Most people who own a pair of Sperry shoes absolutely love them, but since they’re made from high-quality leather, they can get quite dirty. When attempting to clean them, it’s important to be extra careful because you don’t want to damage the quality leather.
If you’re planning to clean nubuck or suede Sperry shoes, then make sure to use a leather brush. You can clean full-grain leather with mild detergent or mild leather cleaner.
The Different Materials for Sperry Shoes
Before we get started, you should know about the different types of Sperry shoes and understand how each material feels. Nubuck material will have a velvety, smooth feel to it, and since it has been sanded down, it can scar quite easily.
Suede feels very similar to high pile velvet, and it’s quite a bit more rugged than nubuck. The leather material obviously feels like leather. With that said, let’s jump right into the cleaning process.
The Cleaning Process
Did you know that the Sperry is the original boat shoe? It’s supposed to be used in water. To get started with the cleaning process, you’ll need some alcohol, cotton balls, an old pillow case, a scrub brush, nail polish remover, a tablespoon and some dish detergent.
You can start by getting your Sperry shoe wet with some water. Use about one tablespoon of dish detergent and use the brush to scrub the shoe clean. Make sure to clean the soles and repeat the process until the shoe is completely clean.
Grab the cotton ball and soak it in some nail polish remover. You can use it to spot clean the dirtiest areas of the shoe. Don’t be afraid to be generous with this part of the cleaning process.
Next, take the insoles out of the shoe if it hasn’t been glued in and place the shoes and insoles inside of the pillow case. Make sure to tie a knot in the pillow case to seal it shut.
Grab the knotted pillow case and place it inside of your washing machine. Use cool water and run the shoes using a long wash cycle.
The next step involves removing the shoes from the washer and moving the shoes and insoles to a dry location. If possible, place them in the warmest environment that you can find. After the insoles have dried, put them back into the shoes.
If you’ve had your shoes for quite some time, you might notice that many of the spots that you thought were dirt were actually color fading on the leather. You can use the general cleaning method, but if you want to find out how to clean each individual material used to make Sperry shoes, check below.
How to Clean Full Grain Leather Sperry Shoes
If you’re planning to wash this type of material, you’ll want to avoid using detergent because it can dry out the leather. To get started, use leather cleaner and soft brush to wipe all of the grime off of the material.
You can use a soft bristle to remove dirt. When you’re finished cleaning, apply a leather conditioner and allow the shoes to dry for 24 hours.
To get the insoles clean, you can use a toothbrush and some soapy water. When you’re finished, let the insoles dry for a full day.
How to Clean Nubuck Material
This material is very similar to suede and has a finer nap. Before you get started, you have to accept the fact that this material will automatically look dirtier than many of the others. Unfortunately, nubuck shoes are also much more vulnerable to stains.
You can use a brush to loosen and remove dirt. However, try to use a brush with rubber bristles to avoid scarring. You can use a suede bar to remove marks or stains. When you’re finished cleaning, you can re-brush the leather to give the nap a good lift. Finish by giving the shoes a protective spray coating.