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How to Clean Shoes

Why Can't I Wash My Shoes with Soap?

It's a special night and you want to wear your favorite pair of leather shoes only to find they look a little dirty. After a quick cleaning at the kitchen sink with a damp rag and soap and anxiously waiting for them to dry, you let out a screech of horror and dismay…you have ruined your favorite pair of shoes!

Although soap is great for cleaning, it should not be used on any leather-based products. Shoes are often made of high quality leathers that are naturally porous, which makes them susceptible to absorbing cleaning agents. As leather contains oils designed to keep it moisturized, the soap will work to extract the oil from the shoe, drying it out. This in turn allows the soap to penetrate the surface and cause discoloration or stains that are nearly impossible to remove.

Cleaning Shoes

It is important to use the proper products specifically designed for the material of your shoes. Check out the Clarks Shoe Care and Maintenance Guide video above to give you the tools, tips, and tricks on how to clean your pair of shoes.

Use the following Clarks products for an easy and convenient cleaning solution for your pair of leather, suede, or nubuck shoes.

To Clean Leather:

For protection prior to wearing, use Clarks Water and Stain Protectant by spraying the full leather exterior of the shoe.
For shoes that have already been worn, apply Clarks Leather Polish with a dry rag and allow to dry for 30 minutes to clean, polish, and moisturize the leather.
Please note that the Clarks shoe care products listed above are designed for leather ONLY.

To Clean Suede or Nubuck:
Gently apply Clarks Suede and Nubuck Foaming Cleaner with the foaming applicator, scrub lightly, wipe away with a rag, and let dry for 30 minutes to clean and condition.
Once dry, lightly spray on Clarks Water and Stain Protectant.

Long-Term Care

Remember to purchase the Shoe Care Kit by Triangle on the Clarks website for long-lasting leather shoes that look great, or visit your local Clarks store for Clarks Water and Stain Protectant, Clarks Leather Polish, and Clarks Suede and Nubuck Foaming Cleaner to prevent future damage and keep your shoes in great condition for years to come.

General Care Polishing and Restoration