There’s a real art to caring for your wardrobe. Each item has its own needs in terms of cleaning and storage, and keeping track of it all can get overwhelming. Luckily, caring for your SHOES is relatively simple. While there are plenty of involved, advanced, and potentially preservative techniques you can engage to help your gorgeous shoes last a lifetime, these are the very basics:
Shoe Care Tip: Wipe them off if they get dirty
Unless you live in a network of carpeted tunnels, your shoes will meet the Great Outdoors. And that means they WILL get dirty. Water, mud, dust, sidewalk salt residue … shoes love to suck ‘em all up and carry ‘em all around. Before you put your shoes away at the end of the day, check for soil. Wipe with a dry cloth or slightly moist paper towel, depending on the shoe’s material. Easy peasy.
Shoe Care Tip: Treat them with water repellent spray
Of course, any shoe that will be regularly exposed to the elements should get more than just a nightly rub-down. Leather and suede shoes benefit from a spray treatment that will make them water repellent. These sprays won’t turn your pumps into Wellies, so don’t plan any puddle-jumping expeditions … but they will ward off minor water damage. I trust theKiwi line of products with my leather and suede shoes, though I know much fancier products exist.
Shoe Care Tip: Store them upright
OK, I’ll admit that I don’t do this with my slouchy boots. But every other pair is stored upright – boots, pumps, sandals, everything. If you want your shoes to maintain their shape, don’t pile them, squish them, or otherwise mangle them. If you use an over-the-door storage system, limit it to naturally rigid pairs. Those pockets squish the heck out of soft leather and plastic shoes.
Shoe Care Tip: Store boots with rolled mags or wine bottles
To make the previous tip possible, you’ll need something to keep tall boots from tipping over. I roll up old magazines and stick them in my boot shafts, but I’m told that empty wine bottles can work well, too. Since I store mine on high shelves, the thought of glassware inside my boots makes me cringe … but floor or low storage would be ideal for the wine bottle system.
Shoe Care Tip: Store them out of direct sunlight
Common sense, right? Well, it still bears repeating. There are so many amazing wardrobe-as-decor ideas floating around out there, but the fact is that hanging your dresses on the wall and leaving your shoes on a living room end table expose them to sunlight and, therefore, fading. Just be aware!
Now, if these admittedly basic tips are making you yawn, check out Orchids in Buttonholes’ in-depth exploration of shoe care and maintenance. Sara shares ideas that would never have even DAWNED on me. Heel and toe taps! Using a rubber eraser to alleviate dark marks! The rubber sole controversy! Well worth a read, friends.
What do you do to keep your shoe collection looking shiny and new?