Who doesn’t love buying a new pair of shoes? With new shoes, however, come new shoe issues. Maybe they are not comfortable enough yet, or you just want to keep them looking brand new as long as possible. Then, there are the shoes we have had for a while which present a completely different set of challenges. We present you a set of fourteen Do It Yourself shoe hacks that will help you solve all such issues and keep your shoes looking and feeling great a long, long time.
How to keep your shoes clean
1. Cornmeal removes stains from suede
If there’s a stain on your suede shoes, panic not! Instead, buy some cornmeal from your local supermarket and rub it onto the affected area. The cornmeal will absorb the oil from the stain, leaving your shoe as if the stain was never there in the first place.
2. Petroleum jelly will give patent leather an amazing shine
The great thing about buying a pair of patent leather shoes is that they’re usually very easy to take care of. To give them a bit of shine without using a commercial cleaner, try rubbing some petroleum jelly on your shoes — this can even remove scuff marks!
3. Combat smelly shoes with vinegar
Vinegar is an effective household product in getting rid of unwanted odors because of their potent acidity and it works really well with shoes, too. If you have a pair of shoes that you need de-odorized, soak them in a vinegar solution (two cups of vinegar, two gallons of water). Then, dip your shoes in the solution and place something heavy on top of them to keep them fully submerged. In a couple hours, the odor should be completely gone!
4. Removing scratches and stains using a nail file
First, try to remove as much of the stain as possible using a soft cloth. Then, gently rub the area with a nail file (or sandpaper). You’ll find that the stained area with slowly decrease in size. Same applies for scratches.
5. Keeping shoes fresh using baking soda
To repel odors appearing in the first place is a way to keep a pair of shoes feeling new as long as possible. The best way to do this? Baking soda! Try putting some baking soda into your shoes and let it sit overnight – its unique properties of baking soda will effectively remove any smells.
6. Removing stains from leather with rubbing alcohol
Getting rid of stains from leather shoes can be tough, but it can be done using isopropyl, also known as rubbing alcohol. Try dipping a q-tip or cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and gently applying it to the affected area. Let the alcohol sit on the stain for around 30 minutes and the stain should disappear on its own.
7. Whitening shoes with toothpaste
White shoes are beautiful, but keeping them clean is a challenge. Put some toothpaste on an old toothbrush and scrub vigorously into the dirty spots. If you’re using toothpaste on the fabric and not the rubber, make sure you let the toothpaste sit for a couple minutes before wiping off with a wet towel.
How to keep your feet comfortable
8. Alleviating foot pain using a tea soak
If you walk around a lot during the day, there is a simple way to alleviate the pain in your feet and heels. Grab a bucket to dip your feet in and fill it with warm water. Then add a black or green tea bag and feel the anti-inflammatory properties of tea go to work!
9. Using beeswax to waterproof your shoes
If you decide to wear canvas shoes, make sure to waterproof them before going out in the rain. Get some beeswax from a hardware stores and cover the entire shoe with it. Then, use a blowdryer to make sure the wax melts onto the shoe — you will never have to walk in wet shoes again!
10. Preventing foot pain when wearing heels by taping your toes
Because your toes are usually cramped while wearing heels, it can put significant stress on your nerves, which results in pain. To alleviate this, try taping your 2nd and 3rd toes together: this will decrease the stress on the individual toes, which will result in painless walks for a change.
11. Preventing blisters by using gel deodorant
The next time you think you feel like there is a blister coming, rub gel deodorant on the areas where you think blisters are most likely to occur. The gel deodorant will serve as a lubricant and will prevent this.
12. Adding grip with sandpaper
If you are frequently slipping while wearing your new pair of shoes, you can add some grip to your shoes by rubbing the soles with sandpaper. A textured sole will give you a whole lot more traction as you go about your day!
13. Loosening up your shoes in the freezer
If your toes are feeling cramped, fill up two Ziploc bags with water and place a bag in each shoe’s toe box. Put the shoes in the freezer and let the water freeze overnight. The water will expand as it turns into ice, enlarging the toe box and stretch your shoes without damaging them.
14. Stretching shoes with a hairdryer
This shoe stretch hack will work with break-in any type of shoes whether they be boots, flats, or heels.
First, wear thick warm sock and then place your feet in your new shoes. Then, use a blow dryer to apply heat to your shoes to effectively break your shoes in.