If, like most of us, you spend the entire day on your feet and are faced with the consequences of battered and pained feet as a result, have a look at our exclusive guide below for genius hacks to clean and comfy footwear.
From avoiding blisters with gel deodorant to using beeswax to waterproof your shoes, you can count on this guide as your ultimate resource for happy feet using items you already have inside your home. Be sure to bookmark this page to consult when you buy your next pair!
Hacks for Squeaky Clean Kicks
1. Restore your Bright Whites with Toothpaste
Toothpaste has many off the label uses and is an especially useful cleaner for dirty sneakers.
Grab an old toothbrush and a dab of toothpaste.Scrub the rubber part of the shoe, being sure to work the toothpaste in to the dirty spots. Toothpaste also works well to clean the fabric on your shoes – work it in and allow to sit for a few minutes, then wipe away with damp fabric.
2. Use Rubbing Alcohol to Treat Leather
“Rubbing alcohol” can be found in most drugstores and is often labeled as Isopropyl. A little known fact: It safely removes stains from finished leather! Use a Q-tip or cotton swab, soaked gently in rubbing alcohol. Rub the alcohol into the stain on your leather kicks and allow to settle for about 30 minutes.
3. Refresh with Baking Soda
Shoe cleaning cannot be complete without the removal of unpleasant odors! Allow a bit of baking soda to sit inside of the shoe overnight to freshen the scent. Baking soda has a special property which allows it to remove smelly odors from many objects, including upholstery and appliances!
4. Say ‘Sayonara’ to Scratches and Stains on Your Suede Shoes with a Nail File
First, gently rub the stained area with a soft cloth to try and remove as much of the spot as possible. If the stain is especially difficult to remove with a cloth alone, gently rub the spot with a nail file or sandpaper until faded from view.
5. Use Vinegar to Eradicate Foul Odors
Since vinegar possesses such a high acidity, it is a great tool for deodorizing. Most odors are alkali, which means they generally have a pH above 7. Vinegar helps to neutralize the reaction and banish the unwanted smells.
Dunk your sneakers into a mixed solution of two cups Vinegar and two gallons of water. Be sure to keep them submerged by using something heavy to hold them in place.
6. DIY Shoe Shine using Petroleum Jelly
While patent leather shoes do not require a great deal of effort in their care and can be easily shined using a store-bought cleaner, you may already have a handy solution right in your home! Try applying mineral oil or petroleum jelly with a clean cloth to rub away scuff marks.
After the blemishes are wiped away, use the cloth and a bit more of the oil or jelly to buff the shoes to shiny new!
7. Absorb Stains with Cornmeal
Many sources agree that grease stains on suede shoes are no match for cornmeal. Rub a bit onto the stain and allow it to sit and soak the oil or grease from the stain. Once satisfied, brush the cornmeal away using a clean cloth.
Hacks for Comfier Footwear
1. Stretch New Shoes Using a Hairdryer
You can break in any new shoe (from heels and flats to boots and beyond) by simply applying heat from your blowdryer while wearing the shoes with big, woolly socks.
The heat and thick socks will help the material to stretch a bit, putting you on the express track to comfort for the first wear.
2. Freeze Your Shoes to Alleviate Tightness
If your toes are cramped in your new shoes, send them straight to the icebox! Tightly seal two Ziploc bags filled with water and place the baggies into the shoes.
Allow the pair to sit overnight in the freezer, or until the water freezes completely.Since water expands as it freezes, it will allow the walls of your shoes to gently stretch away the cramping in the toe boxes.
Remove your shoes from the freezer and wait about 20 minutes or at least until the ice thaws enough to allow you to easily remove the bags.
3. Stop Slips with Sandpaper
Rubbing the smoothest part of the soles with sandpaper will improve your shoes’ grip, giving you better traction to avoid slipping.
4. Gel Deodorant to Banish Blisters
Prevent painful blisters while breaking in a new pair of shoes by applying gel deodorant. The gel will act as a lubricant to the areas of your skin which are most likely to have friction with the shoe.
5. Tape your Toes
Heels are notorious for causing painful strains on the nerves that run through your toes. You can alleviate the pressure on the ball of your foot by taping your second and third (or third and fourth) toes together using Scotch or medical tape.
6. Use Beeswax to Waterproof Canvas Shoes
To keep your feet dry and warm in rainy and snowy weather, cover the entire surface of your shoe with beeswax to transform the canvas to waterproof. Use heat from a blowdryer to adhere the substance to the fabric and Voilà!
7. Soothe Blistered Feet with Tea
If you forgot to bookmark this list, or just couldn’t wait to break in your new shoes without taking measures to prevent foot and heel pain, never fear! It is important, also, to know how to soothe blisters on your feet.
First, dab apple cider vinegar or rub aloe vera gel over your feet which helps to relieve inflammation and redness.Next, set-up a relaxing foot bath and treat yourself to a soak in black or green tea, both of which have incredible anti-inflammatory properties.