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How to clean children's shoes

boy walking on decking in autumn clothes and boots

Most of our shoes are made from leather which will look good for longer with some regular cleaning. Here are some simple steps to guide you through cleaning children's shoes:

  1. Remove loose dirt and dust: Use a soft brush or dry cloth to gently remove any loose dirt or dust from the shoes. This helps prevent scratching the leather during the cleaning process.

  2. Create a cleaning solution: If you don’t have a pre-made cleaner, you’ll need to mix a small amount of mild leather cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions . Avoid using harsh chemicals, bleach, or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the leather.

  3. Test on a small area: Before applying the cleaning solution to the entire shoe, test it on a small, inconspicuous area to check for any adverse reactions or colour fading. If the leather remains unaffected, you can continue with the cleaning process.

  4. Gently wipe the shoes: Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the cleaning solution and wring out any excess liquid. Gently wipe the leather shoes, focusing on any stains or dirt. Avoid scrubbing forcefully, as it can damage the leather. Be gentle and use circular motions to clean the shoes thoroughly. Don’t forget to check out our express whitener to help restore colour to white shoes or soles.

  5. Remove tough stains: For tougher stains, you may be able to use a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush to gently scrub the affected area. If necessary, apply a small amount of the cleaning solution directly to the stain and gently rub it in. Avoid using excessive water or soaking the leather and don’t scrub too hard as it could damage the leather.

  6. Rinse and wipe: Once you have finished cleaning the outside, wipe off any remaining cleaning solution from the shoes using a clean, damp cloth. Make sure to remove all the soap or detergent residue.

  7. Clean the inside of the shoes: Open up the shoe and wipe the inside with a clean, damp cloth or sponge to remove any sweat or odour. Be careful not to saturate the lining, as excessive moisture can cause damage. Some of our shoes have removable insoles, making this step a little easier. If the shoes are still smelly, shaking baking soda inside clean, dry shoes can neutralise odours. Just leave it in overnight or for 24 hours if you can and tip any excess into the bin and you’re good to go.

  8. Dry the shoes: Use a dry towel or cloth to pat the shoes and remove excess moisture. It's important not to expose leather shoes to direct sunlight or heat, as it can cause them to dry out and potentially crack – so no radiators or fires. Instead, allow the shoes to air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area.

  9. Condition the leather: Once the shoes are dry, apply a small amount of leather conditioner or lotion to a clean cloth and gently rub it onto the surface of the shoes. This step helps to restore moisture and prevent the leather from drying out.

  10. Polish or buff (optional): If you want to give the shoes an extra shine, you can use a shoe polish or leather buffing cloth to gently polish the leather.
  11. Did you know? Many of our kids canvas shoes are machine washable at 30°c. Simply pop them in a pillowcase and load into the washing machine on a gentle cycle.