It’s spring cleaning time. While you’re going through your closet and storing things away, make sure to give your shoes some, TLC too! Quick shoe fixes are worth the small time investment to keep them looking like new. Here are five ways to spruce up your shoes — using common items you mostly likely have lying around the house.
Pack Shoes With Paper
If your shoes get wet or damp in inclement weather, just pack them with crumbled magazine or newspaper pages to draw out the moisture, prevent stains and maintain the shape.
Bottle Up Your Boots
While we’re on the topic of maintaining the shape of your shoes, used wine bottles are great for storing your boots. They give them shape, help them air out and prevent them from creasing.
Whiten Your Sneakers
Everyone loves a fresh pair of white sneakers. Unfortunately, they don’t stay that way for long in my house. Here are a few ways to whiten and brighten.
Soapy Water and Toothbrush
This basic rinse will remove simple, everyday stains like a bit of dirt or food spills. Fill a sink with soapy water, use a toothbrush to scrub off the grime and rinse off.
Liquid Dish Soap, Baking Soda and Water
This solution will take off grass stains from canvas shoes. Just remember to dust off any dry dirt (dirt + water = mud). Then, mix a half cup warm water, one tablespoon clear ammonia and a dab of dish soap (make sure it’s clear soap). Spread the baking soda in a paste over the grass stains. Using an old toothbrush, scrub into the grass stains. Rinse with water and dry.
Baking Soda, White Vinegar
This mixture is good if you have soils and smells. Coat a paste of baking soda and a splash of water onto the stained areas with an old toothbrush. Scrub off as much as possible with the paste. Then, pour a bit of distilled white vinegar onto the pasted areas. The effervescence of the vinegar-baking soda reaction lift the stain. And the vinegar brings the PH balance to a level where bacteria can’t grow.
Polish Shoes With a Banana Peel
No shoe polish? No problem. As long as you have a banana, you’re good to go. My grandma would always do this, and it worked like a charm. How, you ask? Bananas contain a key ingredient found in commercial shoe polishes: potassium. So here are some simple steps to get a peel-perfect polish!
Please note: This technique works best for shoes that you would typically apply shoe polish to. Don’t apply to shoes that contain suede or nubuck.
1) Peel a banana (save the fruit to eat later as your reward!) and keep the skin.
2) Apply the skin to the shoe using the inner lining of the banana skin. Rub it all over the shoe, just as you would if you were using polish.
3) Once you have wiped the banana skin over the whole of both shoes, buff them up with a soft cloth.
4) Admire your now-clean shoes. They’ll come up shiny and like new again. Oh, and they’ll smell good, too!
Homemade Shoe Deodorizer
Keep your shoes (and closet for that matter) smelling fresh and clean with this great homemade shoe deodorizer recipe. I like to make this simple shoe spray using essential oils, which are naturally powerful antiseptics.
Two teaspoons essential oil (I recommend thyme essential oil or tea-tree oil, which you can get at any drug store) and two cups of water.
1. Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake vigorously to blend.
2. To use, spray area with the odor. (Spray the insides daily to deodorize smelly shoes.)
3. Let dry, but do not rinse out.
4. You can also use the spray to remove odors from sports equipment.
Note: Tea-tree oil has a strong, but not unpleasant, odor that will naturally dissipate in a few days.
Disclaimer: The shoes shown in this article are the author’s. Please use the above tips at your own discretion. Famous Footwear is not responsible for any damage caused to shoes by using these tips.