On the TOMS website, it says: We highly recommend hand washing TOMS in cold water with a gentle detergent and let them air dry. We do NOT recommend putting TOMS in the dryer under any circumstances.
While hand washing would do the job, let me show you a shortcut to save some time but you HAVE to be careful when you do this, people. If you throw caution to the wind, you could ruin the shape as well as the adhesive of the shoe and that’ll make you sad.
I agree about not putting them in a dryer, but they didn’t say anything about a washing machine! This tip works for any canvas shoes, it doesn’t matter what colour they are or what fabric they are – even if you have sparkles on them!
So, here’s what you’ll need:
- Dirty Canvas Shoes
- A Washing Machine
- A Small Brush (a toothbrush works well)
- Laundry Detergent
- Baking Soda
- Mixing Bowl
To start, take an old toothbrush and quickly remove any dirt or debris before washing your shoes. This will make for easier stain removal and a more successful wash.
If you have any bad stains, you can pre-treat it with a laundry stain remover (but you may want to test it out first in an inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t bleach your shoes).
To get the soles clean, add some baking soda to a bowl and create a paste by mixing an equal amount of water in. Dip the toothbrush in and gently massage the paste into the sole – when you’re done, wipe them clean with a soft cloth.
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Now it’s time for your washing machine to do the rest!
We’ll start by running a gentle cycle with cold water.
- Add gentle detergent (about half of what you would normally use) to the cycle when it’s about half way filled with water
- Once the machine is about 3/4 the way full, add in the shoes
- When the cycle is finished, take out the shoes and leave them to air dry
That’s right, air dry. Not in the dryer, not over a vent
Put them on a back porch and let the sun dry them up.
If you don’t heed this warning, you’ll have shrunken and shriveled shoes – Heed this warning and your shoes should be looking marvelous!
Now that the hard part is done, remember to keep them smelling great by using shoe powder. I use Dr. Scholl’s which is moisture and odour absorbing.
Apparently straight baking soda will dry out the leather insole but you can also make your own powder for a lot less with the following recipe:
- 1 cup cornstarch (which is a gentle absorbent)
- 1/2 cup of baking soda
- 1/2 cup baking powder
Put it in a locking lid container or Ziploc bag.
Add in 5 drops of sage, lavender or any other essential oils that you like (and preferably have an anti-bacterial property to them), shake well and store in the locked container.
Powder your shoes overnight and dump the powder in the AM and also powder your feet as needed during the day to reduce moisture and odours.
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