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  • Writer's pictureSarah Tyler

10 Ways to Clean and Care for Your Shoes for Spring

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

With the change of seasons, our shoes can often take a beating. The less predictable weather and various events that happen during the spring mean that we will likely be switching shoes more often than in the winter, when we would simply be rotating between a few styles of boots. Here are ten ways to ensure you’re fresh for spring from your head all the way to your toes:

1. Remove salt stains with vinegar and water. This helps with removing those dreaded salt stains and it is one of my most frequently used combinations. I use a 1:1 ratio of the mixture to wipe clean leather style boots. Pro tip: Don’t scrub your shoes with a product that will fall apart like tissues; use a paper towel or something else more durable. The leftover little white pieces don’t look fab. 

2. Freshen up your kicks with a neutralizing scent. With temperatures on the rise, your feet might get a bit sweaty in your shoes and boots. Try putting dry tea bags in your shoes to help absorb nasty smells, or make little fabric bags filled with equal parts of baking soda and cornstarch, plus a few drops of your favourite essential oils – lavender is great!

3. Banish all the marks and scuffs, so only your outfit is spot-on. Dab scuffs on your leather shoes with some petroleum jelly using a cotton swab. Try rubbing chalk over any oil stains, then wipe it off in 5-10 minutes. 

4. Make your shoes bright and white. Get that Insta aesthetic and use either lemon juice or a mixture of 1-part baking soda to ½ water and ½ hydrogen peroxide to brighten up those shoes. You can also try nail polish remover on rubber edges.  

@Stephanie Ziajka

5. Springtime calls for some rainy weather, so stop wet feet before it happens. Keep your canvas shoes from getting soaked by rubbing them with beeswax to create a water-resistant barrier for extra protection.

6. Brush away the dust and keep your nails looking fine. Construction season has officially started, so there will probably be dusty and muddy areas even if you try to avoid them. You can use a nail file to loosen up mud and oils from suede footwear. Be sure to go gentle and not push too hard on the material. Pro Tip: Never try this technique on silk or satin.

7. Wash your gym shoes in the washing machine. This will help get rid of unwanted odours, but be sure to put them in a mesh bag so there is minimal clanking and movement that could wreck your shoes. Be sure to let them air dry!

8. Soften worn down fleece insoles with dish soap. Dawn dishwashing soap is always a fan favourite and comes in refreshing scents. Soon enough you’ll be walking on clouds again.

@Brighton Keller

9. Make your rain boots and leather footwear sparkle. Massage a small amount of hair conditioner over the outside surfaces to increase the shine factor. Use sparingly and try a test spot first. Pro Tip: Don’t use any lightning or colour conditioners that could discolour your shoes!

10. Stick with a classic to make those shoes gleam! Find some toothpaste and an old toothbrush you don’t want to use in your mouth anymore. Scrub in small circles to hit dirt at all angles. Pro Tip: If you want to reuse the same toothbrush for future shoes, be sure to store it far away from your toiletries.

Show your shoes some love during your spring cleaning to stay fresh and stay fierce. Don’t forget to do touch-ups, too. Take care of your shoes and you’ll have a bounce in your step all season long!

- Originally posted by Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier on March 26, 2018


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