We wear shoes depending on the kind of lifestyle we lead. Whatever that lifestyle is, your shoes are expected to get dirty. There are different kinds of shoes out there, and each of them requires a different method of cleaning. In the following guide, we will discuss how to clean the most common type of shoes: sneakers. (how to wash shoes by hand)
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Sneakers, trainers, gym shoes, or running shoes: these kinds of shoes may serve different purposes but they are basically made from the same materials and therefore can be cleaned using the same method.
How to wash shoes by hand
- 1. In a small bucket or basin, mix warm water with detergent/soap until you have a slightly soapy mixture.
- 2. Remove the shoelaces from the shoes and set them aside. If preferred, you can soak it in the soapy mixture you have prepared.
- 3. If your shoes have detachable insoles, take it out and set it aside. If you are unsure if the insoles of your shoes are removable, you can test it by slightly pulling it by the tip using your fingers. If it easily gives way then you can go through with removing the insoles. However, if it sticks to the shoes, chances are it is glued to the floor of your shoe and you will be better off living it in so as to not compromise the shoes’ structural integrity.
- 4. Using a soft-bristled brush -- shoe brush or tooth brush, scrub any dirt or grime that had built up on the outside of your shoes. Dip the brush in the mixture before directly brushing the dirty area. Repeat this until you are satisfied with the outcome. Some areas may require more than the others, especially those that are in direct contact with the ground.
- 5. If some dirt had solidified and stuck in any crease, try to pry it away using a stick or any thin, hard object. This could easily happen on the outsoles of the shoe. If it is too hard to be pried away, put a little of the mixing solution until it gives way, then brush until you are satisfied. Small rocks may also have stuck on the outsoles of your shoes, you can remove these using a toothpick or any kind of stick. Just be careful not to puncture your shoes while doing so.
- 6. To remove the excess soapy solution, put a dry sponge on your shoes and let it absorb the mixture. Wring the sponge away from your shoes to get rid of the excess solution. Repeat this until you are sure there is not any excess solution left in the shoes. If preferred, you can use the shoes using running water. This is more effective to get rid of the soap but may require longer time of drying.
- 7. Repeat steps 4 through 6 to clean the insoles, but remember to be a little gentler as the insoles are commonly made with lighter and softer materials than the outside of the shoes.
- 8. Clean your shoelaces by scrubbing it with the toothbrush and soapy solution. If the shoelaces have become too thin or frayed, you may want to consider buying a new pair. Once you are done scrubbing, wring out the excess solution and rinse with clean water. Repeat as needed or until there is no soap left on the laces.
- 9. Let your shoes air-dry in a place where it is not under direct sunlight as this could cause premature damage to your kicks. If you are in a hurry to have it dried, you can put the shoes behind the refrigerator; just make sure it is not put too close to the condenser rails as this could compromise the adhesive used in binding the shoes.
Pro tip: Avoid putting your shoes in a place with direct sunlight. Though this has been proven to quickly dry the shoes, it can affect the adhesive on the shoes and may also lead to cracking.
Cleaning your shoes is easy as long as your shoes do not require special handling techniques. Remember that these steps should only be followed for shoes that are not made of leather and/or suede. Those kinds need a different set of steps to be kept clean. Did this article help you? Do not forget to like and share. For any questions or suggestions, please drop us a line in the comments section.