How To Clean Cork Shoes: A Complete Step-By-Step Guide

Cork shoes are chic and super aesthetic. Moreover, they are generally comfortable and offer orthopedic support.

No wonder they are never out of fashion! However, some people hesitate to buy cork shoes as they can easily get soiled.

Dirty cork shoes with spots and dirt are unlikely to go with any attire.

So, if you have these elegant shoes or plan on buying a pair, it is essential to know how to clean cork shoes.

The good news is that cleaning cork shoes is easier than you may have imagined.

Plus, you probably already have everything you need to clean these shoes properly and restore them to their former glory.

There are a few things that you must keep in mind while cleaning cork shoes to avoid damaging the shoes in any way.

Firstly and most importantly, make sure that the shoes don’t get excessively wet during the cleaning process.

If you get them wet, there’s a high probability that the material might develop cracks while drying, rendering them useless.

So, keep them away from the bucket! Also, never throw them in the washing machine.

Now that you understand the basics, let’s take a look at the right way to clean cork shoes.

How To Clean Cork Shoes

You can clean your cork shoes and make them look brand new in just five simple steps. Let’s get started!

Step 1 – Make A DIY Cork Shoe Cleaner

how to clean cork shoes

The first thing you need to do is make a cleaning solution that you will use to clean the shoes.

While you may be able to find a cork cleaning solution in the market, it is best to make one at home.

In this manner, you can ensure that the ingredients you are using are safe for your shoes.

To make your DIY cork shoe cleaner, pour around half a gallon of water in a big bowl and add half a cup of vinegar.

Mix the vinegar in the water with the help of a spoon before adding a few drops of detergent.

You can use any detergent of your choice as long as it is mild and non-toxic. Mix the solution thoroughly.

You can also mix all the ingredients in a bottle and shake it vigorously to make sure that the detergent is mixed well.

Step 2 – Wipe The Shoes


how to clean cork shoes

Once the cleaning solution is ready, it’s time to wipe the dirt and grime off your shoes. Moisten a soft, clean rag using the cork cleaning solution.

If you dip the rag in the solution, make sure you squeeze it enough to remove all excess moisture before using it on your cork shoes.

Wipe the damp rag over the shoes to remove any dirt or marks that may be visible.

Wipe the shoes gently in a circular motion, applying pressure only when needed.

The more dirt you clean through wiping the shoes, the less you will have to scrub them later. So, take your time and wipe the shoes as thoroughly as you can.

Step 3 – Apply The Cleaning Solution

how to clean cork shoes

If you manage to wipe away all dirt and stains, it is best to avoid this step. However, sometimes, the stains are too hard to clean with a rag.

In such a case, you can resort to using a soft scrubbing brush on the shoes.

Another reason why you may want to use a scrubbing brush is that it is often hard to reach all parts of the shoes with a rag. This is especially true for closed in shoes.

To use the scrubbing brush, dip it in the cork cleaning solution and give it a jerk to remove excess water.

Keep in mind that the brush must be damp, not dripping wet.

Move the scrubbing brush in soft circular motions over the shoes, reaching the areas that you missed while cleaning with the rag.

Make sure you keep rinsing the brush every few minutes to avoid smearing dirt around the shoe.

Keep in mind that while it is best to stick to a good-quality scrub to clean your shoes, if it’s not available, you can always use a toothbrush instead.

It may be a bit difficult for you to scrub with a toothbrush, but it will clean the shoes the same way.

Step 4 – Wipe Them Clean

use rags to clean cork shoes

Once you are sure that your cork shoes have been thoroughly cleaned, wipe them clean to remove the soap residue.

No matter how tempted you may feel to place the soapy shoes under a running tap – do not do it. Instead, use a clean damp cloth for this purpose.

Wiping the shoes will give you a good idea of how successful you’ve been in cleaning your shoes.

If you still see a lot of dirt or stains, you can wipe the shoe again with the scrubbing brush, focusing on soiled areas.

However, keep in mind that excessive scrubbing can also damage the cork shoes. So, don’t scrub them more than two times.

Once your cork shoes are clean and the soap residue has been wiped away, leave the shoes out to dry naturally.

Keep in mind that cork shoes can take a day or even two to dry completely. So, if you plan on wearing them, don’t wait till the last minute to clean them.

Step 5 – Sand Your Cork Shoes    

how to clean cork shoes

Sanding shoes involves using sandpaper to remove the top layer of cork. Keep in mind that sanding the shoes excessively can easily damage them.

So, make sure you do it only when it is absolutely required. Even then, you won’t be able to sand your shoes more than a few times without wearing them out. A

Also, keep in mind that your cork shoes must be completely dry when you sand them. So, after you clean your shoes, wait at least two days before you sand them.

Cleaning cork shoes is easy. Now that you know how to clean cork shoes, rock your favorite shoes like a true fashionista!

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how to clean cork shoes