How to Clean Fabric Shoes In 6 Simple Steps?

Many fear too much about cleaning their fabric shoes because they’re afraid that doing such will damage the pleasant and soft texture of the material. It’s mainly because the fabric is more prone to getting ruined than regular shoes made of leather.

Fabric shoes are also more vulnerable to scratches, stains, and scuffs. The good news is that by learning exactly how to clean fabric shoes, you can get rid of such worries. You’ll be able to increase their longevity by cleaning them the right way.

How to Clean Fabric Shoes?

What Do You Need to Follow this Tutorial?

  • Mild laundry detergent or shampoo 
  • Water
  • Toothbrush
  • Wet sponge
  • Towel Nail
  • Polish remover
  • Cleaning brush 
  • ​Crumpled newspapers
  • Suede eraser, cleaning stone made of rubber or crepe rubber
  • Tissue paper
  • Nylon brush
  • Oxygen bleach

Step 1 – Get Rid of Mud Stains or Dirt with A Mild Laundry Detergent or Shampoo

To take advantage of this solution on cleaning fabric shoes, you just have to mix your chosen detergent or shampoo with water. Get an unused toothbrush and dip it in a bowl containing the soapy mixture.

Scrub it over the stained or dirty area. If you are dealing with an extremely bad stain, then it would be wise to apply just a small amount of the detergent or shampoo into the toothbrush then scrub it to the affected area.

Once done with scrubbing, get a wet sponge and use it in wiping all the soap residue. Use a towel to remove moisture. All you have to do is to press the towel into the fabric. Allow your fabric shoe to air dry before using it again.

Step 2 – Utilize A Nail Polish Remover

Another effective way for you to clean fabric shoes is to make use of a nail polish remover. Just use a cotton swab or ball and dip it into the nail polish remover. Rub it over the stained surface until you have fully removed it.

If possible, choose a clear nail polish remover. Such is crucial in preventing the risk of further staining your fabric shoes. The good thing about this solution is that it also works in getting rid of grass stains from your shoes.

Step 3 – Use A Cleaning Brush

Any cleaning brush can also help you in getting rid of dirt and stains from your fabric shoes. The first thing that you have to do, though, is to stuff your footwear with crumpled newspapers. Make sure to focus on the toe area.

The crumpled newspapers can help ensure that the shoe can hold its shape when you’re working with it. Brush trapped mud or dirt with the help of the cleaning brush. Do so gently.

You should also brush it in such a way that you’re moving towards the direction of the fiber. For more stubborn stains, though, you may need to do some vigorous scrubbing on the affected part.

If you have a hard time removing some blemishes or scuff marks that you have a difficult time removing using a cleaning brush, it would be best to use a suede eraser, cleaning stone made of rubber or crepe rubber in the area. It’s also possible for you to scrape the affected part using an emery board.

Once done, brush it using a nylon brush. Take the crumpled newspapers out of the shoe before storing or letting it dry first. In case you’re wearing the shoe occasionally, wrap it with tissue paper before storing it in your shoe box.

Step 4 – Use The Power of Oxygen Bleach

You will also find oxygen bleach useful in getting rid of stains from your fabric shoes. Just put on oxygen bleach into a damp toothbrush or nail brush. Scrub it into the affected area until you notice that all stains are removed.

Step 5 – Dry It Correctly

Once you have applied any of the recommended solutions on how to clean fabric shoes, it is crucial to let them dry correctly. One tip is to dry the footwear outdoors. However, make sure that you don’t dry it directly in the sunlight as doing so might only fade the natural color of the fabric.

If possible, look for a dry and warm place that also has good air current to ensure that you can dry it properly. It could be close to a fan, air conditioner, airing cupboard or windowsill. You can also speed up the drying process by stuffing it with crumpled paper.

The stuffed paper works in absorbing excess moisture, thereby accelerating the drying process. It is also possible for you to further speed it up by taking out the insoles first. Consider washing and drying the insoles separately.

Avoid putting your footwear in your tumble dryer as this might only add to its wear and tear. The drying process might take a few hours to a couple of days depending on the weather.

Step 6 – Learn Some Other Useful Tips

When cleaning fabric shoes, you have to be really careful to ensure that you won’t end up putting more damage into the material. In this case, you have to keep in mind the following tips:

  • For white fabric shoes, clean it up by wiping the dirty or stained surface with a cloth that you dipped in diluted ammonia. Ensure, however, that you are only using it in an area with proper ventilation.
  • Do not forget to spray your shoes with laundry starch after cleaning. This can protect it from future stains and dirt.
  • When dealing with grease stains, remember that they’re quite hard to remove. In this case, you should start off with warm water. If the stain does not come off still, then sprinkle it with talcum powder or cornstarch then leave it overnight.
  • The next day, lightly brush off the powder then moisten stains a bit using a steam iron. You can then try removing the grease stains with a cleaning brush.


How to clean fabric shoes is a process that shouldn’t be too hard to do. By gathering information about some of the most commonly used cleaning solutions, keeping your fabric shoes in pristine condition will no longer be impossible.

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