7 Ways to Clean Those Thrifted Shoes

September 2, 2015

7 Ways to Clean Those Thrifted Shoes


Dear readers,

I am not a fan of feet.

Therefore, it should be no surprise that I am not a fan of the shoes you buy at a thrift store, yet I buy them constantly and with chagrin. It’s like falling in love with a guy you know could be bad for you, but you fall in love anyway. In fact, just this weekend I found a pair of size 6 Jessica Simpson wedged office shoes with a great big, beautiful, gold buckle on the front. Talk about kismit. They were only $6.99.

thrifted shoes

So how exactly do you clean those thrifted shoes you find at Goodwill, St. Vinni’s, or your local consignment shop?

There are actually a number of ways to clean them and make them look spiffy and new again.

Here are several very effective ways which I have used to clean and disinfect my thrifted shoes:

1. For canvas shoes, dousing them in rubbing alcohol and washing them in a washing machine is pretty effective. Alcohol kills everything. I’ve also heard about  filling a spray bottle with 40% rubbing alcohol and 60% water, spraying them down and wiping them off.

2. For leather shoes, I also use a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol on it and clean every inch of the shoe. I’ve also soaked them in warm water, with a splash of rubbing alcohol. I liked this method the best. However, I only recommend soaking them for a few minutes. I’ve soaked them for longer and noticed that some of the dye comes off the shoe.

Thrifted shoes

3. Spraying the inside of the shoe with any sort of disinfectant spray. Lysol works great.

4. White vinegar and water spray. Or letting them sit in a sink with vinegar and water for an hour.

5. For patent leather shoes, warm water and soap works wonders.

6. Some people have recommended bleach to me, but I personally wouldn’t try it on any shoe that wasn’t already canvas and white.

7. I’ve used coconut oil and tea tree oil to bring shine back into my thrifted or over used leather shoes. The tea tree oil also gets rid of any odor the shoe might have.

 I have listed seven tried and true ways that I’ve cleaned my thrifted shoes. Do you have any more suggestions for me?!
Thrift on,
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7 Ways to Clean Those Thrifted Shoes
7 Ways to Clean Those Thrifted Shoes
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