11 Best Shoe Cleaners to Buy in 2023: These Are the Best
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Keep your shoes on.
Did you know that about 421,000 units of bacteria, including potentially fatal E.coli, are probably clinging to your shoes? We've warned readers about wearing shoes in the house. (Just don't.) But even if your house rules state "no shoes," you'll still want to clean your shoes. That's why we found the best shoe cleaners on the market. Not only do these cleaners rid your shoes of harmful debris, making them safer to wear indoors, but they also can make them look brand new. Consider us sold.
Ahead, we rounded up the most effective shoe cleaners on the market, some of which are backed by thousands of positive reviews, others are TikTok-famous, and a select few are House Beautiful-tested. No matter which one (or ones) you get for your home, you’ll love the result—that we can guarantee. Here's the thing, though: We didn't just include various solutions to remove stains and kill bacteria. We included everything (and we mean everything) that you could possibly need to add to your cleaning arsenal, such as microfiber cloths, a leather conditioner, bristle brushes, and more.
So if you want to keep your kicks fresh, opt for one of the best shoe cleaners available. "The factors that influence how these particles and dirt move through the indoor environment include climate, design of the entrance, and whether there are exterior mats and interior mats," Jill Litt, a University of Colorado at Boulder professor of environmental studies, tells House Beautiful. What better way to jump-start spring cleaning than with your shoes? Shop our top picks now before they sell out!
If you are new to the shoe-cleaning game, you can't go wrong by opting for the essentials. This kit includes a four-ounce cleaning solution (made from coconut and jojoba oils that both clean and condition), three brushes of various stiffness, and a microfiber cloth. It can work (wonders, might we add) on suede, leather, and linen shoes.
If you live in a heavily wooded area or find yourself walking on grass (as opposed to the sidewalk) a lot, get yourself a boot scraper. Simply place it outside your most frequently used door and use it as a doormat—though this is a bit stiffer to free tiny pebbles, debris, or anything else stuck in the soles of your shoes.
Not only does this balm clean your leather shoes, but it also conditions them. Leather needs to be moisturized regularly to look its best. Simply apply a pea-sized amount to the front and sides of the shoe and massage it in with either your hands or a towel (less mess).
Microfiber clothes are the unsung hero of cleaning—whether it be your kitchen counters, mirrors, or shoes. There's something about the super-fine fabric that traps every microscopic piece of dirt. The best part? When you're done, just throw it in the laundry. The only thing these cloths don't do is kill bacteria, so if you're worried there may be E.coli or something equally as harmful on your shoes, pair the clothes with a cleaning solution.
Though it works on all types of shoes, this instant foaming cleanser is best for sneakers or any other type of athletic shoe. Simply shake the can, release a little bit of the contents onto the outside of the shoe, give it a moment to foam, then scrub with either a towel or soft-bristle brush.
We love a water-based eco-conscious cleaner, and this one from Koio is one of our favorites. It works best for removing set-in stains, something we could probably all use in our lives. All you have to do is gently squeeze the bottle to dispense some of the liquid, then scrub with a brush until the stains are gone. Word to the wise: Do not use this product on patent leather, as it will remove all of the gloss and shine.
A classic doormat is always a good idea. This one is placed on the inside of the home, but we'd suggest leaving it outside to keep all of the dirt and debris out of the house. Doormats are a great way to add a touch of personality to your porch, stoop, or entryway, so have some fun with the design.
Score the easy-to-use shoe cleaner on its own or get it with a soft-bristle brush for an extra $8. The cleaner is one of those do-it-all types that is both eco-friendly (it's biodegradable) and non-toxic, so feel free to use it on your little one's shoes as well. It works on everything from leather boots to suede loafers.
This trio of shoe cleaners may be the brainchild of TOMS, but feel free to use it on any other brand in your closet. The set, which is made in the U.S., comprises a foaming cleanser, a refresher to help deodorize, and a protector that fights moisture and stains. At just $16, this is a good set to have on-hand when you need it.
This may not be the prettiest shoe cleaner on our list, but it works—especially for boots. The shoe dryer does way more than simply remove moisture; it totally eliminates all odors by blowing warm air through the shafts of your shoes—and it's noiseless.
The Pink Stuff is the Aquafor of cleaning products in that you can use it on everything and it actually works. We, like most people, discovered this amazing product on TikTok, where it blew up to almost 250 million views. Here's the thing: It's nontoxic and easy to use, but it is a thick, globby paste, so beware of the consistency before getting yourself a tub. We'd suggest dipping the tip of a microfiber towel into the tub, pulling out a small glob, and massaging it onto your shoes. It's not anti-bacterial, but it will definitely make your shoes shine.
Every two weeks or so, you can clean your shoes with water and a little bit of detergent, but if you want to give them a deep clean, opt for a shoe-specific cleaning solution, going over every nook and cranny of your shoe with a brush or microfiber cloth. For the inside, you can't go wrong with a disinfecting spray.
Professionals typically clean suede shoes using a spot-treatment technique. If you want to clean the whole shoe, though, you'll need a suede shampoo and a small brush that won't degrade the delicate fabric.
After learning what could happen after wearing your shoes inside, the House Beautiful editors are dedicated to keeping ourselves and our families safe (and clean), so we were determined to find the best shoe cleaners out there. We considered solutions, tools, and cloths to deliver the most effective clean.
Jessica Cherner is House Beautiful's associate shopping editor and knows where to find the best high-low pieces for any room.
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