How to Clean Satin Shoes

How to Clean Satin Shoes

Satin shoes aren’t just for weddings. They’re perfect for wearing in crisp fall weather. They add instant flair to a casual outfit. They’re also classic with formal attire. You may love your satin shoes, but you’re not crazy about the way they attract dirt. In this article, you’ll learn how to clean them so that you get the most wear out of them all season long.

Types of Satin Shoes

Some kinds of satin shoes are more prone to stains than others. You can find satin shoes in styles such as:

  • Sandals
  • Pumps
  • Stilettos
  • Loafers
  • Flats
  • Mules
  • Kitten heels

With many satin shoes, the fabric is the main event. The footwear may be streamlined and simple, allowing the lustrous material to shine. Some others have beading or crystal embellishments. You’ll have to take different measures to clean the various types of shoes.

Dark-colored satin shoes disguise dirt better than light ones. So do those with patterns on the fabric. However, one of the benefits of satin shoes is that they come in all kinds of juicy colors. You may not want to limit yourself to black or navy when you can be bold in mustard, emerald green, or silver. If you have light-colored satin shoes, you’ll need to clean them to keep them looking pristine.

Do Satin Shoes Stain Easily?

Satin is a delicate material. It shouldn’t be worn in wet weather because moisture can stain the fabric. Other dirt and debris can also stain the fabric. If you’re outdoors, you’ll have to watch out for grass stains. Dust can build up all over the shoe or create an acute stain.

If you drag your shoe on a rough surface, you could create a stain and damage the material. Once the material is worn out, it will pick up stains more easily. Plus, a rough spot on the fabric can ruin the shoes for life. You’ll need to step lightly when you’re wearing satin shoes.

Protect Satin Shoes From Stains Before They Happen

Because stains are likely to mar your satin shoes at some point, you might want to protect them before you wear them. Several products can help you fend off dirt and other stains. However, there is nothing that you can do to make satin shoes completely waterproof. If you suspect that there will be a drizzle or a downpour, you might want to wear something more resilient, such as patent leather.

Waterproofing Sprays

You can use fabric and upholstery sprays to safeguard your shoes from moisture. Look for a brand that’s made specifically for shoes. People often refer to them as “rain and stain sprays.”

These are designed to be transparent and shouldn’t alter the color of your shoes. However, you should test them on an inconspicuous area before coating the entire footwear.

To use most waterproofing sprays, you’ll mist a light layer over the entire shoe. Let it dry. Add another coat for more protection. Once that dries, you may want to spray on one more layer. Repeat this process periodically to keep your shoes looking sharp.

Even though these sprays have the word “waterproof” in their name, nothing can make satin truly waterproof. Therefore, you’ll need to be careful when wearing them in extremely soggy conditions. Step around puddles instead of in them.

If it drizzles at your event, though, you won’t need to worry too much about damaging your shoes when you’ve covered them with one of these protective products.

Hairspray

If you can’t get your hands on a waterproofing spray, try spritzing your satin shoes with hairspray. You’ll need to select an option that goes on clear. As with any product that you apply to your footwear, test it out on a small area before using it all over the shoe.

How does hairspray protect your shoes? It creates a barrier on the outside of the fabric, sealing it off. Dirt won’t work its way into the grain of the material. Hairspray can even ward off moisture problems.

If you choose this method, make sure that you hold the can of hairspray at least six inches away from the shoes. If you hold it to close, it could cause spotting and staining. Keep the can moving and create a light mist that falls on the footwear. Allow this to dry, and repeat it several times to build up a nice shield.

Tips for Spraying Protective Products on Satin Shoes

Whether you use hairspray or another product, make sure that you’re in a well-ventilated area. Protect the space around the shoe with a drop cloth or cardboard to prevent the spray from soiling other areas. Read the instructions on waterproofing or stain-repelling sprays, and follow them closely.

Shake the can thoroughly before you use it. Then, spray it, moving the can continuously. If you spray directly at one spot, you can soak it and cause moisture stains.

Coat the entire exterior of the shoe, including the satin-covered heel. You can spray in short bursts. Just make sure that you begin and end the spray on the overspray protector instead of on the shoe. Doing this will prevent telltale spotting.

It’s better to apply several thin coats rather than one heavy coat. If the product goes on too thickly, it can flake off or create a visible residue.

Also, make sure that you begin with clean shoes. If you apply one of these products over a stain, you’ll seal it in forever. Be sure to dust off the shoes with a dry, clean cloth before using a protective spray. It’s best to use these sprays as soon as you buy the shoes. Protect them before you wear them, and you’ll be less likely to have problems with stains down the road.

You should also let the protective coating dry for at least 24 hours before wearing the shoes. Don’t place them out in the sunlight to dry. Instead, put them in a shady area that has plenty of ventilation.

What Happens If Your Satin Shoes Get Stained?

Some types of stains come out of satin shoes, while others do not. In this guide, we’ll go over ways to clean your shoes every time you wear them as well as stain-removing techniques for more stubborn blemishes.

Clean Your Satin Shoes After Every Use

If you clean your satin shoes regularly, stains will be less likely to set in. Every time you wear your shoes, you’ll end up with a layer of dust and grime on them. If you allow that to sink in, it can discolor the shoes over time. Any moisture that enters the pores of the fabric while it’s dirty may also create harsh stains.

After you take off your shoes for the day, wipe them down with a nylon stocking or soft cloth. Use gentle pressure and move the nylon or cloth in the direction of the grain. If you’re not sure which way the grain goes, look at the fabric. You should be able to see lines going in a specific direction.

If you don’t, you can often feel the grain. If you’re rubbing against it, the nylon will feel as though it’s snagging. When you go with the grain, the nylon will feel like it’s gliding effortlessly.

Brush Off Dry Stains

Many experts say to avoid dealing with wet stains on satin shoes no matter what you do. In many cases, you can deal with stains after they dry. That’s a great guideline when you’re dealing with dirt and debris.

Even if you walked a mile in your satin shoes during a rainstorm, don’t attempt to deal with the mud while they’re damp. Wait until the shoes dry. Then, use a soft brush to sweep away the dirt. Don’t push down too hard on the brush. If you do, the bristles can damage the fabric.

Pay extra attention to the heel. If you have a satin-wrapped heel, it will tend to discolor from the bottom up.

Wipe Out Stronger Stains

If you still see marks on your shoes after you’ve brushed off the dirt and dust, try using vodka. Because alcohol evaporates quickly, it’s less likely to leave a watermark than a damp cloth. Moreover, alcohol is a natural solvent. It dissolves some of the molecules that cause stains.

You can put some vodka on a clean cloth and dab at the shoe with it. Try wiping the shoe in the direction of the grain. Don’t press too hard. You want to blot the stain out instead of pushing it into the material.

If the stains are extremely tough to remove, you might want to soak the shoes in vodka. Place two to three cups of vodka in a basin with water. Mix it well. Submerge the shoes in the liquid. Allow them to soak for 20 minutes.

After the soaking period, use a dry cloth to wipe away any stains. Follow the lines of the fabric. Repeat the soaking and wiping until the shoes are clean.

Dealing With Stubborn Stains

If your shoes have deep stains, you might have to use some water to tackle them. Be careful, though. Too much water can stain your shoes or create unsightly rings.

To remove stains, fill a small bowl with cool water. Add a pea-sized amount of shampoo or laundry detergent. Make sure that the detergent doesn’t contain dyes so that it doesn’t change the color of your shoes. That’s especially vital if your satin shoes are white or light-colored.

Submerge a soft sponge into the soapy water. Then, wring it out. Wipe the stain with the grain of the fabric until it disappears. You can also use a microfiber cloth for this step. Make sure that you dip the entire cloth or sponge into the water before squeezing all of the excess water out. You want to work with a cloth that’s damp, not dripping wet.

If the stain disappeared, you can start taking steps to dry the shoe. Blot the excess moisture with a clean, dry towel. Then, buff it in the direction of the grain. Finally, use a hairdryer on a low heat setting to dry the shoes completely. If you leave them wet, watermarks will develop.

Leaving soap residue on the shoes can make the watermarks worse. Remove it by dipping a washcloth in clean water. Then, rub the washcloth on the shoes. Rinse it out between each wipe. Continue to do this until all of the soap is gone.

Don’t use a hairdryer on your shoes if the stain didn’t come out, though. The heat can set the stain. Therefore, you might want to try this technique after you’ve attempted some of the other ways to clean satin shoes.

Baking Soda for Cleaning Satin Shoes

If you’re still dealing with stains after trying this method, you can use some baking soda. The product is a mild abrasive. As long as you use a gentle hand and don’t damage the shoe’s fabric, you might be able to get rid of intense stains this way.

Mix a paste with the following ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide

Pick up the paste with a soft cloth. Wipe it onto the shoes. You can try using a circular motion if this is your last-ditch effort to remove the stains. Be mindful of the grain of the fabric, though. If you start to notice fuzziness or fraying, stop what you’re doing, rinse off the shoes, and let them dry.

If this trick works for cleaning your satin shoes, then you can let the baking soda mixture dry on the shoes. Brush it off with a soft cloth the next day.

Please note that this technique can ruin your shoes. You might not want to try it unless you’ve attempted everything else, including professional cleaning, and could handle it if you had to get rid of the shoes.

Alternative Cleaners for Satin Shoes

You can use a few other DIY methods to clean your satin shoes. Distilled white vinegar is a strong cleaner that can remove dirt and freshen up your footwear.

To use vinegar to clean your shoes, mix three tablespoons of water with three tablespoons of vinegar. Dip a cloth into the liquid, and wring it out. Lightly wipe away the stain.

Repeat this until the stains have disappeared. Wipe down the shoes with a washcloth soaked in cool water before blowing them dry with a hairdryer.

Some people swear by using OxiClean on their satin shoes. Dampen a soft towel, and then press it into the OxiClean powder. Gently scrub your shoes in the direction of the grain. You might want to test this in an inconspicuous area to make sure that the OxiClean doesn’t discolor the shoes, though.

Finally, this video shows how to clean satin shoes with a combination cleaner. You can find many shoe cleaners online and at shoe stores. Read the instructions and reviews to make sure that they’re appropriate for satin fabrics.

Store Your Satin Shoes Properly

You may think that kicking off your satin shoes into your closet and leaving them with your other footwear is an adequate way to store them. However, they can get scuffed if they rub against the soles of some of your other shoes. Dust can build up on the fabric, dulling it. Plus, the shoes will lose their shape if you don’t take care of them.

Stuff the shoes with archival wrapping tissue. Then, wrap them with the same type of tissue and place them in a shoebox. Keeping them away from light and moisture will prevent them from becoming discolored.

If your shoes have embellishments, such as sequins or buckles, try to isolate those areas by wrapping them with archival tissue as well. Sometimes, metals can scuff or stain satin.

Finally, keep the shoes at room temperature. If you live in a humid area, you might want to add desiccant packets to the shoe box. One of the worst things that could happen to your satin shoes in storage is moisture condensation. If the shoes are kept in a humid area, they could end up growing mold, which would put them out of commission for good.

What Should You Not Do When Cleaning Satin Shoes?

There are some major no-no’s when it comes to cleaning satin shoes. For example, you should never put satin shoes in the washing machine. The fabric is too delicate, and it could become distressed. Don’t put the shoes in the dryer, either. In addition to ruining the fabric, the dryer can shrink your shoes so that they don’t fit anymore.

You should also avoid using hot water when you’re cleaning your shoes. The heat can discolor the shoes. It can also make the fabric shrink and pucker or wrinkle.

Don’t use a colored cloth to clean your satin shoes. Always choose a white or colorfast cleaning cloth so that you don’t transfer dye to the fabric of your shoes.

If your satin shoes are extremely dirty or damaged, you might not be able to repair them with DIY methods. When all else fails, take your satin shoes to a professional cleaner. A high-end dry cleaner that works with wedding attire should be able to help you or direct you toward someone who can.

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