In this guide:
- Why does black so easily fade?
- How can I restore my black shoes?
- How to clean black leather shoes
- How to protect black leather shoes
- How to clean black suede shoes
- How to protect black suede shoes
- How to clean black trainers and canvas shoes
- How to protect black trainers and canvas shoes
If you’ve ever owned a pair of black shoes, you’ll know how frustrating it can be to deal with stubborn marks that appear on them.
But there are ways to remove scuffs and stains to leave them looking as good as new. From restoring black leather shoes to cleaning canvas ones, there are different approaches to take depending on your shoes’ material. Here we answer a few frequently asked questions about cleaning and maintaining black shoes.
Why does black so easily fade?
Black fades far more easily than many other colours when it comes to footwear- and there are two main reasons why.
- Water damage. This is one of the biggest culprits. In winter, this is made worse by salt and grit being put down on the ground during icy and snowy weather. And it’s a huge problem for leather and suede footwear in particular.
- Light damage. If your shoes are stored in direct sunlight, over time this will begin to ‘bleach’ them, leaving odd-looking, faded material behind.
How can I restore my black shoes?
Using shoe dyes is one of the most effective ways to restore black shoes that have faded.
Follow these steps:
- With a fine brush or cotton wool, apply the shoe dye over the surface
- Use medicinal tape to prevent you getting dye on the soles of your shoes
- Once the dye has dried, apply another coat
- Lightly brush your shoes to remove any debris
- Use a protective spray to set the dye and keep it from running
How to clean black leather shoes
Follow these steps to cleaning black leather shoes, to get them looking as good as new:
- Dust with a soft brush to remove any debris
- Apply a little toothpaste to a soft cloth
- Gently rub the toothpaste onto your shoe to remove scuffs
- Sprinkle baking soda onto your shoe to remove any grease or oil marks
How to protect black leather shoes
These are three extremely useful tried and tested ways to protect and restore your leather shoes:
- Use a good quality oil or balm. This will nourish the leather and prevent it from drying out or cracking. It will also make your shoes softer and more comfortable. Apply the oil or balm every 2-3 months using a soft cloth.
- Avoid direct heat sources. Don’t leave wet leather shoes in front of a radiator to dry- it can cause cracking and stiffness. Use an old newspaper to dry them instead.
- Polish regularly. Using an old towel or a sock, apply a small amount of polish to your shoes, then brush vigorously.
How to clean black suede shoes
Black suede shoes are simple to clean- just follow these three steps:
- Use a soft brush to remove any dirt
- Brush vigorously to remove scuffs and revitalise the suede
- If your shoes are damp, sprinkle them with talcum powder
- Brush the talcum powder off when your shoes have dried
How to protect black suede shoes
Protect your black suede shoes with these simple methods:
- Spray your shoes. Use a spray specifically formulated for suede boots. A protective spray will effectively seal the newly cleaned suede, helping to prevent stains and discolouration.
- Avoid wet weather. It’s a good idea to keep your suede shoes indoors during the winter months and when it’s raining, as water can cause stains which will affect the integrity of the material.
How to clean black trainers and canvas shoes
Follow these three simple steps to keep your black trainers and canvas shoes in tip-top condition:
- Dilute a small amount of laundry detergent
- Using a toothbrush, brush the mixture into any marks or stains
- Use an old newspaper to dry your shoes
How to protect black trainers and canvas shoes
By maintaining your black trainers and canvas shoes you can extend their lifespan considerably. Here are two effective ways to protect your shoes:
- Waterproof. Protect your canvas shoes against the elements by rubbing beeswax into them, and using a hairdryer to melt it into the fibres. Take note of these useful waterproofing methods.
- Spray regularly. To protect against staining and dirt build up, use a fabric protector spray, reapplying as often as required.