Say Bye Bye to shoe stains the right way with this Cai guide

Almost two years later, it finally feels moderately safe to take whiffs of fresh air mask-free outdoors. This can be loosely translated to one too many party invitations, re-planning cancelled vacations, and back-to-office, in-person commitments. So, if you too, like us, have spent the last few days rummaging through your scattered footwear collection to find a half-decent pair that hasn’t borne the brunt of isolation, this one is for you.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all mechanism, sadly, for taking care of your shoes. If they’ve been looking dirty, or shabby off late due to lack of use (or overuse), ahead are some tips, segregated by material, to keep them looking good and lasting a bit longer.

Fabric shoes :

Strappy denim sandals or your favourite pair of canvas shoes, white sneakers or printed pumps, no matter how they’re designed, fabric shoes eventually get dirty, but that’s not the end of the road for them. Not one bit. And while several articles on the internet may encourage you to find solace in the washer, trust us, this is a bad idea because these machines can be aggressive, and we don’t wish to warp our footwear. Instead, we recommend you to clean your fabric shoe surfaces by hand with just some dishwashing detergent, warm water, an old toothbrush, and paper towels.

Firstly, wipe your footwear with a dry paper towel to get rid of any loose dirt on the surface. Next, make a concoction of a teaspoon of detergent, mixed with two cups of hot water. Dip your toothbrush in this mixture, and one section at a time, work its bristles on the grain of the fabric, making tiny circles with your brush. Make sure you do not over-wet and pay equal attention all around. Remove the soap residue, and wipe the entire shoe with a paper towel dipped in clear water. Blot it dry with another paper towel (minus the dipping) and allow natural air to work its magic. Do not expose your fabric shoes to sunlight immediately after washing.

Vegan leather shoes, such as our Cai Store classics :

While many leather, patent leather and faux leather shoes require intensive cleaning with a plethora of materials - such as baking soda, polish, or petroleum jelly, at The Cai Store, our shoes are resilient enough to look spick and span when simply wiped dry with a damp cloth, and then air-dried completely. In case you feel that some of your leather shoes from other brands have lost their glistening and shine, and you’re not a fan of the matte look, you can restore the lustre with a spritz of ammonia- and alcohol-free glass cleaner and buff with a soft cloth.

Suede shoes:

If you’re bringing home pure suede, or anything with a napped surface, know that they come in need of regular attention and care. For starters, the surfaces are required to be kept as dry as possible. You should ideally use a softly bristled brush every time after wearing them to remove loose dust and soil. In case you stain them, they should be treated as quickly as possible. As a thumb rule, clear your marks and scuffs with an eraser (the pencil one), while your oil-based stains should be treated with baby powder, which is then brushed away. This process needs to be repeated till the entire oil is absorbed, any other kind of wet stains can be blotted with a paper towel to absorb moisture. Just like in the case of fabric shoes. allow the footwear to air dry completely away from direct heat. Brush to smooth the nap.