Shoes are not merely accessories. They’re our feet’s defense against dirt, debris, and other harsh pollutants we come across outside. But just like clothes, shoes can be worn down over time. Quicker in fact because you’re more likely to use them over and over again. Not to mention the serious damage they face whenever you step outdoors.

So, if you want to keep your shoes for longer, follow these 9 maintenance tips:

Tip #1 DRY FEET BEFORE WEARING SHOES

One of the easiest things you can do to keep your shoes in good shape is by making sure your feet are clean and dry before wearing them. The salt from sweaty feet can quickly wear down the materials and any dampness can even lead to mold developing. It can also lead to numerous health problems which nobody wants.

Tip #2 CLEAN SHOES REGULARLY

It’s suggested that you clean your shoes regularly, spot clean them, or at least wash them completely once a month. This is to discourage the build-up of dirt inside and outside the shoes.

Tip #3 DON’T USE THE WASHING MACHINE

You can get away with throwing your clothes in the washing machine. The same thing can’t be said for shoes. While it takes more effort, hand washing is better in the long run because soaking your shoes in water or cleaning them with a washing machine can speed up deterioration. It can weaken the glue that keeps parts of your shoes together, cause fabric colors to bleed, and so on.

Tip #4 AVOID DRYING WITH DIRECT SUNLIGHT

When you’re drying your shoes, avoid putting them under direct sunlight as it can not only wear down the fabric but also cause massive discolorations especially for white shoes.

Tip #5 STORE WITH OPEN AIR

Shoes need air as well. So, when storing them, make sure that your cabinet or shelf has decent airflow. Refrain from storing your shoes in tight plastic bags or closed off shoe boxes. Doing so can cause the materials to become rigid and smelly.

Tip #6 KEEP THEM FRESH WITH CHARCOAL

Besides keeping them in good containers that allow for air to flow, another thing you can do to maintain shoes is to store them with charcoal bags. Charcoal is a highly sought after the ingredient that can absorb moisture in the air that causes mildew and keep bad odors away.

Tip #7 SWITCH UP SHOES

You may be tempted to wear your favorite shoes every day but doing so can cause it to deteriorate much faster. Try switching it up every now and then. Or, bring back up shoes and slippers.

Tip #8 POLISH LEATHER OFTEN

Leather, in particular, is an expensive material that requires high maintenance. Shoes made with this material should be regularly polished to keep it supple and avoid discoloration. And if you want to keep the stains away, invest in a stain guard.

Tip #9 GET SUEDE CLEANER

Another difficult material to clean, Suede has a tendency to gather dirt and is easy to stain. So, besides a stain guard, you also need a special suede cleaner to spot clean any dirt off. Soaking or dowsing suede shoes in the water is not recommended because it causes the material to weaken and lose color.

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