As beautiful as shoe wardrobes sometimes are, a shoe wardrobe can be a scary place for the senses.
Because we wear our shoes for long periods of time, experience different heat levels, sweat into them, get dirt on them, we get them wet – then if we have a shoe closet or closed in area for our shoes, we pop them away.
I am a big fan of shoe wardrobes, but keeping them clean requires a little bit of a routine to stop you from getting not only a badly smelling area, but will help your shoes last longer and prevent nasties like mould. Last week, I had a brand spanking new GORGEOUS, wardrobe installed in my place. I have been so into getting this wardrobe perfect that I even did things like measuring my tallest shoes so I could space my pull out shoe trays far enough apart without wasting valuable Sydney apartment space. I am nuts about wasted space in a wardrobe, as you know.
BEFORE ANY SHOES WENT INTO MY WARDROBE, I MADE SURE I HAD DONE THREE THINGS:
- Purchased enough DampRid for the size of my wardrobe (I prefer one pack per closed section).
- Put some bicarb in little organza bags (the type you get from the $2 shop) to help soak up and odours and extra moisture that may happen in my wardrobe.
- Cleaned the heck out of my shoes, soles included.
KEEP YOUR SHOE WARDROBE CLEAN IN THE LONG TERM:
- Remove all shoes from your wardrobe and wipe down/vacuum the space.
- Put DampRid and/or Bicarb pouches in your wardrobe, particularly in areas that get cluttered.
- Get in the habit of leaving your shoes out of the wardrobe to breathe for at least 3 hours, before cleaning and putting back in your wardrobe.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR SHOES CLEAN:
The Interiors: Wipe down the interior of your shoes first with a damp cloth, then again with a leather cleaner and conditioner. You can do this daily to keep them fresh.
The Sole: Shoes that don’t have a leather sole can be wiped down with baby wipes, if they are leather, use your cleaner and conditioner (you can buy a good cleaner from most men’s shoe stores). If the sole is particularly dirty and you aren’t having much luck removing the dirt, consider having them resoled at the cobblers and in future, wipe them down with a baby wipe when you get home each day.
Exterior: If you purchase leather shoes, again, your fabulous leather conditioner and cleaner will clean these right up. If they’re suede, you’ll need a separate clean designed specifically for suede. A simple wipe down on the exterior of your shoes can be done after each wear, or every second wear.
If they’re canvas, and a wipe down with a damp cloth isn’t helping, a little bicarb and water mixed together to create a paste, spread on, left for 15-20 minutes and wiped away with a damp cloth will bring the brightness back to your shoes. I recommend cleaning with bicarb and water once every two to three months.
Bitch Tip: Shoes are made out of all sorts of fabrics these days, if you’re unsure of the type of fabric in your shoe, it’s best to ask a cobbler what products they recommend. To find a good cobbler, ask around at higher end shoe stores and do your research on them before taking your beloved shoes there.
NEVER, EVER EVER: Put your shoes on while your feet are damp or wet after showering. This can lead to mould growing in your shoes.
By sticking to the routine of cleaning your shoes before packing them away, you’ll remove that shoe odour from your closet and things will smell way fresher and effortlessly bitchy! What do you do to keep shoe smells at bay?