Is There a Right Time to Get Rid of Old Shoes? 3 Cleaning Tips

Do you have a box of old shoes in your closet that is too worn out to wear? If so, it's time to get rid of them. There is, however, no one right answer for when this should be done because the lifespan of a shoe varies depending on its use and how often it is worn. The shoes you wear day in and day out can take a beating. But they are not necessarily trash once they lose their luster.

If you think it's wasteful to get rid of a perfectly good pair of shoes, or that your favourite pair is not quite ready for retirement yet, here are some cleaning tips to prolong the use of various types of shoes:

How to Clean:

1. Fabric shoes

Your shoes are your most important accessory, so it's best to keep them clean and fresh - especially if you’re wearing them on a regular basis. With fabric shoes like sneakers, for instance, start by wiping down the midsole and outsole of the shoe to get rid of any visible dirt. Try using a damp cloth and soap solution for stains before proceeding any further. After cleaning, remember to wipe away the excess soap.

Some fabric shoes may be suitable to be submerged and soaked in soapy water, so it is important to check if your shoes can be cleaned using this method. Don’t forget to leave your shoes to air dry before they’re ready to wear again.

2. Sports shoes

Apart from your everyday shoes, if you exercise outdoors often, it is equally important to clean them for maximum performance and durability. Besides the dirt on its exterior, the inside of your shoes can become a breeding ground for bacteria, fungus and other pathogens if not properly cared for.

As a start, remove the laces and include them in your laundry load. To avoid tangling with your other clothing, you can put them in a mesh bag to wash separately. Just like fabric shoes, sports shoes can be soaked in soapy water. Place your sports shoes in a bucket of warm soapy water and using a soft-bristled brush, make sure to gently rub off any embedded dirt to avoid damaging your sports shoes. Again, air drying is the best option so leave your shoes out to dry completely in time for your next exercise session.

As an extra tip, make sure to wear fresh socks on every run to avoid odours.

3. Leather shoes

Unlike fabric shoes, leather shoes and water should never go hand-in-hand. These footwear items show the most wear when wet, resulting in ugly markings on the surface of your shoe that can be hard to remove entirely from these delicate pieces.

For regular maintenance, use a damp cloth or sponge and wipe down the entire shoe; this will remove any dirt from the surface. Next, get an old toothbrush (or one made specifically for cleaning leather) and brush it over the shoe in circular motions until all dirt particles are removed.

Take a cloth dipped in warm water and rub it across the shoe again to remove any remaining dirt. Finally, dry off your shoes with another clean cloth or paper towel. Apply a leather conditioner and they should be looking brand new!

Make Your Shoes Last Longer with Big Mama

Whether it is your go-to classic white sneakers or a killer pair of high heels, shoes can be one of the dirtiest parts of our wardrobe. Not only do they have a tendency to collect stains and scuff marks, but they also accumulate dust particles from walking on floors all day long. Make it a point to clean both new and relatively old shoes to not only increase the longevity of your footwear, but also maintain the cleanliness of your home. Get in touch with Big Mama for shoe cleaning services today.

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