The average American spends $1,866 each year on clothing and shoes. That’s more than $150 dollars every month.
Shoes protect our feet during an exercise workout, help us feel more professional, and let us show off our personal style. But, they also need proper care if you want them to last more than a season.
The question is, what’s the best way to clean shoes?
Luckily, you can make your own shoe cleaning kit at home. Read on to get tips for cleaning shoes so you can look and feel your best.
Start With a Waterproof Spray
With the exception of rain boots, no shoe material mixes well with water. That’s why you should spray your shoes with a waterproof protector spray. It will create a barrier between the shoe and your environment.
You can find waterproof spray at any shoe store or big box retailer. Spray it on shoes made from leather, suede, or fabric to prevent water damage.
Use a Good Shoe Brush
Every shoe cleaning kit needs a shoe brush. It will help lift salt stains, polish leather, and brush suede. You can opt for either a wide shine brush or a dauber brush.
A wide shine brush is a great all-purpose brush and works with most materials. A dauber-style brush works better for applying shoe polish or saddle soap, especially on leather shoes.
If you need to clean suede shoes, you should also invest in an eraser or a suede rubber. A basic eraser that you’d use for pencil marks works too—just make sure it’s clean. Rub the eraser back and forth to remove stubborn stains.
Get a Soft Cloth
Another element of a cleaning kit is a soft cloth. You can use it to remove dust or dirt. It’s also a great way to apply shoe polish.
You can buy soft cloths specifically made for cleaning shoes. But, an old t-shirt works just as well. Simply cut a t-shirt into strips or small pieces and you have the perfect shoe cleaning cloth.
Use the Right Cleaner and Conditioner
To keep your shoes looking great, you’ll also need a cleaner and conditioner. Make sure to buy a cleaner that’s made for the specific shoe material you want to clean. For example, a suede cleaner wouldn’t work for leather shoes.
Leather shoes will also need a conditioner. While the cleaner removes polish and stains, the conditioner restores moisture. Think of it as lotion for your leather shoes.
Without the proper conditioner, leather can dry out and crack over time. Conditioner keeps leather soft and supple.
Don’t Forget Shoe Polish
The last element in your kit should be shoe polish. You’ll only need polish for leather shoes.
There are two types of leather shoe polish: wax and cream. Wax polish adds shine, while cream polish adds color to your leather shoes.
You can use wax polish, cream polish, or both types. It just depends on the look you want.
Assemble Your Own Shoe Cleaning Kit Today
Once you put together a shoe cleaning kit, you won’t have to rely on a professional for help. Plus, if you know how to care for your shoes, they’ll last longer and look great for years to come.
Looking for the perfect outfit to pair with your newly polished shoes? Check out these casual winter outfit ideas for inspiration.