Ever since Toms shoes came onto the market in 2006, they’ve been the spirit of Los Angeles, California. From days at the beach to summer nights on the town, they’re some of the coolest and most comfortable shoes money can buy. If you have a pair you’re sure to want to wear them even when the weather isn’t right.
One way or another your pair of Toms is bound to get dirty. But no matter! Here is a handy guide on the best ways to clean Toms shoes. They’re delicate after all, and you wouldn’t want to ruin them.
Firstly, it’s important you check the damage. Is there just a small bit of mud on your Toms? Or perhaps it’s a few scuffs that you would like to remove? If your Toms are dirty through general wear, the best thing you can do is get a small brush to dust them off.
Now it’s important to note here – make sure you use a soft bristle brush – because if you use anything rougher you might run the risk of damaging the fabric.
The bulk of a Toms shoe is made out of canvas, which is a fairly strong material but is much thinner than something like leather, so it requires a lot more care and patience. With this care in mind, brush from the heel of the shoe all the way up to the toe, and don’t neglect the bottom or sides.
Note: if your Toms have any additional features or different fabric, it is best to use caution so that you don’t damage these.
Brush With Detergent
If your Toms still need more care, then it’s best to wash them with a small bit of detergent. Add a tiny bit of water to a bowl or cup and use the same soft brush as before to dip in and gently make your way around the fabric. It’s important to use the same amount of care as before, brushing in little circles until the fabric is clean.
Don’t forget to clean the inside of your Toms too! Hold your shoe on the outside and work your way inside, cleaning the underside down to the sole. It’s important not to soak your shoes here, so only use the tiniest bit of solution on your brush and stop once you get to the insole. We have special recommendations for cleaning insoles down below!
Maybe your Toms are really dirty, maybe they’re so dirty that a small brush even with water and detergent is not going to do the job. In this case, don’t worry! Though you may find some information online that says you shouldn’t put Toms in a washing machine, it’s totally fine as long as you take care!
The most important thing here is to wash your Toms on a low-powered cycle with cold water. What you want is to get your washing machine as close to hand washing as possible. This means cold water with low or no spinning. Pick the shortest and most gentle cleaning cycle you can find. Double-check before you put your Toms in that your cycle isn’t too hot, this could damage your shoes!
Secondly, you want to use a smaller amount of detergent than you might for a full load of clothing. Don’t douse your Toms in detergent, use at most ⅓ of what you might use normally. If you can, pick a soft detergent so that you don’t risk discoloration.
IMPORTANT NOTE – Do not put your Toms in a dryer
As tempting as it might be, you mustn’t put your Toms in a dryer. If you do, they run a high risk of tearing or shrinking. Canvas material is delicate and is not meant for the rough, high heat of a dryer.
Instead, it’s best to let your Toms air-dry. First, you want to find somewhere dry and indoors, away from direct sunlight and an area that has good ventilation. Remove the insoles, and open your Toms shoe up so that it has room to breathe.
Now take a small amount of newspaper (but be careful not to include sections with too much ink as these could leave marks on your shoes), and stuff your Toms all the way down to the toe.
Now you can leave them overnight if possible, or just for around 12 hours depending on how wet your shoes are. This is an estimate and it’s best to check them to replace the newspaper or see if they need more or less time.
After some wear, it is normal for insoles to quickly become the dirtiest part of your shoe – it is the part that comes into contact with your foot the most, after all! There are two main ways to clean insoles, depending on what you’re willing to spend or do.
Firstly, you can buy a product made specifically for treating insoles. There are many different shoe cleaning sprays available either online or in stores. They are often aimed at killing bacteria and work fast and well if you buy a reliable brand.
Secondly is a more time-consuming method, but one that is bound to work. Scrub your insoles with a sponge and detergent, being careful as you would be with any other section of Toms shoes. Afterward, leave them to dry on a soft towel overnight and make sure they are entirely dry before inserting them back into your shoes.
We hope that this article has helped your clean your dirty Toms and that they’re looking the way they used to when you first bought them.
The main thing to remember with Toms shoes is to be careful and delicate when cleaning or handling them. It’s also important to keep in mind that depending on what kind of Toms you have, there could be differences in how you clean them, so keep that in mind before using any of the methods above.