canvas material using a toothbrush, working in circular motions. This will help lift the stains and dirt from the fabric.

– Rinse with Clean Water

Once you’ve scrubbed the stains, rinse your canvas shoes with clean water to remove any remaining baking soda.

– Air Dry the Shoes

Place your canvas shoes in a well-ventilated area, allowing them to air dry naturally. Avoid using direct heat sources, as they can damage the fabric.

– Remove Lingering Odors

If your canvas shoes have any lingering odors, sprinkle baking soda inside them and let them sit overnight. In the morning, shake out the baking soda or use a vacuum cleaner to remove it.

– Spot Clean Specific Areas

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle for any stubborn stains that didn’t come off with the baking soda paste. Lightly mist the stain and gently scrub it with a toothbrush. Rinse with clean water and allow the shoes to air dry.

Cleaning your canvas shoes regularly using these natural methods will help keep them looking fresh and ready to wear.

How To Clean Shoes Naturally?

6. Cleaning Mesh Shoes

Mesh shoes are lightweight and breathable, making them ideal for athletic activities. Here’s how you can clean mesh shoes naturally:

– Remove Dirt and Dust

Start by removing any loose dirt or dust from the surface of your mesh shoes. Gently tap the shoes together to remove any debris.

– Create a Vinegar Solution

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bowl or bucket to create a gentle cleaning solution.

– Dip a Cloth in the Solution

Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the vinegar solution and wring out any excess liquid. You want the cloth to be slightly damp, not dripping wet.

– Wipe the Mesh Surface

Using the damp cloth, gently wipe the mesh surface of your shoes, paying extra attention to any dirty or stained areas. Avoid applying too much pressure to prevent damaging the delicate mesh fabric.

– Spot Clean Stubborn Stains

Create a paste using baking soda and water for stubborn stains that don’t come off with the vinegar solution. Apply the paste to the stained areas and gently scrub with a toothbrush. Rinse with clean water and wipe dry.

– Let the Shoes Dry Naturally

Place your mesh shoes in a well-ventilated area, allowing them to air dry naturally. Avoid direct heat sources, which can warp or shrink the mesh fabric.

Cleaning your mesh shoes using these natural methods will help maintain their breathability and keep them looking clean and fresh.

7. Cleaning Rubber or Plastic Shoes

Rubber or plastic shoes, such as rain boots or flip-flops, are durable and easy to clean. Here’s how you can clean them naturally:

– Wipe Away Surface Dirt

Wipe away any surface dirt or debris from your rubber or plastic shoes using a damp cloth or sponge. This will help prepare them for deeper cleaning.

– Prepare a Soapy Solution

Fill a bucket or basin with warm water and add a few drops of natural soap or detergent. Mix until the solution becomes foamy.

– Scrub the Shoes with a Brush

Dip a brush with soft bristles into the soapy solution and gently scrub your rubber or plastic shoes. Pay attention to any stained or dirty areas, and be careful not to apply too much pressure, as it can scratch the surface of your shoes.

– Remove Soap Residue

Remove excess soap or detergent from your shoes using a clean cloth or sponge. Rinse the shoes with clean water to remove any remaining residue.

– Dry the Shoes Completely

Wipe the shoes dry with a clean towel or cloth and let them air dry completely. Ensure that they thoroughly dry before storing them to prevent mold or mildew growth.

Following these natural cleaning methods, you can keep your rubber or plastic shoes looking clean and ready for any outdoor adventure.

How To Clean Shoes Naturally?

8. Deodorizing Shoes

Along with cleaning your shoes, keeping them smelling fresh and odor-free is essential. Here are some natural methods to deodorize your shoes:

– Sprinkle Baking Soda Inside the Shoes

Baking soda is known for its odor-absorbing properties. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda inside your shoes and let it sit overnight to absorb unpleasant smells.

– Let the Baking Soda Sit

Allow the baking soda to sit in your shoes overnight or for at least a few hours to absorb the odors effectively.

– Remove the Baking Soda

In the morning, shake the baking soda from your shoes or use a vacuum cleaner to remove it. Remove all traces of the baking soda before wearing your shoes.

– Use Dryer Sheets

Place a scented dryer sheet inside each shoe to keep them smelling fresh. The fragrance from the dryer sheet will mask any unpleasant odors.

– Apply Essential Oils

Dab a few drops of your favorite essential oil onto a cotton ball and place it inside your shoes. This will leave a pleasant aroma and help eliminate any lingering odors.

– Freeze the Funky Odors

Place shoes with stubborn or persistent odors in a sealable plastic bag and keep them in the freezer overnight. The freezing temperature will kill off odor-causing bacteria.

– Sun-Dry Your Shoes

Place your shoes in direct sunlight on a sunny day for a few hours. The sun’s rays will help kill bacteria and eliminate odors naturally.

By following these deodorizing methods, you can ensure that your shoes look clean and smell fresh and pleasant.

9. Storing Clean Shoes

Once you have cleaned and deodorized your shoes, storing them properly is important to maintain their condition. Here are some tips for storing your clean shoes:

– Allow the Shoes to Fully Dry

Before storing your shoes, make sure they are scorched. Moisture can lead to mold or mildew growth, causing damage to the shoes.

– Stuff the Shoes with Newspaper

To help maintain the shape of your shoes, stuff them with crumpled newspaper. This will help absorb any lingering moisture and keep the shoes in good condition.

– Protect with Fabric Bags or Shoe Boxes

Place your clean shoes in fabric shoe bags or boxes to protect them from dust, dirt, and potential damage. This will also help keep them organized.

– Store in a Cool, Dry Place

Find a cool, dry place to store your shoes, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Extreme temperatures can damage the shoe material over time.

By storing your clean shoes properly, you can extend their lifespan and keep them in excellent condition for future use.

How To Clean Shoes Naturally?

10. Additional Tips and Warnings

Here are some additional tips and warnings to keep in mind while cleaning your shoes naturally:

– Test Cleaning Solutions on a Small Area First

Always test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of your shoes before applying it to the entire surface. This will help ensure that the solution doesn’t damage or discolor the material.

– Avoid Submerging Shoes in Water

Unless specifically mentioned by the manufacturer, avoid submerging your shoes fully in water. Excess water can damage certain shoe materials and weaken the glue that holds the shoes together.

– Do Not Use Harsh Chemicals on Shoes

Natural cleaning methods are generally safe for most shoe materials. Avoid harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can cause irreversible shoe damage.

– Follow the Manufacturer’s Care Instructions

If your shoes come with specific care instructions from the manufacturer, it’s essential to follow them. These instructions are tailored to the specific shoe material and will help you clean and maintain your shoes correctly.

– Consider Consulting a Professional

If you have expensive or delicate shoes that require special care, consider consulting a professional shoe cleaner. They have the expertise and specialized tools to clean and restore shoes without causing any damage.

Cleaning your shoes naturally helps maintain their appearance and condition and reduces exposure to harmful chemicals found in many commercial cleaning products. Following the step-by-step methods mentioned in this article, you can keep your shoes clean, fresh, and ready to accompany you on your daily adventures.

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Lucy Markk
Hi, I'm Lucy Markk, your go-to shoe cleaning expert at With years of experience in the industry, I have built a strong reputation as a reliable source for shoe cleaning tips and tricks. Throughout my career, I have received numerous prizes and rewards for my exceptional techniques and knowledge in keeping shoes looking brand new. I take immense pride in sharing my expertise with readers who are passionate about maintaining the longevity and aesthetics of their footwear. Whether you have a collection of high-end sneakers or need guidance on how to care for your favorite pair of leather boots, I am here to help. My writing philosophy revolves around providing practical, easy-to-follow advice that anyone can implement. I believe that with the right care and maintenance routine, you can extend the lifespan of your shoes and keep them looking their best. Besides being a shoe cleaning expert, I am also a dedicated enthusiast in the shoe industry. I understand the love and connection people have with their shoes, which is why I am committed to delivering content that not only educates but also inspires. Thank you for visiting I invite you to explore the site and discover valuable tips and techniques to make your shoes shine. Stay tuned for regular updates and remember, a little care goes a long way in preserving the beauty of your beloved footwear. Best regards, Lucy Markk