September 4, 2008

Sneaker love

Like new!

I had been meaning to clean my sneakers for awhile. Finally getting around to it today, I went to look for some shoe cleaning products in the laundry room cupboard. There were none. A thought then crossed my mind: why do I have to use a specially-formulated chemical product to clean my footwear? Why not, y’know, laundry detergent or something?


Why not… baking soda? It is, after all, white clothing’s best friend and the filthiest part of my sneakers was the bottom white strip. So I grabbed the box of baking soda (I really ought to work for Arm & Hammer or something) and a damp rag (an old washcloth). Meantime it was just my luck that the rubbery suede brush tool had hardened beyond recognition, so that in itself was useless.

It quickly became apparent as I worked the white sole that this would need to be a blog post. Only this time I felt I needed to prove it with photos.

Filthy heel

I cannot recall the last time I cleaned my sneakers. Yeuch! Water alone did very little. Baking soda, on the other hand (foot)…

Clean heel Right vs left Like whitening teeth

Like whitening teeth. Ten shades lighter with one treatment! In the first image of the pair, only the right shoe has been scrubbed with baking soda. I swear I did not Photoshop it!

Dirty shoe Clean shoe

And like new.

To get the baking soda powder off the black suede I sprayed it lightly with a vinegar solution, then wiped with a soft, clean cloth which I then used, dampened with the solution, to clean the suede. If I don’t feel too guilty to do it, I’ll be spraying them with an all-protector tomorrow.

Any guesses as to the age of these treads? Three and a half years. Not bad for old farts, eh? (They took last winter off, mind you.) Try the baking soda trick yourself if you wind up with grimy white shoes.