Spring might be the time of year when young fancies lightly turn to thoughts of love, but other fancies heavily turn toward thoughts of ditching junk and getting their houses in order. Spring cleaning is a tradition of renewal for some, but it’s surprising how often shoes are merely left in a “throw or keep” category. If you clean your shoes inside and out, they can not only look good longer, but also reduce odor and help prevent fungal infection.
For a quick and easy method with sneakers, there’s always the washing machine. Remove the laces and remove any loose dirt on the outside and sole of each shoe with a brush. Put the shoes and laces in a pillowcase and set in the washing machine with a few towels to help soften the noise. Use detergent as normal, but also add a cup of vinegar to help disinfect and remove odors. If the shoes are not white, wash in cold; otherwise, use arm.
If you’d rather clean the outsides of your shoes by hand, once again start by removing the laces (clean the lace holes with a cotton swab, too!). Brush away loose dirt with an old toothbrush, and then use a solution to clean. For tennis and many other athletic shoes, warm water mixed with dish soap should do the trick. For suede or canvas, a 1-to-1 solution of white vinegar and salt can work well for stained spots. Rinse by dipping a rag in distilled water, wringing it out, and gently wiping.
Once you clean your shoes, set them in sunlight to dry, but don’t leave them out too long lest you risk cracking and fading. Stuff the insides of your shoes with paper towels to help dry the insides.
If you are having trouble with your shoes, whether they’re causing odor or pain, the doctors at California Foot and Ankle Institute can help you find some fresh solutions. Call us toll-free at (800) 370-0393 or direct phone: (949) 833-3406.