DIY Shoe Cleaning

NOTE: This method was tried on canvas styled shoes. It would not work for leather or any other material shoes.

I recently went paintballing with my sisters, cousins and their friends as a birthday event. Our shoes saw the worst of it. Now I wish I had, had foresight and taken pictures before and after, but I sadly don't. I did manage to crop some pictures (for privacy sakes) of our shoes before and after.



The shoes are obviously not new, but we were always brought up to keep our things clean so they look quite good. Now, brace yourselves for the after picture.



Yeah...I have no words to describe how dirty they were. At least the suits that they had provided protected our clothes.

Now onto the actual DIY.

What You'll Need

  • Vanish Stain Remover (or something similar)
  • Bucket (something you don't mind getting dirty)
  • Warm water
  • Dish Soap
  • Containers (also something you don't mind getting dirty)
  • Spare toothbrush (I keep a toothbrush for cleaning random bits and pieces - handy to have one)
  • Sunlight (or in my case, a little bit of air and radiator)

When we got home, after driving in the spare socks that I somehow had remembered to keep, we were too tired to really do anything apart from moan, eat and sit. But my lovely cousin, took all our shoes out to the garden and hosed then down while the mud was still a little wet. She soaked the shoes in a bucket of warm water with some Vanish Powder. I am not sure how much she used but I would guess a 1:4 ratio with 1 scoop of Vanish to 4L of water. She left it soaked overnight, checking every once in a while, replacing the water as needed. The next day, she rinsed the shoes and we left them out to dry. We had to leave, so we just wrapped the shoes in a plastic bag for the journey and when we got home, they were just slightly damp so we placed the on the radiators until they were dry.

Although just doing this cleaned off the majority of the mud, I noticed that when the shoes had dried, there was still some grainy texture still left on them. So, I took the shoelaces out of the both the shoes (Converse and Champion Trainers) and set them aside for now. I made a mixture of water and dish soap, there is no way for me to describe how much I used because I just eyeballed it, but there needs to be more water than dish soap. Soak the toothbrush into the mixture and first rub the soles of the shoes and then move onto the fabric portion. Remember not to put too much on the brush because it'll just make it harder to get out. I did one shoe at a time, so I would rub it with the soap solution and then rinse it and put it aside, then move on to the next.

After all the shoes have been rinsed, I placed our shoes outside for a couple of hours (thankfully it didn't rain that day). FullSizeRender 2Our apartment doesn't get much sun so after a couple of hours, I took them back inside and placed all of the shoes on top of radiators.

For the laces, I filled up the sink about a 1/4 of the way, and placed 1/2-3/4 scoop of Vanish Stain Remover into the water (typical me to forget to take a picture). I rubbed the stains on our socks, and all the laces and placed them into the water and left it for roughly two hours, give or take. Then I left them to dry whilst I started my laundry. I placed my sisters pink laces into the bright load and my white laces and our socks into the white load.

All that's left now is to attach the laces onto the shoes and viola, you're finished. I'm actually quite proud of myself for completing this. Lets give ourselves a high-five and get a pair of really cheap shoes to wear next time.

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Note: All pictures are unedited.

Published by Sania Sahgal


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