Hand washing

Chip off any dried or crusty material on the shoes. Remove laces, inserts, and any other removable parts. Mix a solution of gentle detergent, such as Ivory Snow, and warm water. Use a terrycloth towel dipped in this solution to

Machine washing

If they are crusty and covered in dirt, chip off as much as possible so you don’t end up giving them a mud bath instead of a wash. If they are really soiled, hose them off outside. Spot-treat any stains

Canvas sneakers

Prevent stains on new canvas shoes by spraying them with Scotchgard or similar fabric protector. Basic canvas sneakers (such as Converse All-Stars or Keds) can be machine washed. However, if they are only soiled in a few places, or if

Athletic sneakers

Athletic shoes undergo a lot of wear and tear, but regular cleanings can help them last longer. Most are constructed from many different materials, so use an all-purpose shoe cleaner or one that is recommended by the manufacturer. If you

Suede and nubuck leather

Get a special suede cleaning brush to clean with. Use short strokes in the same direction—not back and forth or circular—to buff away scuff marks and raise the nap. If the brush isn’t getting the dirt out, try a pencil

Cleaning & Polishing

Remove dirt and grime with a leather cleaner intended for smooth leather shoes, or saddle soap. Use a soft cloth to clean with. Let shoes air dry completely. Conditioning your shoes protects them from drying and cracking. To keep them

Smooth leather shoes

To extend the life of smooth leather shoes and keep them looking like new, clean, condition, and polish them regularly. Use shoe trees that are specially designed for your type of shoe to help shoes keep their shape. If shoes

General tips for all shoes

When using shoe cleaners and polishes, always work in a well-ventilated area so that fumes aren’t an issue. Put newspaper down or work outside to avoid staining things around you. Remove laces before cleaning and polishing, and wash them with