There are a number of reasons we want the shoes we buy to last us a long time: we don’t want to go through the effort of buying new ones; a good pair of sneakers or boots can be expensive; caring for our shoes is not only financially beneficial, but it will make our closet look more organized. Learning to store and clean shoes properly guarantees our shoes will last longer and look better.
How to Clean Your Shoes Before Storing Them
Before storing your shoes—long term or short term—it’s recommended to clean them. Shoes are different materials that require different methods of cleaning. Materials to construct shoes can include fabrics, leather, suede, velvet and other materials. Before cleaning your shoes, look at the material and then determine what you need to clean them.
Cleaning Shoes Made of Fabric
Throwing any pair of shoes into the washer, even fabric shoes, is not a good idea. Most shoes are assembled with glue that will not withstand the washer for long. Instead, wipe down your fabric shoe with a dry paper towel to eliminate loose surface dirt or dust.
Once the surface is clean, you can start scrubbing the shoes. The brush you use should have soft bristles that won’t pull the shoe’s fabric. To scrub the shoe, you can use shoe cleaner, but it’s not necessary to purchase shoe cleaner. Liquid dish soap can also clean a pair of fabric shoes. Regardless of what you use to clean your shoes, it’s vital to let your shoe dry properly before storing. Wet shoes can get moldy and start falling apart.
Cleaning Shoes Made of Leather
Leather shoes also don’t require purchasing shoe cleaner. Using a solution of water and white vinegar works to remove stains. Avoid using a brush on leather shoes to prevent scratching. Clean your leather shoe with a soft cloth and rub off marks gently.
To restore the shine on your leather shoes, you can use commercial polish or glass cleaner. Apply the glass cleaner on a cloth and then rub it onto the shoe.
Cleaning Shoes Made of Suede or Velvet
The surface of a shoe made from suede or velvet needs to be kept as dry as possible. Stains on these shoes require a quick response to avoid letting the stain seep into the material. Clean the shoe with a soft-bristled brush. Do not use a wet towel on these shoes. Use baby powder, baking soda, or cornstarch to absorb the stains on the use. Leave the powder on the shoe for about an hour before gently brushing it off.
How to Preserve Your Shoes in Storage
Cleaning your shoes will help preserve their color and look but not their shape. Your shoes need to be stuffed and stored in a way that preserves their shape. To stuff your shoes, you can use acid-free tissue paper, wooden shoe horns, or a shoe tree. Keeping your shoe stuffed will ensure that it keeps its shape even if stored for a long time because the material won’t sink or wrinkle.
Storing Your Shoes Properly to Preserve Them
A critical aspect of preserving your shoes is what you store them in. Shoe storage options range from boxes, racks, or custom cabinets, but the best storage location will depend on how long the shoe will go without being worn.
Open storage containers will let leather and fabric breathe, keeping your shoes fresh. Using open storage is best for shoes worn often. However, if you plan to store your shoes for a long time, it’s best to use clear plastic boxes. Placing your shoes in a box will protect them from dust, sunlight, and temperature, preventing damage.
Shoes you intend to keep stored long term need to be protected not just by their container but also their location. The secure storage space you chose needs to have climate control, protection against dust and pest as a defense against damage to your shoes while in storage. If you intend to store your shoes for a long time, it’s vital to keep them in a climate-controlled environment. Extreme humidity or dryness will negatively affect your shoes. Leather shoes will brittle, fabrics can weaken, the glue will loosen, and mold can appear.
Contact Treasure Island Storage for Self-Storage Solutions in New York
Treasure Island Storage understands the importance of keeping your belongings well preserved. We are proud to offer express check-in, temperature-controlled units, and 24/7 security to keep your belongings safe and well preserved. We offer conveniently located storage facilities throughout New York and New Jersey. You can reserve a unit online to help you start storing those items that no longer fit in your home. To contact us, call (646) 846-9449 or fill out this contact form.