Last updated on December 6th, 2023 at 10:42 am
Cleaning vegan shoes is just as important for improving the longevity of your animal-friendly kicks as shoes made from more traditional materials. Find out how to clean vegan shoes with shoezone.
Ethical clothing is booming in popularity and shoes are no different. Materials like faux suede and faux leather are making shoe design a little more environmentally-friendly. Keeping your shoes in tip-top shape will help your favourite pair last as long as possible. Though some vegan footwear is made from materials that require slightly different cleaning techniques to regular shoes, the fundamentals are still the same.
Below you’ll find out our top tips for how to clean vegan shoes.
If you also want to check out how to keep traditional material shoes clean and fresh, click here to see our budget-friendly shoe hacks to keep your feet and shoes happy.
What’s on this page:
- How to clean recycled plastic shoes
- Cleaning cork shoes
- How to clean vegan leather shoes
- Cotton shoes and how to clean them
- Cleaning Microsuede shoes
- How to clean Pinatex shoes
How to clean recycled plastic shoes
- Brush off any thick mud or dry clumps of dirt.
- Grab a damp cloth and a little soap.
- Lightly coloured dish soap or a plain soap bar is usually best as they’re least likely to stain the material.
- Use circular motions with the damp cloth to work a little of the soap into the material
- A soft-bristle brush can be used for more stubborn stains.
- Colourless polishing cream can be used after the shoes have dried to add a little protection from the elements and to give your shoes an off-the-shelf shine.
Cleaning cork shoes
Like all natural materials, a gentle hand is best. Use a dry cloth to get rid of any general dirt or dried mud before using a damp cloth – no soap needed for cork. Use small, circular motions to give those beautiful wedges a deep clean.
No need to use any polishing cream, either. It’s not good for natural cork. Once you’ve let them air dry, they will be ready for that summer night out with the girls.
How to clean vegan leather shoes
Vegan leather is among the more common materials used for vegan or ethically-produced shoes.
Cleaning vegan leather shoes is a little different to their traditional counterpart. Unlike normal leather, you can use water here and a damp cloth to clean off dirt. As faux leather is not made from animal products, it is not porous so water will not damage it. All you need to clean faux leather is some soapy water and a cloth.
To keep them looking shiny and fabulous, we recommend using some polishing cream that is either colourless or the same colour as the shoes.
Once you’ve given them a gentle wipe down, wait a day to ensure your shoes are fully dried out before you next leave the house in them.
Cleaning your boots will help protect them, but you should also check if they can be winter proofed to make them last just that little bit longer.
Cotton shoes and how to clean them
Cotton shoes are perfect for those trips to the beach, but how do you get rid of those unsightly sea salt stains?
What you’ll need:
- Bowl of lukewarm water
- Soft-bristle brush
- A little dish soap.
No need for polishing cream here, it’ll damage the fine texture of the cotton.
Be aware that colours on cotton can fade so be extra careful and don’t use too much water. You want these shoes to last for summer after summer. As with other materials, gentle circular motions are the way to go for getting rid of stains and marks.
Cleaning microsuede shoes
Microsuede is easier to clean than regular suede. Soap and water go a long way when cleaning these alternative materials. Wet a cloth, and with a dab of soap, use those circular motions that you’ve perfected on all your other shoes.
How to clean Pinatex shoes
Pinatex is an amazing material, made from the fibres of pineapple leaves. It’s durable, strong and is one of the best alternatives to normal leather. Pinatex has the same look and feel as cowhide but is much more breathable.
Remove stains and scuffs by gently scrubbing with a soft brush. Warm water and soap (try to use soaps that are oil-free), plus a little bit of polishing cream are the only things you need to ensure those beautiful Pinatex boots shine.
Don’t forget that 24-hour drying time to ensure you’re not walking around with damp feet!
The above guides are perfect for black or darker coloured materials. To see how you can clean white or lighter colour shoes, why not check out our guide on how to clean white shoes.