Lisa asks: “How do you clean slippers that can’t go in the washing machine?”
Fleece or sheepskin-lined slippers are the most popular kinds of slippers available as they are the perfect combination of comfort and durability. Even though these shoes are not washable in terms of being able to go in the washing machine, they are clean-able. If your slippers are suede or leather on the outside, then they should be cleaned as suede or leather. Use our guides How to Clean Suede Shoes or How to Clean Leather Shoes. However, the inner fleece or sheepskin part can be cleaned with the section for the inside of slippers below. For all other outer slipper materials, use the information below.
Regular Cleaning Instructions
Begin by lightly brushing your slippers with a shoe brush. If you don’t have a shoe or suede brush, a dry towel can work instead. This will remove most surface dirt and dust.
Spot clean as needed with a damp cloth. Rub the spots in a gentle, circular motion. Turn the cloth to a new area as the dirt is transferred to the cloth.
Removing Greasy Stains
If the spot is greasy or oily, sprinkle baking soda over it. Be generous with the baking soda, making a small pile over the stain about a centimeter thick if possible. Leave the powder on the stain for a couple hours, then brush it off. Repeat as many times as needed for the stain to be removed.
Cleaning Heavily Soiled Slippers
- Mist the stained areas quickly with a spray bottle using the least amount of water necessary to remove the dirt.
- Blot dry with clean towels, changing the towels as they become soiled.
- If the spot does not come out with plain water, put a drop of Dawn dishwashing liquid on a damp cloth and rub the spot in a circular motion.
- Sponge the area with a damp cloth to rinse off the soap residue.
- Pat the area as dry as possible with a towel.
- Let the slippers air dry away from direct sunlight and heat sources. It will take awhile for the slippers to dry naturally, but if you try to force them by applying heat, you just might ruin them.
Cleaning and Deodorizing the Inside of the Slippers
Use the upholstery attachment on a vacuum to clean the inside of the shoes. This will remove most surface dirt and help to fluff up the fleece.
If the fleece is severely matted, a wire wool brush can be used to remove some of the curling and help fluff it up.
If the inside of the shoes smell, but are not actually dirty, spray them with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Only mist the inside of the shoes lightly. Allow the vinegar to dry so that the vinegar smell is gone, then determine if the process needs to be repeated.
For a more deep cleaning of the insides, use baking soda. Sprinkle a small amount (few spoonfuls) into each slipper and tap the sides to move the baking soda around and coat the insides of the shoes. Leave the baking soda in place for a couple hours, then vacuum it up using the upholstery attachment. This will not only deodorize the slippers, but also will act as a dry shampoo, soaking up dirt and body oils.
Keeping Your Slippers Clean
Only wear non-washable slippers indoors. It will extend their life and reduce the number of cleanings needed. Regular brushing with a common shoe brush will help remove solid particles and improve their overall appearance.