The 10 Best Shoe Cleaners of 2023
The Reshoevn8r Original Kit is our top pick, because it comes with everything you need to clean your shoes, whether at home or on the go.
Brittany Loggins is a freelance contributor writing about relationships, mental health, travel hacks, and more.
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It doesn't take much for shoes to get dirty, so it's no surprise that some people refuse to wear them inside the house. Luckily, there are plenty of effective shoe cleaners that will make your sneakers, boots, flats, and more look new again.
To come up with these recommendations, we thoroughly researched the best shoe cleaners on the market and narrowed down our list based on type, shoe material, and more. We also spoke with Eduard Shimunov, owner of Cobbler Express Shoe Repair in New York City, for expert tips on how to keep your shoes looking new.
Here are more of the best shoe cleaners.
Whom it's for: People who want a reliable shoe cleaner for at-home and on-the-go use.
Whom it isn't for: People who would rather purchase all the items separately.
What makes the Reshoevn8r Original Kit so effective is that it includes multiple ways to clean your shoes. It comes with a cleaning solution that is gentle enough to work on delicate materials, but strong enough to slough off stains. The all-purpose shoe cleaner uses jojoba and coconut oils, which help pull away dirt and condition your shoes so that they will last longer. The 4-ounce bottle is enough for 30 to 50 uses, according to the brand.
This cleaning solution works best with a brush, which is also included in the kit. The medium-bristled brush allows you to thoroughly clean your shoes, especially in the crevices of rubber soles. Finally, the kit also comes with individually wrapped sneaker wipes, which are great for quick fixes or touch-ups. The wipes are double-sided, with a textured side that helps scrub off debris. They work on an array of stains and shoe materials (including leather, plastic, vinyl, and rubber), so they’re great to stash in your purse or backpack.
Price at time of publish: $20
Type: Wipes, cleaning solution, and brush | Shoe Materials: Canvas, mesh, leather, plastic, rubber, and more
Whom it's for: People who need a budget-friendly cleaning solution.
Whom it isn't for: People who want to know exactly what ingredients are in their cleaning supplies.
Not only is Grandma's Secret Sneaker Cleaner incredibly cost-effective, but it's also incredibly powerful. We love that it's super-easy to use, too. Simply spray it on the surface of the shoes you’re trying to clean, and let it sit for 15 seconds. From there, grab an old toothbrush or a paper towel and gently scrub back and forth before rinsing under water and allowing the shoes to dry.
While the brand doesn't list the ingredients (it is called Grandma's Secret, after all), the budget-friendly shoe cleaner is safe for use on rubber, canvas, and leather—and the before and after photos on the product listing are pretty impressive. It comes in a large 16-ounce bottle as well as a smaller 3-ounce bottle that's great for travel.
Price at time of publish: From $7
Type: Spray | Shoe Materials: Rubber, canvas, and leather
Courtesy of Walmart
Whom it's for: People who need a fast, effective way to clean shoes, particularly canvas.
Whom it isn't for: People who are looking for a gentle and non-abrasive shoe cleaner.
When you notice a little stain on your shoe and want to fix it as soon as possible before running out the door, you can reach for a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. These foam sponges are fast, durable, and long-lasting. They work on all types of shoes that can handle a bit of abrasion, but we think they’re an excellent choice for canvas shoes.
These powerful erasers can remove stains, grease, dirt, and other grime from your shoes by simply dampening the sponge and scrubbing the surface. As you continue to use the Magic Eraser, the foam will slowly get smaller and smaller—kind of like bar soap. And since they come in packs of 10, you can use the extras to clean just about any surface in your home.
Price at time of publish: $14
Type: Foam sponge | Shoe Materials: Canvas, rubber, foam, and plastic
Whom it's for: People who are looking for a product that's designed to clean and condition leather shoes.
Whom it isn't for: People who want a versatile cleaner that works on multiple materials.
Formulated with mink and macadamia oils, the Saphir Médaille d'Or Renovator Cream can be used to wick away dirt and grease that your leather shoes may have picked up throughout the day. The cream will also condition the leather to prevent it from cracking and showing other signs of aging. This product is beloved for its ability to breathe new life into old leather boots and make sure that new leather shoes maintain their sheen.
The brand recommends using this product to keep your leather shoes clean and conditioned in between wears. You can apply the leather cream with a chamois cloth and gently massage it in. Make sure to spot-test it in an inconspicuous area, because leather cleaners can darken some materials.
Price at time of publish: $27
Type: Oil-based cream | Shoe Materials: All types of leather
Whom it's for: People who want a multipurpose shoe cleaner that's safe to use on suede.
Whom it isn't for: People who prefer creams or polishes, as this is a liquid cleaner.
Suede shoes can be scary to clean, because they’re so easily stained by dirt, oil, and even water. While it's always good to use a protective spray on suede, especially for shoes, the Angelus Easy Cleaner has you covered when stains inevitably occur.
To use, the brand recommends applying the cleaner to a brush and using it to scrub your shoes. You can use warm water to remove any dirt and debris from the brush as needed. Finally, you can dry off your shoes using a clean rag or microfiber cloth. Even though this gentle cleanser works wonders on suede, it can also be used on other materials such as leather, canvas, rubber, and more.
Price at time of publish: $10
Type: Liquid cleaner | Shoe Materials: Suede, leather, canvas, nubuck, plastic, rubber, and more
Whom it's for: People who want to keep their white shoes looking new.
Whom it isn't for: People who want a shoe cleaner that works on suede and vinyl.
If you’re trying to clean your white shoes so they look new again, we recommend keeping Shoe MGK's white touch-up cleaner on hand. While the bottle may seem small, it comes with a sponge tip applicator that helps dispense the perfect amount of product. Not only does this prevent you from using too much cleaner, but it also gives you more precision while spot-cleaning.
The formula is gentle enough to use on various materials (including canvas, leather, and rubber) as long as they’re white. We also think it's an easy way to touch up just the white spots on other pairs of shoes. Just keep in mind that the brand says to avoid using this shoe cleaner on vinyl and suede.
Price at time of publish: $15
Type: Liquid cleaner with sponge applicator | Shoe Materials: Canvas, leather, rubber, and more
Whom it's for: People who want a shoe cleaner that's designed for athletic sneakers.
Whom it isn't for: People who are worried about the applicator snagging delicate materials.
It doesn't take much for athletic shoes to get dirty, whether they’re running sneakers or hiking boots. One big part of prolonging the lifespan of your sneakers is keeping them clean and grime-free, which is where the Sof Sole Instant Cleaner comes into play. It dispenses a foam that can quickly cover your entire shoe, and it comes with a soft-bristled plastic applicator that you can use to scrub it in.
This built-in applicator makes this shoe cleaner an especially great option for removing caked-on dirt from the soles of your sneakers. While the foam will work on mesh and knit fabrics (let it sit on the fabric to work its magic), you should avoid using the applicator on delicate materials that could pull or snag.
Price at time of publish: From $11
Type: Foam cleaner with applicator | Shoe Materials: Not listed
Whom it's for: People who want a convenient, on-the-go shoe-cleaning solution.
Whom it isn't for: People who need to clean suede and those who want a more environmentally friendly option.
The Pink Miracle Shoe Cleaner Quick Wipes are a great on-the-go cleaning solution, so they’re ideal for keeping in your bag. Each wipe (it comes with 12) contains saddle soap, oils, and conditioners to thoroughly clean and revitalize one pair of shoes.
The wipes have an abrasive side that is great for scrubbing tough messes, especially on the soles of your shoes. There's also a smooth side that's ideal for quick cleanups on delicate materials. The brand says these wipes are safe for a variety of materials, like leather, vinyl, nylon, rubber, and other washable fabrics—but they aren't recommended for suede shoes. Since wipes aren't very environmentally friendly, we suggest only using these for emergency touch-ups while on the go and opting for another cleaner on this list for regular at-home use.
Price at time of publish: $30
Type: Wipes | Shoe Materials: Leather, vinyl, nylon, rubber, and other washable materials
Courtesy of Amazon
Whom it's for: People who want an all-in-one kit to deep clean multiple shoe types
Whom it isn't for: People who want a quick cleaning solution.
If your shoes need a thorough cleaning, the Alloda shoe cleaner kit is a great place to start. It includes a versatile cleaning solution with a built-in sponge applicator, as well as a polish that is designed to brighten white shoes. The kit also comes with a two-sided brush, microfiber towel, and tape so you can cover up non-white parts of your shoes. Plus, the entire kit is packaged in a compact, travel-friendly bag.
The shoe cleaner is dye-free, which means that you can use it on colored fabrics or leathers without worrying about it staining or fading the hue. The polish is great for reviving white leather shoes so they look as good as new.
Price at time of publish: $21
Type: Cleaner, white shoe polish, brush, microfiber cloth, and tape | Shoe Materials: Leather, nubuck, suede, canvas, vinyl, mesh, nylon, and more
Whom it's for: People who often need to scrub dirt off the soles of their shoes.
Whom it isn't for: People who don't want to buy a separate cleaning solution to use with the brush.
If you need a high-quality brush to pair with a liquid or foam shoe cleaner, we recommend the Jason Markk Premium Cleaning Brush. It's crafted from soft hog bristles that gently, but effectively, remove grime from your shoes. It's safe for use on a variety of materials, including suede, nubuck, and canvas. The bristles hold up well and are attached to a walnut wood handle.
If you are planning to use this pick on dry fabric, make sure you gently brush in one direction to remove dust or built-up grime. (This is also a great way to keep suede looking good over time.) If you want to use the brush with water on fabric, be especially gentle, and make sure to target specific areas with stains or grime. You can also use the brush with water on the bottom of your shoes and around the sole.
Price at time of publish: $10
Type: Cleaning brush | Shoe Materials: Suede, nubuck, canvas, cotton, and more
Our favorite shoe cleaner is the Reshoevn8r Original Kit, because it comes with everything you need to clean your shoes at home and on the go. The kit includes a versatile cleaning solution, a medium-bristled brush, and six individually wrapped wipes.
For a more affordable but still effective option, we recommend Grandma's Secret Sneaker Cleaner. This budget-friendly spray is super-easy to use and works on rubber, canvas, and leather.
It's important to make sure that the cleaner you’re using is designed for the fabric of the shoe you’re cleaning. "You can ruin your shoes if you use chemicals that are not meant to be used for shoes," says Shimunov.
You need to be extra cautious with suede and canvas. Look for solutions that are intended specifically for this material, like the Angelus Easy Cleaner that's super-gentle yet still effective. For stains on canvas, you want to make sure you’re not spreading the stain around, so look for foam cleansers like the Sof Sole Instant Cleaner, which works on the stain upon application.
Shoe cleaners come in a variety of forms, ranging from creams to foams. For leather shoes, Shimunov recommends using both cream and polish, but there are a few other types if you’re looking to clean up your canvas or athletic shoes. For smaller stains, wipes or applicators with bristles on the tips are great so that you can target specific areas. You can also allow canvas or athletic shoes to soak in water with a cleaning solution (like the Angelus Easy Cleaner) mixed in.
Think about how you are most likely going to use your shoe cleaner. If you think you just need an option for potential stains, the Pink Miracle Shoe Cleaner Quick Wipes are a great option. If you’d like a full set of products for deep cleaning, invest in a kit that comes with a brush and microfiber towel.
According to Shimunov, the ideal answer is "every time you are going to be using your shoes." We know that's not realistic for most people, so a goal of cleaning your shoes every one or two weeks is a good place to start. It also depends on how dirty or smelly your shoes get. If you run outside or frequently get caught in the rain, then your shoes will likely need to be cleaned more often than someone's shoes that only ever touch their office's floor.
While it won't hurt to spot-clean specific areas of your leather shoes, if you’re truly committed to giving them a refresh, you’ll have to use multiple products. "I recommend using cream before using polish, as cream is like a moisturizer that keeps the leather healthy, and polish is there only to enhance the shine," says Shimunov.
It depends on the material, so you should always check the manufacturer's care instructions. But it's generally fine to machine-wash some athletic shoes that are made from synthetic materials.
However, you should avoid throwing your leather shoes in the wash, because, according to Shimunov, that will cause them to "start deteriorating." And just like your clothes, he says that putting shoes in the dryer that shouldn't be tumble-dried can cause them to shrink so much that it could entirely change their size.
This article was written by Brittany Loggins, a contributing writer for Real Simple who specializes in lifestyle and beauty content. To come up with this list, she thoroughly researched the shoe cleaners on the market and narrowed down the options based on use, shoe material, type of cleaner, and more. For expert tips, we spoke to Eduard Shimunov, owner of the Cobbler Express Shoe Repair in New York City.Whom it's for: Whom it isn't for: Price at time of publish: $20 Type: Shoe Materials: Whom it's for: Whom it isn't for: Price at time of publish: From $7 Type: Shoe Materials: Whom it's for: Whom it isn't for: Price at time of publish: $14 Type: Shoe Materials: Whom it's for: Whom it isn't for: Price at time of publish: $27 Type: Shoe Materials: Whom it's for: Whom it isn't for: Price at time of publish: $10 Type: Shoe Materials: Whom it's for: Whom it isn't for: Price at time of publish: $15 Type: Shoe Materials: Whom it's for: Whom it isn't for: Price at time of publish: From $11 Type: Shoe Materials: Whom it's for: Whom it isn't for: Price at time of publish: $30 Type: Shoe Materials: Whom it's for: Whom it isn't for: Price at time of publish: $21 Type: Shoe Materials: Whom it's for: Whom it isn't for: Price at time of publish: $10 Type: Shoe Materials: