How To Clean A Vintage Shoe

Depending on whether you have a pair of running shoes or something a little finer, made from leather, it is important to learn how to clean a vintage shoe. If you do it with care, you preserve its material and the look of the shoes. Follow the guidelines below to learn how to clean vintage shoes, sneakers, dress shoes and boots.


  • Gentle laundry detergent for cloth shoes
  • Spot remover
  • Soft rag
  • Shoe buffer
  • Shoe polish applicator
  • Shoe polish
  • Saddle soap
  1. Spray running shoes or other vintage shoes with spot remover only if there is a small area that needs cleaning. Allow it to sit on the fabric for as long as needed and wipe away with a cloth.
  2. Clean vintage shoes in the washing machine if they are sneakers or running shoes. Use gentle detergent and dry in the dryer on medium. The shoes can also be allowed to air dry.
  3. Wipe vintage leather shoes with saddle soap and allow it to dry. Take a soft cloth and remove the residue of the saddle soap. This will not only clean vintage shoes but soften the leather.
  4. Apply a coat of shoe polish with the shoe brush. With a shoe buffer or soft cloth, buff the vintage shoes until they gleam.
  5. Take a damp cloth and wipe off any excess polish that may have gotten on the edge of the sole or heel when cleaning. This will help keep shoe polish away from laces if there are any, and out of cracks along the edge of the leather where if can cake and clump.

Taking good care of vintage shoes will prolong their life and keep them in tip top condition.

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