Children's shoes often bear the brunt of countless adventures, from playground escapades to muddy puddle jumps. Keeping those little feet happy means paying attention to the cleanliness and maintenance of their footwear. In this guide, we'll explore effective ways to clean kids' shoes, ensuring they not only look good but also last longer.

Read Care Instructions:

Before diving into the cleaning process, check the care instructions provided by the shoe manufacturer. Different materials require specific cleaning methods, and understanding these guidelines can help prevent damage to the shoes. Whether it's leather, canvas, mesh, or synthetic materials, knowing the right approach is the first step to effective cleaning.

Remove Loose Dirt and Debris:

Begin by removing any loose dirt or debris from the shoes. Use a soft brush or cloth to gently wipe away surface dirt. For stubborn mud or dried-on substances, tap the soles of the shoes together or use a soft brush to dislodge the debris. This initial step prevents further scratching or staining during the cleaning process.

Spot Cleaning:

For small, localized stains, a damp cloth or sponge can be effective. Use a mild detergent or a mixture of water and gentle soap to create a cleaning solution. Dab the stained area with the cloth or sponge, being careful not to saturate the material. Avoid harsh chemicals that may damage the color or texture of the shoes.

Cleaning Canvas Shoes:

Canvas shoes, popular among kids for their comfort and style, can be cleaned with a mild soap and water solution. Gently scrub the surface with a soft brush or toothbrush. Pay attention to seams and any areas with stubborn stains. Allow the shoes to air dry, avoiding direct heat sources that may warp or shrink the material.

Leather Shoe Care:

Cleaning leather shoes requires a delicate touch. Start by wiping away surface dirt with a soft, damp cloth. Use a mild soap or leather cleaner to address stains. After cleaning, apply a leather conditioner to keep the material supple and prevent it from drying out. Ensure that the shoes are completely dry before storage.

Machine-Washable Shoes:

Some kids' shoes, particularly those made of synthetic materials or certain types of canvas, may be machine washable. Check the care instructions and remove any removable insoles or accessories. Place the shoes in a mesh laundry bag to protect them during the wash. Use a gentle cycle with cold water and let the shoes air dry afterward.

Insole Maintenance:

Don't forget about the insoles! Remove them if possible and let them air out. If they are machine washable, follow the same guidelines as for the shoes. For non-removable insoles, use a damp cloth to wipe away any dirt or odor. Sprinkling baking soda inside the shoes can also help neutralize unpleasant odors.

Storage and Prevention:

Proper storage can contribute to the longevity of kids' shoes. Ensure that the shoes are completely dry before putting them away, as dampness can lead to mold and unpleasant odors. Use shoe racks or shelves to provide proper ventilation and prevent the shoes from becoming squished or misshapen.


Caring for kids' shoes is a combination of regular cleaning, gentle techniques, and preventive measures. By following these guidelines, you can keep those little feet happy, ensuring that their shoes not only look good but also provide the necessary support for all their adventures. With a bit of care, kids' shoes can withstand the challenges of play and exploration while maintaining their comfort and style.

Mugo Agency