All You Need to Know about Caring for and Storing Your Winter Shoes

All You Need to Know about Caring for and Storing Your Winter Shoes

Winter Shoes

It’ll soon be time to bid adieu to winter and embrace spring. And it’ll be time to put away all your winter gear.

While woolens and cashmeres are always given the special treatment, shoes are often overlooked. But shoes need care too!

You’re probably still using your winter shoes. If you haven’t bothered about taking care of them till now, start caring right away. That’s because winter shoes need caring even when you’re going around with them on your feet.

Here are some tips that you and your family could use to care for and store your winter shoes.

Waterproof without Fail

Before you step out of the house wearing your winter shoes, use a waterproofing product on them each time. Be sure to use a product that is appropriate for the material of your shoes. If you don’t have an idea regarding what to use on your shoes, use a product recommended by the manufacturer.

Deal with Salt Residue

When you get back home, always wipe your shoes with a cloth or a tissue. Use a little bit of water to wipe away salt residue.

If you have salt stains on your shoes, there’s still hope! It isn’t difficult to get rid of them if you act fast enough.

  • Grab a piece of cloth and clean canvas and rubber shoes with soapy water. You can also use a laundry stain treatment spray on canvas shoes.
  • Use a suede brush to get rid of salt stains from your suede shoes. For stubborn stains, use a suede eraser.
  • Mix vinegar and a bit of water. Soak a soft cloth in this mixture and dab on salt stains on your leather shoes. Test on a small area first.

Don’t Leave Them Wet

If your shoes get wet, you’ll need to dry them out before you put them away or wear them again.

Leave your shoes outside or by the window to air-dry. Placing shoes near a heating source can damage them so avoid doing so. But if you don’t have the time to let them air-dry, you can consider this option. Don’t keep them too close to the heating source, though. Using a hair dryer will also help dry the shoes. If you have leather, nubuck, or suede shoes, never subject them to heat.

Another thing you can do is stuff the shoes with newspaper and allow them to air-dry. Alternatively, fill a pair of old socks with unused kitty litter, tie the tops of each sock, and stuff in the shoes for effective results.

Deep Cleaning is Important

If you think it’s time to put your winter shoes away, once you’re done with the salt stains, you’ll need to thoroughly clean the shoes of dirt and grime. You certainly don’t want to store them as they are- dirty!

Remove all traces of caked mud or dirt from the shoes. Check all crevices and the soles as well. Wash or clean the shoes according to manufacturer’s instructions. Leather shoes can become dry during storage so you’ll have to condition them after cleaning.

If your shoes need to be repaired, take them to a cobbler and get the required repairs done. There’s no need to wait till next winter.

Get Rid of the Odor

You certainly can’t put your shoes away without getting rid of the stench. If deep cleaning your shoes doesn’t help, you can try using kitty litter or newspaper as mentioned previously. Not only do these things absorb moisture, but odor too.

You can also make use of baking soda or talcum powder to remove the smell. Simply sprinkle either of these into the shoes and let them remain outside overnight. Essential oils can also help, but while baking soda and talcum powder will soak up the odor, essential oil will only help mask the odor.

If your boots are very old, they probably stink because they are holding on to bacteria and fungi. Maybe you should get a new pair next winter!

Think of Appropriate Storage Solutions

After taking the trouble to clean your shoes, you don’t want to store them carelessly. Use acid-free tissue paper or cut up toilet paper rolls to stuff your shoes. Newspaper can also be used if you’re not worried about the ink discoloring your shoes.

Avoid placing moth balls with the shoes. Moth balls tend to infuse clothes and shoes with a stuffy scent that is difficult to remove. Use cedar balls instead; they are non-toxic and a natural moth repellant, and will keep shoes smelling fresh.

Store your shoes in plastic bins or boxes with tight-fitting lids. Leather or suede shoes should be placed in shoe bags or covered with a muslin cloth and left open as they need to breathe. Leather boots and shoes should be stored upright as they can easily lose their shape. Cedar shoe trees will help retain shape in addition to keeping moths at bay.

Place shoes in a dry and temperature-controlled place. Under the bed or inside the closet is fine. If you don’t have the space, you can invest in hanging shoe organizers like the ones available on OnlyHangers.


If you dearly love your winter shoes, you’ll need to take care of them and store them in the right way. Fortunately, by reading the tips mentioned here, you now know what to do.

So get started and you’re sure to see your winter shoes in top condition next season!

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