Water To Clean Shoes [Easy Shoe Clean Up]

_Water To Clean Shoes [Easy Shoe Clean Up]

Cleaning your shoes at home by hand might seem a daunting task. But it’s not that difficult with some quick cleaning tips using water.

Shoe cleaning doesn’t require expensive products and harsh chemicals. Instead, you can clean different types of shoes with water and a few household ingredients such as white vinegar, baking soda, dishwashing detergent, and liquid soap.

Here is the list of shoes you can clean with water:

  1. Leather Shoes
  2. Canvas Shoes
  3. Fabric Shoes
  4. Suede and Nubuck Shoes
  5. Rope or Cork Wedges Shoes
  6. Flip-Flops
  7. Knit Shoes

Keeping your footwear clean isn’t easy. Walking on roads, stepping into mud puddles, and strolling through the grass all leave stubborn stains on your shoes. But, there’s no reason to worry; take off your dirty shoes and indulge yourself in DIY shoe cleaning.

Clean Leather Shoes With Water

Leather shoes are one of the easiest shoes to clean since they don’t absorb much water. Here are some steps to clean white leather shoes with water:

Things You Need

  • Water
  • Liquid soap or white vinegar
  • Paper towel
  • Magic eraser
  • Toothbrush
  • Towel


Step 1: Mix Liquid Soap with Water

You can use any liquid soap to clean your leather shoes. Add one tablespoon of liquid soap to 1 cup of water. Mix them well using an old toothbrush. It will make the water sudsy but clear. If you don’t want to use liquid soap, you can use white vinegar instead. This solution will work on most kinds of shoes.

Step 2:  Get Rid of Surface Dirt

Take a paper towel, dip it into the solution and wring out excess water. Next, gently remove the surface dirt from your leather shoes. It will remove all big dirt pieces from different parts of your shoes. After cleaning, let your shoes dry for about 20 minutes.

Step 3: Clean the Soles

Now dip your magic eraser in the solution and wring out excess water. Make sure the magic eraser is wet but not dripping. Next, rub the damp magic eraser back and forth on your leather shoes’ soles. Keep doing until all the stains and dirt comes off. Use enough pressure to remove dirt without scuffing your leather shoes.

Step 4: Scrub Away Stains with A Toothbrush

Dip the head of an old toothbrush into the cleaning solution to wet its bristles. Use the toothbrush bristles to gently scrub stained areas of the shoe in circular motions. Using gentle pressure, move the solution through the leather.

Step 5: Pat Dry Your Shoes with A Towel

Use a soft towel to remove the excess cleaning solution and dirt from your leather shoes. Use a pat motion instead of wiping the towel on your shoes to avoid spreading the dirt.

Step 6: Let Your Leather Shoes Air Dry

Do not try to dry your shoes with a towel. Place them in a well-ventilated room to allow them to air dry completely. Let them dry for a few hours. I suggest cleaning your shoes at night so they can dry overnight.

Clean Canvas Shoes/White Sneakers With Water

Canvas shoes are slightly tricky to clean since the dirt can work its way into the fabric of canvas shoes. However, with some work, you can get rid of all the stains. Let’s see how:

Things You Need

  • Warm water
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Toothbrush


Step 1:  Mix Baking Soda and Vinegar with Water

Take a small non-metal bowl and add one tablespoon of baking soda, two tablespoons of white vinegar, and half a cup of warm water. Wait for a few minutes to let the fizz settle down. Now mix all the ingredients well to prepare a thick cleaning paste. If the cleaning paste is too runny, add one more teaspoon of baking soda.

Step 2: Scrub Your Shoes with A Toothbrush

Take an old toothbrush or scrub brush and dip its head into the paste. Now start brushing away all the dirt from your canvas shoes. First, gently rub the bristles on the shoe’s fabric to make the paste work through the shoe. Next, scrub in a circular motion over the stains and cover your entire shoe with the cleaning paste.

Step 3: Allow the Cleaning Paste to Dry on The Shoes

Once you are done scrubbing your shoes, let them dry. The baking soda paste will dry pretty fast. You can place your shoes in direct sunlight or a well-ventilated room to allow the cleaning paste to harden. The sun will also help in the whitening of your shoes. Let them sit for 1-3 hours until you can scratch the paste with your nails.

Step 4: Remove the Dried Cleaning Paste

Once the cleaning paste is dried over your canvas shoes, you can clap off any excess. Use a clean brush and start removing the dried paste. You can clap your shoes together to break the paste. Using the brush, scrape off the excess paste from your shoes until they are clean.

If your shoes have paint, blood, or coffee stains, you may need to reapply the cleaning paste to get rid of the stubborn stains.

Step 5: Rinse Your Shoes

Finally, rinse your canvas shoes thoroughly under clean water. You can also use a wet sponge to clean them. If some stains are left, you can repeat the process.

Here is a fun video to help you understand how to clean your white sneakers.

Clean Fabric Shoes With Water

Don’t worry about your fabric shoes getting dirty. You can use water to clean fabric shoes, including sneakers, sandals, flats, and pumps.

While you can throw your fabric shoes in the washing machine, it can be aggressive and shorten the life of your fabric shoes. Therefore, I recommend hand-washing your fabric shoes with water and a few ingredients.

Here are a few steps you need to follow:

Things You Need

  • Warm water
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Toothbrush
  • Paper towels
  • Newspapers


Step 1: Mix Dishwashing Detergent with Water

Take a small brown and prepare a cleaning solution. Add one teaspoon of dishwashing detergent and 2 cups of warm water to the bowl. Mix them well.

Step 2: Remove Any Surface Dirt

Use a few paper towels to clean the area if you’ve recently spilled anything on your fabric shoes. You can also use paper towels to eliminate all the surface-level dirt and soil.

Step 3: Stuff Your Fabric Shoes with Newspapers

Stuff your fabric shoes with some old newspapers. By doing so, your shoes will not lose their shape.

Step 4: Clean the Stains

Dip the head of the toothbrush in the cleaning solution and start scrubbing the fabric of your shoes. Do not cover the entire fabric at once; work in small sections. Gently scrub the stained areas. Do not apply pressure, or you will wet your shoe. Follow the direction of the fabric while scrubbing your shoe to prevent spotting. Repeat this step until all the stains are gone.

Step 5: Remove the Cleaning Soliton.

Now take a soft cloth or a few paper towels and dampen them with clear water. Next, start wiping your shoes to remove the soapy cleaning solution.

You will see all the stains and the cleaning solution coming off your shoes. You will need a few paper towels to rinse your shoes thoroughly. Keep doing until your shoes are cleaned.

Step 6: Dry Your Fabric Shoes

Take a dry cloth and blot your shoes to absorb the excess moisture. Finally, place your shoes in a well-ventilated room away from sunlight and let them air dry for a few hours. 

Clean Suede and Nubuck Shoes With Water

Your suede and Nubuck shoes need regular special care to look their best. Clean them with a soft-bristled brush after every use to remove any loose dirt and soil. You need to clean the stains immediately and keep their surface as dry as possible.

Things You Need

  • Cold water
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Rubbing alcohol or White vinegar
  • Pencil eraser
  • Paper towels
  • Dry rags


Step 1: Remove Marks and Scuffs

Take a soft eraser and start rubbing your suede shoes. Gently rub the marks or scuffs with the eraser and then brush to restore the nap of your Suede or Nubuck.

Step 2: Blot Your Shoes

If your suede or nubuck shoes have wet stains, blot them with a microfiber cloth or paper towels. It will absorb excessive moisture.

Step 3: Apply the Vinegar

In case of stubborn stains, use a rag and apply vinegar or rubbing alcohol over the stains and gently rub them.

Step 4: Clean Your Suedes

Take a rag and apply water over your shoes for cleansing. Apply circular motions to clean. 

Step 5: Dry Your Shoes

Take a dry rag and blot your shoes to eliminate the excess moisture. Next, you can stuff your suede shoes with paper towels or a shoe tree, so they don’t lose shape. Next, place them in a well-ventilated area and let them air dry. Finally, brush to smooth the nap.

Clean Rope or Cork Wedges With Water

Perhaps you think you can’t bring your rope or cork wedges to life. But that’s not true. With water and a few ingredients, you can make your rope and cork wedges look brand new. Let’s look at the things you need to clean your rope and cork wedges.

Things You Need

  • Warm water
  • White vinegar
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Dry rags
  • Paper towels
  • Old toothbrush


Step 1: Clean the Uppers

You can clean the uppers of your wedges through the processes mentioned above. Follow the water-cleaning steps for leather shoes or the water-cleaning steps for fabric shoes, depending on your wedges’ uppers.

Step 2: Make A Cleaning Solution 

Take a bowl and add 3 cups of warm water into it. Then add 1/4 cup of white vinegar and one teaspoon of dishwashing detergent. Mix them well to make a cleaning solution.

Step 3: Clean the Wedges

After cleaning your wedges’ fabric/leather uppers, it’s time to clean the soles. Dip the head of an old toothbrush in the solution, and then apply it to the stains on your wedges.

Scrub the stains until they break. Clean the surface of wedges by working in small sections at a time. Once the stains are broken down, wipe them away with a damp rag.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

If you are cleaning rope wedges, work in one direction to prevent fraying. Once all the stains have been removed, dampen a soft cloth with plain water and wipe everything down. This will remove soapy residue from your wedges and rinse them. Finally, let your rope or cork wedges dry for a few hours.

Clean Flip-Flops With Water

Flip-flops are pretty simple and easy to clean. Let’s see how:

Things You Need

  • Warm water
  • Toothpaste
  • Liquid soap
  • An old toothbrush
  • Dry rags


  1. Apply a thin layer of toothpaste to the stained areas of your flip-flops with a toothbrush.
  2. Start scrubbing the stains with the brush until they are removed.
  3. If you have stubborn stains on your flip-flops, mix one teaspoon of liquid soap in 3 cups of warm water.
  4. Apply the mixture with a toothbrush and scrub hard. 
  5. Once the stains are removed, rinse your flip-flops with clear water and let them dry.

Clean Knit Shoes With Water

Although knit shoes are extremely comfortable to wear, they are the hardest to clean. You can’t scrub them too hard because it may damage the fabric. Let’s see how you can clean your knit shoes.

Things You Need

  • Water
  • Dish soap or detergent
  • Clean microfiber cloths
  • Magic eraser


  1. Take a bowl with 2 cups of cool water and add one teaspoon of dish soap.mix them well.
  2. Stuff your knit shoes with a soft cloth to absorb the excess liquid.
  3. Dip a clean microfiber cloth in the cleaning solution and wring it out. 
  4. Gently scrub the stained areas on your knit shoes. Be careful not to scrub too hard.
  5. When cleaning, make sure to follow the direction of the knit to maintain a shoe’s structure.
  6. The cloth can be rinsed with clean water and dipped in the solution if it becomes dirty. Then, scrub your shoes until all stains are removed.
  7. If the midsoles are dirty, dampen a magic eraser and scrub the edges thoroughly.
  8. Using a clean damp cloth, wipe off the soapy residue after all the stains have been removed.
  9. Finally, keep your shoes in a well-ventilated place and let them dry.
Types Of ShoeThings You Need To CleanDrying Time
Leather ShoesWater
Liquid soap or white vinegar
Paper towel
Magic eraser
24 to 48 hours
Canvas ShoesWarm water
Baking soda
White vinegar
Less than 12 hours
Fabric ShoesWarm water
Dishwashing detergent
Paper towels
8-12 hours
Suede or Nubuck ShoesCold water
Microfiber cloth
Rubbing alcohol or White vinegar
Pencil eraser
Paper towels
Dry rags
Up to 24 hours
Rope or Cork WedgesWarm water
White vinegar
Dishwashing detergent
Dry rags
Paper towels
Old toothbrush
At least 24 hours
Flip-FlopsWarm water
Liquid soap
An old toothbrush
Dry rags
10-20 minutes
Knit shoesWater
Dish soap or detergent
Clean microfiber cloths
Magic eraser
Shoes and Cleaning Supplies You Need

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