How to Clean Rope Covering on High Heel Wedge Shoes


Denise asked: How do I clean my wedge, high heel summer shoes? The fabric on the wedge part of my shoe is a white, rope-like fabric. I have a few pairs, and the shoes themselves are in great shape, except for the bottom platform wedge. Thanks for your help.

Whenever fabric shoes are exposed to the dirt and dust of the ground, they quickly absorb the stains. When the fabric is textured, as in the rope fabric, the grooves can make it even more difficult to remove. This solution is surprisingly simple, but it’s big on cleaning power. For best results, choose a product with stain protection or repellent, your shoes will stay cleaner all season long!

You Will Need:

  • Carpet or upholstery cleaner
  • Clean toothbrush

Steps to Remove the Stain:

  1. Select a carpet or upholstery cleaner. Read the label to check for any precautions or fabrics to avoid. It is best to choose a cleaner that does not require rinsing, as getting the shoes too wet may cause the fabric to separate from the wedge.
  2. Dip the toothbrush in the carpet or upholstery cleaner.
  3. Use the brush to work the solution into the material, scrubbing gently with the lay of the rope.  (Do not scrub across the rope; you may cause fraying or otherwise damage the appearance.)
  4. Repeat, working your way around the shoe until the entire affected surface is clean.
  5. Allow the shoes to air dry in a sunny location.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • For heavily soiled areas or stubborn stains, spot clean with a carpet or laundry stain pre-treatment before following the steps listed above. Choose a “tough stain” or “oxygen bleach” formula for the best results.
  • White vinegar is a commonly suggested cleaner, and it does bleach and whiten well. However, it and other acids may break down the shoe glue.
  • Be wary of using harsh chemicals, including bleach, which may break down the shoe glue. Bleach, ironically, can cause yellowing in white shoes and should be avoided.


  1. Jenn says:

    Is there a spray that I can use on the fabric rope like part of the wedge shoe to protect it or seal it?

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