How To Clean Skate Shoes | Suede, Canvas And Leather Shoes Washing Method

It’s important to keep your shoes clean – not only for appearances sake, but also to prevent dirt and debris from causing damage to the shoes themselves.

Here’s a quick and easy guide to cleaning your shoes.

So, without wasting time, let’s start

You can clean your shoes in two ways:

  • Cleaning in general way (By hand)
  • Cleaning through washing machine
How To Clean Skate Shoes
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Manual Way Of Hand Washing Shoe

You can clean your skate shoes in a regular way and that is washing by hand. For doing so you can go through the following steps

  1. First of all, make sure that the dirty  shoes are dry. Because if there is water on the shoe it will make the dirt paste-like which is very bothersome and difficult to rinse off. 
  2. Take a brush (hard or Stiff ) and start cleaning the dirt from every corner of the shoes. If the grimes strongly cling to the skate shoe, a Stiff brush will help to remove them and if they are not that strong, a soft brush is enough. 

Note: You may purchase a boot scrubber if you want to clean the dirt easily without touching it by hand. Scrubbers are really an awesome product that easily removes the dirt from every hidden edge of the shoe.

There are many types of boot scrubbers available in the market. Check the products bellow-

  1. Take 1-2 spoonful of detergent and mix them gently within slightly warm water. Then dip the brushed shoe in the water for a while. After a few minutes you will see dirt, grimes and mud floating on the surface of the water.

Note: If you are not willing to use detergent as we all know it is alkali and ready to spend some penny then you should go for a shoe cleaning solution. The solutions are made in a way that doesn’t damage the shoe and at the same time make it as clean as the newly bought one.

cleaning shoes by detergent
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It is suitable for all material shoes ranging from suede, canvas, leather, even white shoes. You should try the product if you are washing brand shoes like converse, Nike, Adidas sneakers, Lakai, Puma, Dc, vans or other quality shoes.

Check out the products bellow

  1. After that, take the shoes out of the water and rinse them with a Microfiber Towel. You may use normal clothes to rinse the water off but microfiber works great in case of rinsing shoes. 
  2. Then hang it across the rope and let it dry.

Washing Through Washing Machine

I personally don’t recommend this method in case of washing leather and suede material shoes. This method of cleaning shoes may make the shoes expire soon. So I would recommend the above method of cleaning shoes manually.

However, for knowing the way of cleaning shoes in the washing machine, I am sharing some tips. 

cleaning skate shoes in washing machine
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  1. To wash the shoe in the washing machine, first of all you should brush off the dirt, grimes or mud clung to the shoe with a brush as recommended in the above method. If you skip this step, your machine may get damaged due to the muds going into the machine’s motor. 
  2. Remove the shoe laces, insoles, outsoles and other attachments from the shoes
  3. Then add one tablespoon of liquid detergents in washing machine, set the machine water temperature not more than 40°c 
  4. Turn on the machine and run for 30-40 minutes (though it depends on your machine)
  5. After finishing the wash take the shoes out and dry them

Cleaning Stripes

Shoe stripes are elements that catch most of the attention of spectators. It may be colorful or white. Standard color is white most of the time. It means a lot for the sartorial affinity of fashion loving people. 

It is no secret that the white stripes on shoes can easily become dirty and discolored. While there are many commercial products available to clean shoe stripes, there are also some simple home remedies that can be just as effective.

1. One of the easiest methods to clean shoe stripes is to simply use a toothbrush and some soap. 

  • first , Wet the toothbrush and add a small amount of soap to it. 
  • Gently scrub the affected areas of the shoe stripes and then rinse with water. 
  • Try to use warm water for rinsing and then dry them in the sunbeam

2. Another way of home remedy can be cleaning the stripes by applying vinegar and water

  • First, take the stripe out of the shoe
  • Apply this solution to the affected areas with a cloth and then scrub gently.
  • Rinse with water when finished.

If the above methods do not seem to be working, you can always try using a commercial cleaner specifically designed for cleaning shoe stripes.

How To Use Cleaner

Follow the instructions printed on the cleaner and apply it to the affected areas. Wash with water when finished and then rinse with dry cloth.

You can also use detergent and water mix to clean the stripes. 

  • Just take a bucket of half liter water. 
  • Add 1-2 tablespoon detergents and stir until foam comes up. 
  • Then soak the stripes for half an hour in the bucket. 
  • Rub the stripes for deep cleaning and wash with normal water
  • Wrench and dry in sunshine

You can clean almost all of the shoe stripes using any of the simple methods mentioned above. You should wash your stripes once a month to keep shoes looking fresh. 

How To Clean Suede Shoes 

Suede shoes are popular among many sportsmen. They look beautiful and last for a long period of time. Skateboarders also love to wear suede shoes for riding skateboards. The problem of getting dirty is also a pain for suede shoes.

As suede shoes are quite different in terms of texture and shoe surface material, you should clean it very carefully. 

Suede Shoe Cleaning Method
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Suede materials are such that you should not use water to clean it. If you use water, it may get stained or at least spoil the shoe’s appearance.  

To clean suede shoes you should use a cleaning kit and special type of rubber eraser that wipes out the staines. 

To make things simple I am describing the process step by step so that you can follow it easily and get a fresh look for your suede shoe.

Things you need

  1. A soft suede brush
  2. Stain eraser
  3. White vinegar/alcohol (if necessary)
  4. Suede protector

Find the products bellow

Steps To Follow

  • First of all find a place not so cool or warm to do the cleaning work
  • Start with brushing the suede to eliminate dirt, grits or mud. Gently use the brush in the direction the suede grains naturally sit. Drive the brush swiftly  front and back direction  with more pressure in case of removing more stubborn stains like scuff marks.

If you do not want to buy a suede brush, you can do that with a normal toothbrush or shoe brush. 

  • Use a rubber to remove remaining marks. Gently rub the rubber back and forth to budge any surplus dirt from suede. Don’t apply more pressure just rub it against the suede until the suede becomes clean of grits.

Note: If you don’t have suede rubber, normal pensile rubber will work. Just make sure the rubber doesn’t contain any pre- existing marks before rubbing it against the suede. 

  • If after doing all the things above, you see some stains on suede then go for vinegar/alcohol solution. Just dip the edge of a clean cloth in vinegar or alcohol. Don’t dip the full cloth in just one corner. Then apply the drenched cloth where the stain still exists. Rinse the suede with the cloth again and again until the stain vanishes. You don’t have to soak it but dampen to get the stain to evaporate.

Note: The smell of alcohol or vinegar may remain for some time. It will fade away over time. Alcohol or vinegar may temporarily dampen the suede making it appear discolored for a while. But don’t worry, as soon as the alcohol or vinegar dries away the suede will get back to its original color.

  • Air dry the suede. Don’t expose suede to direct sunlight because it may cause the suede color to fade.
  • Lastly, use a suede protector to protect it from dirt and stains.

Lets watch a video on cleaning suede shoes easily-

Frequently Asked Question

1. Can I clean suede in the washing machine?

Ans: You can but you shouldn’t. Because doing so will cause the suede to get stained.

2. Can you get suede wet?

Ans: yes it can get drenched in water. You need to take action if something like that happens. Because water causes stains on the suede. So clean the suede and air dry it if the suede gets wet.

3.Does water ruin suede shoes?

Ans: No it doesn’t ruin the suede but it may cause the suede to get stains and grimes. If something like this happens, dry the suede, use brush and rubber to drive away the stain and muds.

How To Clean Canvas Shoe

Shoes make the impression we all know that. Skaters also are very careful when choosing skate shoes. Shoes make the appearance of a person more stylish as well as it protects feet from external unfavorable accidents.

canvas Shoe Cleaning Method
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Canvas shoes are shoes that have canvas at top and rubber sole. Canvas is a type of material made out of hemp. It is popular among some skaters for their style and protective trait. It may be high top skate shoes, low top and medium top shoes. 

Like any other types of shoes, canvas shoes also do get dirty and stained. It too needs to be cleaned for a better look and long lasting. 

Now the question comes, how to clean a canvas shoe? 

Let’s answer.

Canvas shoes can be washed in two ways

  1. Using washer
  2. By hand

Washing Canvas By Washer

What you need

  • Detergent (laundry or liquids)  
  • Bleach (oxygen based or chlorine based) if necessary
  • A washer
  • Soft brush
  • Disinfectant

Steps To Follow

  • First off all you need to take out the laces and strips from the shoes as well as the insoles. Wash them separately as mentioned above in this article.
  • Then take a soft brush (toothbrush or shoe brush) and brush up to remove the soil, dirt and dry particles from the shoe. If your shoe is muddy, never put that in the washer. First wash the mud with a garden hose or rinse and rinse the shoe with clothes.
  • Take regular laundry detergent and pour into the washer. If your shoes are white, you may use chlorine based bleach to add an extra layer in washing. Use oxygen based bleach in the case of colored canvas. You may also add disinfectant to protect your feet from infection.
  • Set the washer to a normal wash cycle and choose a lower spin function. 
  • Then put the shoe along with other clothes into the washer. Don’t put the single shoe at a time in a washer or only a number of shoes in a load. 
  • Start the washing machine and let it run for half an hour.
  • Lastly, air dry the shoe. Never dry it into direct sunlight as it can damage the original color.

Washing Canvas Shoe by hand

All you need

  • Detergent or liquid dish soap
  • Scrub brush
  • Baking soda
  • Stain remover
  • Towel

Steps To Follow

  • Unlace the shoe and wash the straps separately. You may use detergent and soak the laces for a while (at least for 15 minutes). Then scrub the laces gently to wash away the stains, first, grimes from the laces without harming the fiber
  • Scrub the canvas upper part and inside by using a toothbrush or shoe brush. Gently scrub forth and back in one direction again and again until a significant amount of dirt is removed. Also wash the outsole using soap water and the brush. Put more pressure on the outsole to remove dirt or mud from the outsoles.
  • Take 1-2 spoons of detergent or liquid dish wash soap and mix with 3-4 cups of water. Stir it until the elements dissolve and make foam over the water. Now dip the brush into the solution and scrub it on the stains and dirt. Scrub until all stains are removed.
  • If some stubborn stains don’t budge, apply bleach ( oxygen based bleach for colored canvas shoes and chlorine based bleach for white canvas shoes) on the marks with a clean cloth and leave it for a few minutes. Then after washing with water you will see that stains no longer exist on canvas.
  • Then air dry it 

Leather Shoe Washing Method

Leather shoes are prone to get less dirty than other types of shoes. But leather shoes need to be cleaned if they get stained or get in contact with mud.

I will describe step by step how to remove stains from leather shoe and clean it like a new one!

leather shoe cleaning
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All you need 

  • Soft cloth
  • Dish soap
  • Leather conditioner
  • Baking soda (if necessary)
  • Alcohol or nail polish remover
  • Toothpaste (special case)

Steps To Follow

  • Like other methods, you need to unlace the shoe prior to wash
  • Take the cloth and rub on the surface of the shoe where you see dirt, mud or grime.
  • Take dish soap and mix with warm water to make a solution. Then dip a cloth into the solution and rub it upon the surface of the shoes.
  • Take a wipe cloth and rinse off the soapy water from the shoe. It is enough for cleaning leather shoes. Then air dry the shoe. Like before, don’t dry it into direct sunbeam otherwise the leather shoe would get cracked.
  • If the leather shoe has stains on it due to oil or grease, then you may take baking soda and mix it with water. Then wash the shoe with a cloth damped in soda and leave for a few hours. Soda water will absorb the oil.
  • You may apply alcohol or nail polish remover to remove ink from the leather shoe. All you need to do is, just apply some nail polish remover or alcohol on the dirt area with the help of cotton swabs and leave for a few minutes. Then wipe off with dry cloth. 

What You Shouldn’t Do While Washing Leather Shoe

  1. You shouldn’t use bleach in leather shoes. Bleach would cause the leather get damaged and color to fad 
  2. Don’t dry it into direct sunbeam
  3. Don’t put the shoe into the washing machine. 
  4. Don’t rub the surface with a stiff brush applying pressure.

After Wash Care

After finishing the wash, you should take care of your shoes so that it doesn’t get dirty or get damaged anyhow. I am providing some tips to take care the shoe after the wash

  1. After washing the air, dry the shoe carefully. Dry the whole shoe inside out. You may use an air blower to dry up the shoe if you wish. 
  2. After drying the shoe, lace up the shoe and reinstall the insoles. And keep the shoe in a normal temperature place. Don’t reserve the shoe in a high temperature place or too cool place. 
  3. Try not to wear leather or suede shoes in the rain. Try gumboots in the rain.

How To Reduce Shoe Odor

To deodorize the shoe smell you may follow the following steps

  • You may take baking soda, baking powder and cornstarch and sprinkle the mixture into the shoes overnight. Wash the shoe the next day. The solution will fight the bacteria and deodorize the shoe.
  • You may use vinegar to deodorize. Simply take vinegar into a spray bottle, and spray the vinegar into the shoe hole. Leave for a few hours. Boom your shoes are de-odorized.
  • You may put your shoes under sunshine for a few hours. But keep in mind, don’t do this in case of suede and leather shoes
  • You may use some natural deodorizer oil to drive away odor from shoes also. Tea trees, cedarwood and cloves are such oils. You may use them to deodorize the shoe.

What If My Shoes Are Still Dirty After Cleaning?

If your shoes are still dirty after washing then it is presumed that you have bragged about the shoes too much and there is no way out to restore the original look of the shoe anyhow. It is time to buy a new pair. 

Last Words

To cut it short, washing a pair of shoes is a very important job. Dirty shoes look ugly and make your appearance unpleasant. For skaters shoes are foot protectors and are also a sign of grandeur.

So, knowing how to wash your skate shoes is important. I have tried to make it simple though if you have any suggestion, please don’t hesitate to add in the comment.

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