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Cleaning Your Shoes In Between Adventures

Did you know you can easily clean your Lems shoes? We know you’re taking them to the trailhead, on bike rides, out for runs, and in all different types of weather, so they’re bound to get dirty at some point.

We like to think of that as a sign of proper use.

We also want your shoes to last for a long time. Cleaning them periodically will help with longevity and keep them spiffy if you want to use them for the office or somewhere a little more fancy than the outdoors.

Cleaning Your Lems Shoes

As tempting as it may seem, we don’t recommend tossing your shoes in the washing machine. Seams can get snagged and glue can lose adhesiveness because it can’t stand up to all that water.

Different materials require different cleaning methods, however there are a couple steps to get started and keep your shoes looking nice in between thorough cleanings. You can go through these steps whether you’re working with leather, canvas, or mesh.

Wipe off the dirt. Using a clean towel, rag, or brush, wipe off any visible dirt or debris each time you take them off. This prevents build up and makes cleaning easier in the long run.

Rinse off extra dirty soles. After a particularly muddy hike or if you get caught in the rain, it’s good practice to rinse off the soles (sides and bottoms) of your shoes before you put them away. Leaving mud on will cake the sole and affect performance.

The hose, laundry room sink, or tub works great for this.

Cleaning Nylon Mesh Shoes

Many of our shoes like the Boulder Boot Vegan and the Mesa feature mesh material that allows for breathability while you engage in your activity of choice. 

Unfortunately, all this open mesh also means that your shoes will allow in more dirt, mud, and debris on a regular basis.

Not to worry! We have a couple different suggestions for cleaning mesh.

The first is to simply hand wash your shoes with lukewarm water and a small amount of mild dish soap, scrubbing gently with an old toothbrush or soft bristle brush.

Another method is to mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar and wet the dirty spot using a towel or pouring a small amount on at a time to allow the mesh to really absorb the liquid.

Allow the mixture to sit for 10 to 15 minutes and use a brush to rub out the stain. Rinse with warm water and allow to air dry.

Cleaning Canvas Shoes

Canvas is a great durable material, but it does get dirty pretty easily. 

You can start out with lukewarm water and mild dish soap as described above for mesh materials. If you have a particularly stubborn stain, try making a paste out of baking soda and water.

Dip a toothbrush into the paste and scrub the spot until it looks clean. You can allow the paste to dry on the shoe and then rinse off with warm water once it’s dry. If the stain still remains, try again, or try soaking the shoe in the tub or sink with mild detergent for a few hours.

Allow the shoe to air dry.

This method applies to shoes like the Chukka Canvas.

Cleaning Leather Shoes

For our leather shoes, we suggest using a leather care cleaner like the Otter Wax Leather Care Kit. 

Otter Wax is an American-Based company that uses the highest quality natural ingredients in their products. Additionally, these products work pretty damn well on leather and therefore we highly endorse their use on any Lems shoe that is built with leather.

And great news! You don’t have to go far to find an Otter Wax Leather Care Kit. We sell it right here on our site

The Kit comes with four different products: Saddle Soap, Leather Salve, Leather Boot Oil, and Boot Wax.

Each product has its own usage and although designed for boots, can be utilized on the Nine2Five.

Saddle Soap

The Saddle soap should be used first, as it helps clean leather and remove stains. It is the toughest of the four substances, so don’t hesitate to use a little spit or water to soften it up and rub onto a towel.

Leather Salve

The Leather Salve helps restore softness to the leather and eliminates cracking. These two characteristics are especially good in the colder months when your shoes are more apt to dry out.

With all of the substances, use a rag to spread the Salve evenly across the shoe. Work into the leather in a circular motion until the substance is no longer visible.

Leather Oil

Use the oil sparingly, as a lot goes a long way. The oil is the main component when it comes to polishing and shining the shoe for a new and revived look.

Boot Wax

The last application should be the Boot Wax. Boot Wax is used to protect the shoe from outside elements as well as give it a waterproof seal.

Horsehair Brush

After applying each substance, using a rag or better yet, a horse hair brush to help work the substances into the shoe. Before applying a new substance, be sure the shoe is dry and the previous application is finished.

To dry your shoes, just leave them out at room temperature and not expose them to heat.

You can learn more about Otter Wax here.

Cleaning Suede Shoes

Suede is the most finicky of shoe fabrics and requires a bit more care than other materials, but with regular maintenance, it is entirely possible to keep them looking shiny and new.

This cleaning method is best for our Chukka Suedes and the Trailhead in the Mercury Sunset colorway.

The first step is prevention. We recommend using a protective spray like this one from Nikwax, which applies waterproofing to suede shoes. 

Additionally, it’s a good idea to purchase a soft-bristled brush designed to clean suede and gently brush your shoes after each wear to keep dirt from setting into the fabric.

To remove stains that have set in, you can use a suede eraser or simple pencil eraser to remove the stain and then follow up with a gentle brushing. 

And there you have it! Our tricks and tips for keeping your shoes looking clean, even when you regularly take them out to play.

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