Maintaining Your Shoes: The Proper Way to Clean Them


As with many things in our lives, shoes need proper maintenance. There’s no avoiding it and as long as you want to keep pair with you as long as possible then you’ll have to learn how to do it right. 

Not to worry, the job is pretty easy to do. What’s important is understanding that your environment, as well as your daily activities, will play the biggest factor here. You’ll need to adjust depending on what your shoes are generally exposed to. 

Maintaining Smooth Leather Shoes

Leather is a material that should be maintained to avoid drying out. Like other natural materials, leather will need certain oils to maintain its quality, the same oils that are first removed from the raw material, to be applied at a later part of the process.

Applying these oils restores whatever moisture the material has lost over time. This helps the leather maintain its smoothness, its suppleness, and restore whatever shine it had. Applying the right kind of protectant would also help avoid leaving permanent marks on the leather itself. 

To clean these shoes, first, brush off any dust on the surface. Make sure to get into the crevices near the sole. Once you’ve done that, apply the appropriate shoe polish to the surface of the shoe. You can choose a shoe polish that matches the color of your shoe or you can choose the colorless kind. 

Once the shoe polish has been applied, polish the shoe with a clean rag. It is important that you are able to spread the polish as evenly as possible and to be patient with the process. It might be tempting to apply more pressure but avoid applying too much as this can damage the shoe. 

Maintaining Suede Leather Shoes

Unlike its cousin, suede leather shoes are a little easier to maintain. Start off similarly by brushing dirt off of the surface with a brush, taking care to clean out all the crevices. At this point, you may choose to either clean the shoe while it is wet or by using suede-specific cleaning foam.

In either case, the process will need you to roughen up the surface of the shoe again. You can do this at home by purchasing a special brush for suede leather and patiently brushing the shoe to the desired roughness.

Maintaining Textile Shoes

The misconception with textile is that people assume using detergent would be the most appropriate cleaning method. This is often the reason why textile shoes wear out quickly since the gentlest effective cleaning method is suggested.

To clean textile shoes, use a slightly damp cloth to clean the surface of the shoe. There will be areas with dirt that is hard to remove and for these cases try using dishwashing soap first before moving on to stronger substances. A good tip is to test the detergent first on a discrete part of the shoe to avoid any unavoidable mistakes. 


Don’t forget that it doesn’t necessarily end here. Part of maintaining your shoes includes how you store them. For that reason, shoe trees are advisable as they can help the shoes retain their shape. 

The point of all this is that if you care about your shoes, you’re going to have to do some work. Don’t worry, it’ll pay itself off with your shoes lasting way longer than they would have if you hadn’t cared for them. After all, with the money you paid for those shoes, you’d want to hang on to them for a good while. 

If you’re looking for shoe cleaning in Ottawa, we here at Goodfellow Cleaners have got you covered. We have been providing our customers with unparalleled dry cleaning and alteration services for over 25 years. Rest assured that your garments will be in good hands. For more information on our services, check out our website today!

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