Are your sneakers, boots, or shoes starting to look well loved? Wear and tear can take its toll but you can bring your footwear back to life by choosing the best shoe cleaner.
There are many cleaners available for all types of shoes. Some are multi-purpose and others are more specific. Let’s take a look at our top 10 picks and which shoes they might be better for.
Here are the best shoe cleaners for every need
1. Best For Sneakers: Jason Markk Premium Shoe Cleaning and Repel Kit
This signature shoe cleaner from Jason Markk is, in our opinion, one of the best for all shoes, especially sneakers. The 4-ounce bottle goes a long way, cleaning up to 100 pairs of shoes or sneakers. A cleaning brush is also included for those stubborn stains on soles.
- ESSENTIAL KIT – Our signature kit which includes a 4 oz. bottle of our Premium Shoe Cleaner and Standard Brush, the perfect pairing to get you started or to maintain your cleaning fix.
- PREMIUM CLEANING SOLUTION – Our best-selling Premium Shoe Cleaner effectively cleans and conditions without harsh chemicals or abrasives. A little goes a long way as the 4 oz. bottle will clean up to 100 pairs of sneakers!
- STANDARD BRUSH – The Standard Brush features stiff bristles that are tough on stubborn stains and great for all-around cleaning.*
- EVERYDAY CARE – Our products are crafted with you and the planet in mind. Our Original Premium Shoe Cleaner is built to extend the life of your goods which reduces waste over time.
- USE ON ALL YOUR SNEAKERS – Our premium cleaning solution is safe to use on all colors and materials including leather, suede, nubuck, canvas, vinyl, rubber, cotton mesh, white shoes etc.** The included Standard Brush is best suited for tough materials like leather, canvas, rubber, and vinyl. For more delicate materials, we recommend using our Premium Shoe Cleaning Brush with softer hog bristles. Premium Shoe Cleaning Brush is sold separately.
2. Best Shoe Cleaning Kit: Reshoevn8r Brush Shoe Cleaning Kit
This kit contains all you need to get your shoes looking spick and span. The cleaning solution is easily dispensed, contains no dyes, and is 100 percent natural. Three brushes with soft, medium, and stiff bristles make this cleaning kit suitable for footwear made from canvas, leather, mesh, nubuck, and other materials.
3. Best For Leather Shoes: Leather Cleaner by Leather Honey
This concentrated 4-ounce bottle of cleaner for leather and vinyl dilutes to make up to 32-ounces. It is designed to clean all leather and vinyl, including shoes. It’s all natural, non-toxic, hand-bottled in the USA, and comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
- NON-TOXIC, GENTLE LEATHER CLEANER: Our leather cleaner concentrate is a natural cleaner ideal for all your leather goods. Our proven restoration formula is powerful, odorless, and chemical-free. This concentrate offers great value and makes 32 ounces when diluted with water!
- CLEAN ALL YOUR LEATHER - EVEN FAUX/VINYL: Quickly and gently removes dirt, oil, tough stains and grime from car seats, truck seats, upholstery, furniture, handbags, purses, shoes, jackets, accessories, holsters, work gloves, motorcycle gear, saddles, and tack. Effectively cleans new and old leather of all colors, including black leather, white leather, brown leather, red leather, and yellow leather. Safe for exotic leather as well!
- A POWERFUL CLEANER IN AN EASY SOLUTION: Dilute the concentrate in 32 ounces of water and apply with a spray bottle or lint-free cloth. No need to scrub or rub — simply wipe down the dirty leather and allow it to dry. Spot test on each leather item first. Not for use on suede.
- FAMILY OWNED, AMERICAN MADE, SPECIALLY FORMULATED: For over 50 years, we have specialized in making the best leather care products, including Leather Honey Leather Conditioner, the #1 best-selling leather care product on Amazon. Our small family business has millions of happy customers.
- UNLIMITED 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: If you're not happy with any of our leather products, simply return them for a full refund of your purchase price!
4. Best For Tennis Shoes: CleanKicks Shoe Cleaner Wipes
These wipes are impregnated with a premium cleaning solution and make cleaning your tennis shoes a breeze. The textured finish gets in the grooves between stitching, soles, and ridges to remove grime and dirt. They contain no harmful chemicals and come with a 30-day money back guarantee.
- DUAL TEXTURED WIPE - Remover of dirt & grime, this wipe scrubs it all away to keep shoes refreshed.
- PREMIUM CLEANING SOLUTION - Designed to breakdown every day shoe buildup no matter the situation.
- SKIN SAFE FORMULATION - You will not find any harmful chemicals as we are 100% skin safe.
- WILL IT WORK ON MY SHOES? - Suede, Leather, Nubuck, Rubber, Shoes, Sneakers, Boots, Heels, Cleats.
- 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - If you are not satisfied for any reason, simply return within 30 days.
5. Best Shoe Cleaner Kit for Jordans: Appleaves Shoe Cleaner Kit
A foam cleaner, soft-bristled brush, and a soft towel contained in a travel bag make up this cleaning kit. Suitable for many different footwear materials, some find it works very well on Jordans to remove dirt and marks.
6. Best Shoe Cleaner Spray: Ultimate Shoe Cleaner Kit by Combat
Three different sprays and a brush come in this shoe cleaning kit from Combat. Use the one spray to clean, one to help repel water and oil, and one to freshen and deodorize shoes. The sprays are free from dangerous additives and chemicals.
- TAKE EXCELLENT CARE OF YOUR SHOES: Perfect for sneakers, boots, athletic shoes or anything in-between, our Ultimate Shoe Cleaning Kit will deodorize, refresh, thoroughly clean and maintain your shoes while ensuring your hygiene and classy appearance.
- EVERYTHING YOU NEED IN ONE SET: Our Shoe Cleaning Set includes a Shoe Deodorizer which will eliminate and prevent bad smells, a Shoe Cleaner which will remove dirt and stains from your shoes and a Shoe Shield that will repel oils and water so that your shoes look perfect for as long as possible!
- SAFE & PREMIUM INGREDIENTS: The Combat Cleaner Kit is absolutely safe for all your shoes, as well as your health and well-being because it is made with safe ingredients and ZERO dangerous chemicals or additives. Clean your shoes as often as needed with complete peace of mind!
- LOVE IT OR YOUR MONEY BACK: We invite you to give our Shoe Cleaner Kit a try and if you are not thrilled with your purchase for ANY reason, simply get in touch with us and we promise to make it right. After all, your shoe cleaning kit is covered under our 100% Money-Back Guarantee!
7. Best for White Shoes: ShoeAnew Bundle
Shoe cleaning is made easy with this spray cleaner and accompanying nylon brush and microfiber cloth. The 8-ounce bottle will clean up to 60 pairs of shoes and is especially effective on white shoes, preventing them from yellowing.
- SHOE CLEANER: This sneaker and leather shoe cleaner will save you time and money. It won't saturate your shoes with water, so it dries quickly. The 8-ounce bottle can clean 85+ pairs of shoes.
- COMPLETE SHOE-CLEANING KIT: Our sneaker-cleaner kit also includes a nylon brush and a microfiber cloth. Gentle enough to be used as a leather-shoe cleaning kit, this cleaner will make your shoes look pristine.
- SHOE-FRIENDLY: Our water-based solution can clean most shoes but should not be used as a suede-shoe cleaner. You need to use only a small amount to remove dirt, scuffs, and scratches.
- EARTH-FRIENDLY: Our shoe-cleaning solution contains a unique blend of ingredients that is planet-friendly, yet it’s strong enough to remove even the worst stains and smudges.
- SHOEANEW: While ShoeAnew can’t restore a broken shoe, it can remove scuffs, marks, dirt, and grime from your sneakers, leather shoes, and boots, leaving them looking like they just came out of the box.
8. Best for Vans: Pink Miracle Shoe Cleaner Kit
Pink Miracle has been a favorite for cleaning shoes like vans (as well as Nike and Jordans) for over 30 years. The non-toxic cleaner comes in an 8-ounce bottle and is concentrated, so a little will go a long way. It’s suitable for most footwear materials and contains gentle oils, saddle soap, and conditioners.
- The ORIGINAL Shoe Cleaning System: Pink Miracle Shoe Cleaner has been around since 1985, and the great formula is the number 1 choice for sneakers and shoes. Whether you are a sneaker head collector or simply want to clean your shoes to provide a professional new look.
- All in One Shoe Cleaner and Conditioner: A SAFE Concentrate containing saddle soap, gentle oils and conditioners. WORKS ON All WASHABLE (Meaning you can Wet the Fabric and lightly scrub) leathers, vinyl, nubuck, suede, canvas, cloth etc. Since its non-toxic there's endless uses and due to the fact it is a concentrate a little amount (size of a dime) goes a long way. Unsure of your fabric? Test in small area first - Or send us a Message : )
- JUST A FEW DROPS (Please Read Directions on Bottle): This is a shoe cleaner CONCENTRATE - A little goes a long way. Follow instructions on the bottle and keep shoes ( Nike, Jordans, Vans, etc.) bike, black, white, sandals, boots, espadrille, and fabrics looking new again. Kids enjoy seeing the results of once dirty shoes now brand new again! Pairs well with your favorite shoe spray!
- MADE IN THE USA: from New Quick Fit, the shoe cleaner comes with a FREE BRUSH. The Pink Miracle shoe cleaner is a great household cleaning solution and has been a secret weapon for home cleaning supplies, work offices, and athletes for years.
- SEE WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING: One Bottle Can Last Years! So, grab one for yourself and buy a few for your friends and family Now! Pink Miracle Shoe Cleaner ~ A Great Gift~
9. Best For Suede Shoes: Shacke Suede & Nubuck Leather Brush
Suede and nubuck need special care when it comes to cleaning. This suede brush from Shacke comes with two suede erasers for stubborn marks. The brush has four cleaning areas to cover all of your shoes and can be used with spray or foam cleaners safe for use with suede.
- Cleans boots, shoes, coats, jackets, furniture, dance shoes, and sneakers. Perfect with sprays, foams, eraser, and cleaning kits.
- Welt Surface used for stronger cleaning on heavier scuff marks and stains
- Nylon bristles used for a lighter gentler cleaning on light scuff marks for thin fine suede/nubuck
- Arched half circle brush allows for easier cleaning on rounded corners
- Thin protruding brush is meant for cleaning on harder to reach crevices and grooves
10. Best All Round: Angelus Easy Cleaner Shoe Cleaner
This multi-purpose shoe cleaner from Angelus will tackle stains on many footwear materials including suede, leather, nylon, satin, and canvas. The cleaning liquid is strong enough to tackle stains on sidewalls and soles but still gentle on more delicate fabrics.
- PREMIUM SHOE CLEANER- Safe For all Materials including Suede, Nubuck, Vinyl, Straw, Canvas, Carpet, Goretex & More. Now in a larger 8.6oz bottle
- VERSATILE: Not only does this clean shoes, but it also cleans jackets, leather, purses, boots, & More
- SAFE & NON TOXIC: Our gentle cleaner is very safe on all fabric and non toxic. It will not harm or stain any of your products.
- WIDE APPLICATION: Our Angelus Easy Cleaner is perfect for any smooth leather goods, such as leather shoes, sneakers, sofas, leather jackets, handbags, leather bags, wallets, & more.
- MADE IN USA Since 1907: We have been proudly servicing and manufacturing the shoe & leather care industry in America for over 100 years. Our highest quality products, and customer service is what keeps us going. We aren't happy until you are.
Reviews of Our Top 10 Picks of the Best Shoe Cleaners
Different brands of cleaners will work for different types of shoes. Here are our top 10 picks and the type of shoes we think they are best for.
1. Jason Markk Premium Shoe Cleaning Kit: Best for Sneakers
While this cleaner can be used for many different shoes, it was designed specifically to be the best sneaker cleaner. The company felt there was a gap in the market so produced an alternative to raiding the kitchen cupboard to clean sneakers.
The bottle contains 4 ounces of premium sneaker solution which is free from abrasives and harsh chemicals. It is 98.3 percent natural and gentle on both your shoes and your skin. It’s made from natural soaps found in jojoba and coconut oils.
The company advises that it is safe for all materials and colors. They do advise you to be gentle when cleaning suede, premium leather, cotton mesh, or other footwear materials which are delicate.
Also included is a synthetic bristle brush with a handcrafted wooden handle bearing the Jason Markk logo. This brush is effective for stains on the midsole of sneakers when used in conjunction with the cleaning solution.
One bottle of this cleaner can last for up to 100 pairs of sneakers or clean a pair of sneakers about 100 times.
On the downside, the brush might be too harsh for some materials. A softer bristle brush would be a better option. Some also find the cleaning solution is very thin and watery.
- Designed for cleaning sneakers.
- Suitable for many footwear materials.
- Cleans up to 100 pairs of sneakers or shoes.
- Brush included.
- Free from harsh chemicals.
- Bristles on the brush might be too harsh for delicate fabrics.
- The floral scent is not appreciated by everyone.
|This may be one of the best sneaker cleaners that will also clean other shoes. The 4-ounce bottle lasts for about 100 cleans and a nylon bristle brush is included.|
2. Reshoevn8r Brush Shoe Cleaning Kit
Reshoevn8r is an Arizona-based company who has been producing shoe care products for over 14 years. Although this is labeled as a sneaker cleaner, we think it’s one of the best shoe cleaning kits for any type of shoes.
What sets this apart is the three different brushes included with the 4 ounces of cleaning solution.
The soft bristle brush is gentle for use on delicate materials such as suede, nubuck, mesh, flyknit, or premium leather. It shouldn’t snag or cause damage.
The medium bristle brush is suggested for use with materials that are more durable, such as plastic, rubber, leather, and nubuck. The stiff bristle brush would be good for harder to remove dirt and stains on the soles of shoes.
The cleaning solution is made from a blend of jojoba, coconut, and other oils. It’s non-toxic, 100 percent natural, environmentally safe, and also conditions shoes as it cleans. It’s concentrated and will clean up to 50 pairs of shoes.
The bottle has a push-and-play cap, helping ensure you only use what you need. It also makes application quick and easy.
Be aware that the brushes might lose some bristles on the first few uses, especially the soft bristled one.
- Three different brushes included.
- Can clean a wide range of footwear materials.
- The cleaning solution is 100 percent natural.
- Easy to dispense.
- Some bristles may come loose and fall out of the brush.
|A good cleaning kit for any type of shoes with three different brushes and 4 ounces of cleaning solution. A minor issue is that the brushes may lose some bristles.|
3. Leather Cleaner by Leather Honey: Best For Leather Shoes
If you are looking for the best leather shoe cleaner, this one from Leather Honey could fit the bill. It’s manufactured in the USA by a small, family run company that was set up in the 1960s. This cleaner will recondition and rejuvenate old leather and protect and soften new leather.
The 4-ounce bottle contains a concentrated formula which will make up to 32 ounces once diluted with water.
The cleaner is gentle but effective. It can remove oil, grime, and dirt from leather shoes, as well as other leather goods such as furniture, jackets, and handbags. It’s also non-toxic, solvent and silicone free, and made from all natural ingredients.
The company recommends that you also use their Leather Honey Conditioner to keep your shoes supple and water repellant.
The company is very confident in their product and offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. All they ask is you return the unused portion of their product for a full refund of your purchase price.
It seems you would be advised to do a spot test on your shoes before cleaning as there might be a change in color on some dyed leathers.
- Gentle, all natural cleaner for leather shoes.
- All natural ingredients.
- Money back satisfaction guarantee.
- Could change the color of dyed leathers.
|Produced by a small company in the USA, this gentle cleaner is good for leather shoes, boots, and other leather goods. The all natural ingredients are backed by a satisfaction guarantee.|
4. CleanKicks Shoe Cleaner Wipes: Best for tennis shoes
Cleaning wipes are a quick and effective solution for keeping shoes free from dirt and grime. Cleankicks is a company that offers easy solutions which are effective. They test all their products to ensure they are of high quality.
These wipes will work on most shoes including canvas, leather, nubuck, mesh, knit, rubber, and cloth. They are one of the best tennis shoe cleaners.
The resealable container has 30 wipes impregnated with a cleaning solution. Each wipe measures 12 inches by 6 inches. You can use a little water to activate the solution for a deeper gentle clean.
A textured fabric makes it easier for them to remove dirt and grime. Particularly from ridges, the edges of soles, and grooves between the stitching. With little effort, you can clean your tennis shoes or any other shoes.
The company recommends wiping the shoes over with a damp, clean cloth after cleaning to remove any residue.
The container is lightweight, making it convenient to keep in your sports kit or work bag so you can use it any time.
A 30-day money back guarantee is available if you aren’t satisfied with your purchase.
On the downside, this product might not be suitable for suede. Also, the wipes might be a bit tricky to pull through the lid of the container.
- Lightweight portable container.
- Quick and easy to use.
- Good for tennis shoes and other sports style shoes.
- 30-day money back satisfaction guarantee.
- Might not be suitable for all shoes, especially suede.
|This is a portable, quick, and easy solution for cleaning dirty shoes. Although they might not be suitable for suede, they could be the best tennis shoe cleaner.|
5. Appleaves Shoe Cleaner Kit: Best for Jordans
Are you a fan of basketball shoes? Maybe you want to know which is the best shoe cleaner kit for Jordans. This one from Appleaves could be the answer.
The kit is presented in a handy carry case with zipper closure. This is great for keeping all your cleaning materials in one place.
The bag contains a 6.6-ounce container of foam shoe cleaner. You also get a soft bristled brush and a soft cloth. Simply apply the foam to your Jordans or other shoes, scrub with the brush, and wipe clean with the cloth.
This kit can clean up to between 50 and 65 pairs of shoes. It is suitable for materials such as leather, canvas, mesh, cotton, rubber, and nylon. You can use it for sneakers, boots, dress shoes, and heels, to name a few.
The cleaner contains no abrasives or harsh chemicals, making it an environmentally friendly product.
Be careful not to use too much product or the soap could be difficult to remove from your shoes.
- The convenient bag makes the product portable.
- Foam cleanser, brush, and cloth included.
- Cleans up to 65 pairs of shoes.
- Natural ingredients.
- Use sparingly as soap could be hard to remove.
|All you need to keep Jordans or other shoes in pristine condition in a convenient bag. The foam cleanser is economical and a little goes a long way. A brush for scrubbing and cloth for wiping are included.|
6. Ultimate Shoe Cleaner Kit By Combat: Best Shoe Cleaner Spray
Combat Cleaners brings us a kit which offers three shoe care sprays and a cleaning brush. It’s all you need from the best shoe cleaner sprays to clean, protect, and deodorize your footwear.
Each bottle contains 4 ounces of product with a spray dispenser.
There is a shoe cleaner to remove stains and grime from your shoes. Follow this with the shoe shield to prevent oil and grease stains and provide some water repellency. Finally, apply the deodorizer to freshen up your shoes and prevent bad smells and bacterial growth.
The brush that is included is great for removing stains and dirt from the soles of shoes. Just don’t use it on suede or other delicate shoe materials, it’s too harsh for them. Some also find this brush a little hard to hold as it’s small.
Suitable for sneakers, boots, dress shoes, and many more, the ingredients are free from additives and chemicals. This means they are safe for you to use as often as you want.
The company also offers you a 100 percent money back guarantee if you are not happy with their product for any reason.
- Complete shoe care in one kit.
- Easy spray applicators on all bottles.
- Suitable for most shoes.
- Money back guarantee.
- Not suitable for suede.
- The brush may be too harsh for delicate materials.
|If you like the easy application of spray products then this kit could be for you. It has a shoe cleaner, protector, and a deodorizer as well as a scrubbing brush with nylon bristles.|
7. ShoeAnew Bundle: Best for White Shoes
This bundle from ShowAnew is probably the best shoe cleaner for white shoes that we have come across. It can restore shoes so they are bright again and then protect them from yellowing.
In the package, you get an 8-ounce shoe cleaning spray, a nylon bristle brush, and a microfiber cloth. There is enough cleaning solution to tackle up to about 60 pairs of grubby shoes. Made in the USA, the cleaner is non-toxic, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly.
This cleaner can be used on any material that is washable. Use it on white tennis shoes, sneakers, boots, hiking shoes, heels, sandals, or leather work boots. It also kills germs as it cleans, helping prevent shoe odor.
The nylon brush might help to get rid of dirt and dust from those hard to reach places like grooves, stitching, and soles. The microfiber cloth is good for removing dust prior to cleaning or removing any excess cleaner, cleaning delicate fabrics, and buffing dry.
If you find you are unhappy with your purchase then you have 30 days to return it for a refund of the purchase price.
Be careful if you intend to use this product on sneakers or tennis shoes that have suede incorporated in the uppers. It could change the color of dyed suede or cause the color to bleed.
- Good cleaner for white shoes.
- Disinfects shoes killing odor-causing germs.
- Nylon bristle brush and microfiber cloth included.
- 30-day money back guarantee.
- Might not be suitable for suede shoes.
- The pump spray might be less than adequate.
|White shoes can be hard to clean and maintain but it seems this cleaner might restore them and protect them from yellowing. It also disinfects to keep shoes fresh and germ-free.|
8. Pink Miracle Shoe Cleaner Kit: Best for Vans
Pink Miracle has been a favorite shoe cleaner in the USA for over 30 years. It is suitable for many different types of washable footwear materials including leather, vinyl, canvas, cloth, suede, and nubuck. Some think it is the best shoe cleaner for Vans, Jordans, Nikes, and other sneakers and sports shoes.
It’s not only for those who love sneakers either. It also works well on dress shoes, work boots, sandals, and heels.
Supplied in the kit are an 8-ounce bottle of cleaning solution and a scrubbing brush. The cleaning solution is made from gentle oils, saddle soap, and conditioners. It is concentrated so a little will go a long way and the product will last a while.
Full instructions for use are printed on the bottle and the company advises doing a patch test first. The product is applied to the brush that’s included rather than directly to your shoes. Add water, lather it up, and clean.
The brush might be a little harsh for very delicate fabrics and laces so proceed with caution. Some that did not patch test on fabrics like suede and nubuck found that the cleaner affected the color of the shoes.
- The concentrated formula lasts a long time.
- Scrubbing brush included.
- Made from gentle oils, saddle soap, and conditioners.
- Make sure you patch test before use.
- Might not be suitable for suede and nubuck.
|This sneaker cleaner is good for Vans, Jordans, and other sports style shoes. It will also clean many other footwear materials, but make sure you patch test before using on an inconspicuous area of your shoes.|
9. Shacke Suede & Nubuck Leather Brush: Best for Suede Shoes
Suede and nubuck can present their own challenges when it comes to cleaning. It is the soft underside of the hide which can be easily damaged or can easily change color when cleaned. You can read our in-depth guide Nubuck vs Suede to find out more about this type of leather and how to clean it.
One of the best ways to clean suede and nubuck is to use a suede brush in conjunction with a suede eraser. This one from Shacke has all you need to raise the nap on your shoes to remove dust and debris and also includes two erasers for stubborn marks.
The brush has four different sides:
- A welt surface that can be used to remove scuff marks and heavy stains.
- Nylon bristles for thinner or finer suede and nubuck or gentle cleaning of light scuff marks.
- A half-circle brush which is arched to reach into rounded corners.
- A thin brush which protrudes to reach into crevices and grooves.
The suede erasers are used in much the same way as a pencil eraser to remove stubborn marks and stains.
Although not always necessary, this type of cleaning brush can be used in conjunction with a specialized cleaner like this one from Simple Shine. Just like many other cleaners, it can improve the look of suede and nubuck but cannot work miracles.
- Comes with 4-way brush and two erasers.
- Suitable for all types of suede and nubuck.
- Easy and quick to use.
- Might need to use a specialized cleaner as well for very stubborn stains.
|The best suede shoe cleaner is a suede brush combined with a suede eraser. This kit from Shacke contains both to tackle the dirt and marks on your suede and nubuck shoes and boots.|
10. Best All Round Shoe Cleaner: Angelus Easy Cleaner Shoe Cleaner
Angelus brings us this shoe cleaner which is gentle enough for materials like suede, satin, and nubuck but also effective on canvas, leather, and vinyl. The brand has been sold in the USA for 100 years.
This bottle of easy cleaner contains 8 ounces of concentrated solution. This means it will last you quite a while when used sparingly, as advised.
This is one of the best multi-purpose shoe cleaners that should cover most of your footwear cleaning needs. From dress shoes to boots, sandals to tennis shoes and also your suede and nubuck shoes. It’s good for cleaning the soles and sidewalls of sneakers.
As you should with any other shoe cleaner, patch test on an unseen area like the tongue of the shoe. You would also do well to invest in a shoe brush to make the application of this product easier and remove dirt and grime quicker.
- Multipurpose shoe cleaner.
- Suitable for the majority of materials including suede and nubuck.
- Good for soles and sidewalls of sneakers.
- Concentrated formula.
- Might need more than one application.
- Be careful when dispensing not to use too much.
|Angelus shoe cleaner is a good all-rounder for the majority of shoes. The concentrated formula goes a long way, but be careful when pouring from the bottle, the liquid is thin and can spill easily.|
Choosing the Right Cleaner for Your Shoes
Modern-day shoes are made from many different materials. Each of these can involve different cleaning regimes, but the products used to clean them have remained the same for many years.
Your shoes could be made from suede, leather, canvas, vinyl, mesh, satin, rubber, or a combination of materials. Cleaning them on a regular basis will help keep them looking good and can prolong their life.
Using the best shoe cleaner for your particular type of shoe will make cleaning easier. Getting it right can save you time and money.
With so many styles and types of shoe, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here are some of the different shoes you might own and the best ways to clean them.
Sneakers and Sports Shoes
The soles of these type of shoes are generally made of rubber or a polyurethane compound. The uppers can be anything from a mesh or knit fabric through to suede or leather. Often the mesh or knit fabrics will have suede or leather accents or embellishments.
Choose a cleaning kit appropriate for your particular sneakers or sports shoes. We have highlighted some we feel are best for particular types of shoes in our reviews.
Some general tips you can follow to keep your sneakers looking their best and smelling fresh include:
- Air after wear: Don’t leave your sneakers or sports shoes languishing at the bottom of your gym bag. Take them out and let them air dry.
- Brush off dirt and mud: Removing any visible dirt or mud can prevent staining.
- Use the right brush: Using a shoe brush with a cleaning solution is great for removing dirt, grime, and stains. However, make sure you use the right one. A softer bristle brush will work well on mesh and knits and a stiffer one on leather or rubber.
- Remove your laces: Laces will generally benefit from being cleaned separately. Wash them in a bowl of warm soapy water, rinse, and dry. You could use a little bleach to whiten them again.
- Use a protection spray: On suede after cleaning to help prevent soiling and damage.
- Remove insoles to dry: Especially if your feet tend to sweat. This will help prevent bad odors.
A shoe cleaning kit with a stiff bristle brush can restore your canvas shoes to their former glory. Be gentle, making sure you don’t damage the material as you brush away the stains. As with sneakers, be sure to use the right type of cleaner if you have suede or nubuck embellishments.
Another thing to remember with canvas shoes is not to submerge them in water. This could cause them to crack or separate from the soles.
After cleaning, stuff the shoes with paper or an old T-shirt or towel to help them retain their shape. Be sure to air dry them away from direct sunlight.
Leather is a reasonably hard-wearing material and footwear made from this animal hide can last for many years. This is especially the case if you take care of it properly. Regular cleaning and conditioning are a must.
Use a brush or cloth to remove excess dirt and debris from the leather. Follow this by cleaning with a shoe cleaner. Most of the ones we have featured will clean leather but one like Leather Honey has been specifically designed for leather shoes and boots.
Once your shoes are clean and dry, treat them to a leather conditioner. This will soak into the leather, helping to keep it supple and to preserve it.
Certain specialist leathers will require different cleaning methods. Patent leather can be wiped over with cleaning solution and then buffed dry.
Suede will need more tender care. Regular brushing with a suede brush will raise the nap and remove any surface dust and dirt. Remember to brush in one direction to keep them looking good.
If your suede shoes get particularly grubby then use a shoe cleaner designed for suede shoes or boots. Don’t get them too wet and remember to air dry them fully after cleaning. Stubborn marks can be removed with a suede eraser.
Once they are dry you can brush them to raise the nap again and then treat with a protection spray.
Rubber Casual Shoes
Flip flops, crocs, or boat shoes can all benefit from being cleaned from time to time. Dust can accumulate on them, leaving them looking old and worn. Wash them down with a shoe cleaning solution to keep them looking as good as new.
Sandals can be made from a variety of materials. Uppers could be leather, suede, plastic, vinyl, or canvas. The soles could be made from rubber, cork, or even rope.
Make sure you choose the appropriate cleaner for the uppers of your sandals. Cork or rope soles or wedges can be cleaned using a toothbrush and shoe cleaner. Make sure you are gentle and also air dry them fully after cleaning.
What to Look for in a Shoe Cleaner
The shoe cleaner you choose will depend on the type of shoe you intend to clean. Some of the things to look out for include:
- Is it suitable? Read the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure the cleaner you choose is suitable for the shoes you are going to clean. Another good indication as to whether a product will be suitable is to read customer reviews.
- How long will it last? Many shoe cleaners are supplied in a concentrated form. They require diluting with water before use, so while the bottle might appear to be small, a little will go a long way. The manufacturer will sometimes estimate how many pairs of shoes it will clean.
- How is the cleaner dispensed? Some shoe cleaners come in a container with a pour cap, others will have a spray or dispense as a foam. Choose whichever you feel is more convenient for you. Concentrated pour cap cleaners can always be diluted to strength and put in a spray dispenser until you are ready to use them.
- Are brushes and cloths supplied? Many shoe cleaners come as a kit with brushes and microfiber or soft cloths included. Make sure the type of brush supplied is appropriate for the shoes you intend to clean.
- How easy is the shoe cleaner to use? Let’s be honest, the easier something is to use the more likely we are to use it. If you want a quick solution, the shoe cleaning wipes might be the way to go. However, putting in a little more effort every so often and giving your shoes a good clean will keep them looking better.
- Is there a money back guarantee? Many companies are confident that the shoe cleaners they produce work. Consequently, you will find that some will offer a satisfaction money back guarantee. This gives you some peace of mind that if the cleaner doesn’t work as you expect you are not out of pocket.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Magic Erasers Good for Cleaning Shoes?
Many find that magic erasers like those available from Mr. Clean are effective in removing stains and marks from white soles. This is particularly the case on Vans, Jordans, and other sneakers.
They are made from a melamine foam which works as very fine sandpaper to get into nooks and crannies. They might remove ink, dirt, and grass stains with just some added water and a little elbow grease.
This video shows you a magic eraser in action on a pair of white sneakers.
Can I Use a Shoe Cleaner on Bearpaw or Ugg Boots?
There are shoe cleaners available that can be used on these suede boots. The manufacturers do produce their own or you can use one like this from Simple Shine designed for cleaning suede.
This is our in-depth guide on how to clean Bearpaw boots.
Do I Need to do a Patch Test on my Shoes Before Cleaning?
If you choose the right cleaner for your shoes, the chances are it will be fine. Nevertheless, it’s always advisable to patch test a shoe cleaner before you put it all over your shoes. That way you will know it’s not going to affect the color or damage the finish of your shoes.
Find an inconspicuous area of your shoe to test the cleaner. This could be under the tongue or on the inside of the collar at the ankle.
Are Shoe Cleaners Harmful?
Many shoe cleaners are made from all natural ingredients and are safe to use. They contain things like saddle soap, coconut, and jojoba oils. Many are biodegradable, environmentally friendly, and non-toxic.
Check the ingredients that the manufacturer lists if you have any concerns.
So What Is the Best Shoe Cleaner In The World?
Keeping your shoes clean will mean they look good and can prolong their life. The shoe cleaner you choose will be dependent on the type of shoes you want to clean and the material they are made of.
Our top picks of the best shoe cleaners cover the majority of shoes you are likely to have in your wardrobe. Our overall favorite would be the Jason Markks Premium Shoe Cleaning Kit. It is suitable for many different types of shoes and comes with a brush.
This video from Jason Markk shows you how to use their product.
We hope you enjoyed our guide and found the shoe cleaner that suits your needs. We would love to hear of your own experiences. Please leave us a comment and don’t forget to share.