Friday, February 10, 2012

Cleaning Your Shoes

I was looking at my favorite pair of flats the other day, and realized how dirty they have gotten.  Now, I realize that most women would just toss the said shoes and go buy another pair. These shoes are over 5 years old, and even though the soles aren’t cracked, nothing is wrong with the shoes; I know that most women wouldn’t bat an eyelash at just donating them and buying a new pair. Well, this year I’ve made the decision to not buy anything that wasn’t a necessity. That includes new shoes, when I have 50 other pairs that are still in good repair. That still left me wondering what I could do about my favorite pair of shoes? I decided to wash them. If you, too, would like to know how to clean (certain kinds of) shoes, read on!

STEP ONE: Gather your supplies

I looked thru my laundry supplies, and decided this would be the best thing to use. Most of the shoes I cleaned had ground in dirt, and were stained. I wasn’t sure how my shoes would hold up to being soaked in hot water, as most shoes are only held together by strong glue.  Most of my shoes are well over 4 years old. It always amazes me to look thru my shoes, and realize that I have pairs of shoes from High School (no, I won’t tell you how long that’s been!), and they are still in really good condition! My husband, however, needs new jeans and shoes at least once a year. What does he do in them?! But, I digress..

A soft, yet sturdy scrub brush will be needed. You don’t want something to hard, as it might tear the fabric while wet, but you don’t want it so soft that it doesn’t scrub the dirt out.

STEP TWO: Put the OxiClean on the shoes.
I didn’t take any pictures before I put the gel on, but you can get a general idea of how filthy they were. I really only put the gel on the really dirty area. It does soap up, while you rub, so you don’t want to use to much. If your shoes are really soiled, let the gel sit for a couple of minutes. It helps get it out better.

STEP THREE: Rub, Rinse, Repeat
I don’t have a picture of this step, as my hands were a little busy. Basically, I took the scrub brush, and lightly rubbed, in the direction of the fabric. It didn’t take long, and the dirt started coming right out. I rinsed it under hot water, being careful not to get the soles to wet. Most of my shoes were stretched from wear, so the hot water helped get the fabric back shape. Just rub the gel off, under the water, till it’s clear.

STEP FOUR: Shape your shoes and lay to dry
Reshape the fabric of your shoes, and lay on a towel to dry. The drying process can take awhile, depending on how wet the insoles got, how thick the fabric of the shoe is, and the weather conditions in your house. It’s about 20 F outside, and 70 F in the house. I placed my shoes near the heat vent, and it helped them dry in no time!

And, no, I did not do the same process for the black flats. Those were just dusty, and Mopsy decided that she would ‘clean’ them for me, and put them with the rest of the shoes. If you really don’t like the way your insoles look, there’s a fabulous tutorial on making your own. Now that my shoes look all nice on the outside, I think I’ll be redoing the insoles, myself!

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