Tips to Restore Summer Shoes Before Winter
Everybody wears shoes and a woman’s shoe collection is one of her prized possessions. Shoes, like clothes, are seasonal. You change your shoes according to the climate. Summer is on the horizon and it makes good sense to be prepared in the shoe department. Before rushing out to buy another pair of shoes, why not spruce up the shoes you already have? All it takes is a little effort to have your shoes looking and feeling fresh enough for summer.
Shoes are always on the ground and so are always in close contact with areas that would soil. How soiled your shoes get depends on where they are worn and how often. Warmer weather means your feet perspire more and all shoes would benefit from a clean, no matter how light.
A shoe collection would be made up of a number of materials. How you clean your shoes depends on the material. Some shoes are made of a single material while others are trimmed in an extra material. Before cleaning any pair of shoes you should first clean a hidden area to make sure the material won’t spoil as in fade or darken.
The most commonly used material for shoes is leather:
- It is important not to get leather too wet. The rule is to use a damp (not wet) cloth.
- Make a cleaning solution of a little mild liquid face cleanser (e.g. glycerin because it’s soap-free) in about three cups of warm water.
- Dampen a soft cloth, squeeze out excess liquid.
- Use cloth to dab (blot) away dirt.
- Use firm dabs but do not rub too hard.
- Rinse cloth in clear water, squeeze out excess water.
- Dampen cloth again in cleaning solution, squeeze out excess liquid.
- Blot shoes again.
- Use a clean soft cloth to dry leather.
- If necessary, use a clear or colored shoe polish to buff and protect leather.
Many summer shoes like wedge heels are attractively trimmed in braid. Any woman knows braided rope gets grimy:
- While cleaning the braid, avoid getting it too wet to prevent unraveling.
- A good tip is to use foaming carpet or upholstery shampoo. This is a product that is designed to extract dirt with very little water.
- Apply a small amount of foam.
- Use a soft brush (e.g. old tooth brush) to gently work foam into the braided material.
- Allow to dry.
- Gently brush away any remains, brush in the direction of the rope.
- You may need to repeat cleaning procedure.
A very popular material for summer sandals is straw. It’s not surprising because it’s light and allows in air but it does get dirty easily:
- Do not get the straw wet. It is a natural fiber and will lose shape.
- Use an eraser that is slightly sticky and pliable (from craft store).
- Going in the direction of the weave, gently rub away dirt.
- Keep turning the special eraser so a clean piece always comes into contact with the straw.
- After cleaning your shoes use a soil repelling spray to keep them clean for longer.
- Store light colored shoes in boxes or soft bags (e.g. old pillowslips)
- Every now and then use a soft brush to keep straw dust and grime free.
- Keep the inners fresh by only slipping on shoes if your feet are clean.
- If the inners get grimy use a soft damp (never wet) cloth or brush to get rid of dirt, never dry in direct sunlight – air dry only.