How to Clean Satin Shoes


Colleen asked: How do you clean satin shoes? I purchased some white satin shoes for my daughter’s wedding from a consignment shop and there are dark stains on the satin heel. It looks like maybe coffee or cola stains, but I’m not sure. Is there a way to safely clean them without leaving water spots?

Washing “dry clean only” clothing is taking a bit of a chance. Though for many of us, it’s worth the risk to avoid the high cleaning costs or when we simply don’t have the time to take our clothing to the dry cleaners. While some fabrics respond just fine to a gentle wash, others shrink or lose their shape from the washing process and exposure to water. There are also kits available to dry clean your clothing at home. Regardless of the method you choose, here are the steps and information you need to know.

You Will Need:

  • Stain remover from a Dryel refill kit
  • Seltzer water
  • Powdered Oxy Clean
  • Cotton balls
  • Soft, white cloths
  • Hair dryer

Steps to Clean the Shoes:

  1. While there are several different cleaners that can be used to clean satin shoes, the method remains the same. Clean gently, apply and remove the products following the lines of the fabric.
  2. The first cleaner is actually a dry cleaning product. Dryel products are readily available at most stores such as Wal-mart, Target, Kmart, etc. In the refill kit there is a stain remover that can be applied to the dirty areas on the shoes.
  3. Moisten a cotton ball with the stain remover and gently wipe the stained area following the grain of the fabric.
  4. Repeat with a clean cotton ball each time until the stain is completely removed.
  5. For lighter stains, seltzer water may work well.
  6. Moisten a cotton ball with the water and gently wipe away the stains.
  7. Follow this with a dry cotton ball to remove any excess water. This will help to avoid watermarks.
  8. Repeat until the stain is removed.
  9. When finished, use a hair dryer on the cool setting to speed the drying process and ward off watermarks.
  10. For general dirt and stains, Oxy Clean just may do the trick.
  11. Moisten the tip of a soft cloth with water and dip it into the Oxy Clean powder.
  12. Gently rub it over the soiled area following the grain of the fabric.
  13. Rinse with a cloth moistened with clean water.
  14. Follow this with a dry cloth to absorb the excess water. It may also help to dry with a hairdryer to avoid watermarks.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • If you are unable to remove the stains yourself, it may be helpful to contact a cleaner or wedding shop for a professional cleaning or advice.


  1. Rose says:

    I just finished reading your instructions for cleaning satin shoes – Well, 27-year-old wedding dress, which I thought the cleaners cleaned before preserving it, has a wine stain in it. It is silk/satin ivory-colored. I’m going to give it a try, hopefully it will work – I’ll let you know.

  2. Diane says:

    How did the cleaning go? Were you able to get the spot out??

  3. Rose says:

    No, it did not go so well. I guess the age of the satin/silk discolored as well because it left a lighter color. I then took it to a seamstress who makes silk/satin wedding dresses – she suggested I not touch it – due to the age, it will be hard to clean. I think I’m going to try one more option – taking it to a cleaners to see what they can do this time – without telling them it’s 27 years old.

  4. Eli says:

    Great! I tried it with my shoes (not wedding shoes) and it worked well. I think Oxi-Clean does it the best.

  5. Diane says:

    I was told to use baby wipes on my pink, satin shoes, but does anyone think OxiClean will be better? They were expensive and I don’t want to ruin them.

  6. Erin says:

    I just used Dryel on my satin Betsey Johnson pumps. The stains were only a week old. But the Dryel worked! No more stains! Thanks!

  7. Trey says:

    I have a pair if black satin skytop supras, what should I use to clean them?

  8. agnes says:

    Does anyone know how to clean grass stains off of the heels of glittery shoes?

  9. Claire says:

    I Used the OxyClean (well, Vanish Oxi Action) and followed the instructions and this has done an incredible job of cleaning my sister’s ivory satin shoes that were covered in grubby marks. It has just saved me buying a new pair for my wedding! Great advice. Thanks!

  10. Heather says:

    I just tried unscented, alcohol-free sensitive baby wipes on a pair of 16-year-old white satin wedding shoes. They had water stains from grass, dirt and a few other small stains. They came completely clean in less than 10 minutes with two wipes. I’m so glad I found the tip above as I would have never thought of it!

  11. Sharon says:

    Did Agnes (8/14/12) get an answer on how to clean grass stains from the heels of glitter fabric shoes?

  12. Lisa says:

    Will the methods mentioned work for removing sweat stains from open toe satin shoes?

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