How To Give Your Flats New Life

Hi there! Taylor from Modest Blondie here today to share how I cleaned up some of my favorite flats that were looking a bit sad and worn. Rather than replace them, I thought I’d take a shot at restoring them first!

I thought this post might be helpful for you if your favorite shoes are looking a bit beat up OR if you find a cute pair of flats at the thrift store that you love, but are dirty or worn looking but still have a lot of life left!

#1: Utilize your washing machine for more than just clothes!

I have had this pair of black leather Tieks since Fall 2016 and they’ve honestly been all over the world with me. They have held up impeccably (which I would only expect from an almost $200 pair of shoes) but on my last trip to South Africa, I (for some unknown reason) did not bring flip flops even though I stayed across the street from the beach?! Dumb, I know. It’s like going to the Grand Canyon and not bringing your camera (*ahem*, MOM, who would do that?!) hehe- okay so long story short, I wore these Tieks to walk along the beach and they got NASTY and wrecked.

So when I got home, I figured, what can I lose? There was no getting the sand out of all the crevices, so I just threw them in my washing machine with a little bit of detergent on the gentle cycle.

When the cycle was done, I opened the washer and there were SUDS EVERYWHERE still so I’m thinking too much detergent mixed with just one item in the drum made that happen, so I did a rinse cycle next. That got all the soap out; and the shoes held up beautifully. I then just let them AIR DRY for a few days.

Honestly, they look brand new. The couple of scuffs on the back are barely noticeable anymore (I’m assuming the wash cycle probably caused a little bit of the dye to bleed, and it basically covered my scuffs back up!)

I think adding some leather conditioner will soften them up a little bit so they don’t dry out- but I would definitely recommend this if you have a pair of leather flats that need some love!

I’m sad I didn’t get a before pic, but here they are after! Woot woot!!

#2: Soak your non-leather shoes in Oxi-Clean!

Next up: CONVERSE! Gotta love canvas shoes. I remember that my mom HATED buying me canvas shoes when I was younger because, honestly, they got disgusting.

But obviously, converse are a staple and have been a long time. The white and cream colored ones can really get bad looking though, so I tried a few things with mine:

Oxi-Clean: I filled my wash tub up with warm water and a big scoop of oxi-clean powder. I then soaked my converse for about 1.5 hours. I didn’t put a whole lot of effort into scrubbing them to be honest. The main thing that this did was brighten up the rubber toe area so it looked like new!

After letting them dry for several days, I noticed there were still a few stains on the back of the shoes, so I went back to my first tip and threw them in the washing machine. I did one cycle with detergent and then followed up with a rinse cycle to make sure all the soap came out. It took about 3 days for these to completely dry, but the results are awesome!!

Left pic is after Oxi-clean bath, right is after washing machine cycles.

#3: Wipe away stains with Mr. Clean Magic Erasers!

For a quick clean up, try using Mr. Clean Magic Erasers! This is obviously the fastest solution- and probably the cheapest! You can find Mr. Clean Magic Erasers at the dollar tree in single packs or in bulk at places like Wal-Mart and Target. These things come in handy in a lot of ways and you can even clean your shoes with them!

Be careful with leather (it’s always a good idea to test on a non-visible section first), but I was able to use this on patent leather as well!

I found that mine crumbled when I used it on the rougher surfaces of shoes, but it still worked! (Maybe just do this over a trash can).

So, there you have it! 3 ways to give your flats new life, right at home! I hope these tips save you a trip to DSW 😉 You’re welcome!

XOXO – Taylor