Caring for Your KOIOs: How to Clean Leather Shoes at Home

There’s nothing like that new sneaker feeling and by learning how to clean leather shoes at home, you’ll be able to hold onto that feeling. Even if you wear your KOIOs every day (because you definitely will).


First Things First: Prevent

Before we jump into teaching you how to clean white leather sneakers, or any type of leather sneaker that is, you should know that you can protect your KOIOs from rain and stains before you even wear them. The Crep Protect Spray is everything. Its hydrophobic nano-technology creates an invisible coating that repels liquids and dirt. The simplest to use. To keep long-lasting clean sneakers, set a reminder on your phone to repeat once a month. And while it may be tempting to skip pre-treating your shoes before the first wear, we do recommend it to prevent long-term stains!   






For Deeper Cleaning Leather

While everyone wants to keep a pair of clean white leather sneakers, we believe that all sneakers, no matter the color, deserve a nice clean. Which is exactly why we recommend the Crep Protect Cure Kit. Consisting of a 7-ounce bottle of 98% natural cleaning solution made with coconut extracts and jojoba, premium bristle brush, and micro-fiber towel (all in a convenient travel kit), this shoe cleaning kit is the way to go.

Following these tips will help yield the cleanest sneakers:

  • Before anything, stuff your shoes with KOIO shoe trees to minimize creasing during cleaning (shoe trees available for both men and women).
  • Also, make sure to throw the Crep Protect micro-fiber towel in the wash prior to use. This will rid the towel of any loose fibers that could transfer to the shoe during the cleaning process.
  • Remember to fill a small bowl with warm (not hot!) water.

Here’s how to clean leather sneakers for the best results:

  1. Dampen part of the towel with water and rub away excess dirt and debris from the sneaker. 
  2. Add a small amount of cleaning solution to the bowl of warm water, stir, and soak a part of the microfiber towel. You can use the Crep Protect Cure Kit for the cleaning solution or a small amount of household dish soap. 
  3. Ring out the towel and use it to gently rub off dirt and stains.   
  4. For deeper stains and scuffs, try out a slightly dampened magic eraser.
  5. Pat the clean sneakers dry with the dry part of the towel and then allow the shoe to fully air dry which may take up to 24 hours.

For Cleaning Suede and Nubuck 

The Crep Protect Cure Kit is also a great choice for cleaning suede and nubuck KOIOs; there’s just a bit more restraint, patience, and finesse required. For these materials, spot treating is also highly recommended.

Follow this regimen for maximum effectiveness:

  1. Just like traditional leather, only use warm (again, not hot!) water in a small bowl.
  2. Add a small amount of cleaning solution to the bowl, stir, and soak a part of the microfiber towel.
  3. Using the wrung out, damp towel, gently rub the affected nubuck and suede in a circular motion, until the dirt/stain is minimized or gone altogether.   
  4. Pat the newly cleaned sneakers dry with the dry part of the towel and then allow the shoe to fully air dry. Again, taking up to 24 hours for the best results.
  5. For deeper water stains or shine marks you can also use a suede eraser to treat the affected area.
  6. Once completely dry, take the dry Crep Protect premium brush and gently brush the suede or nubuck in both directions to restore the texture without causing damage.

    **Rubbing too hard risks uprooting the suede from the shoe and causing permanent damage and/or discoloration.**

    For Cleaning Canvas, Nylon, Mesh and Rubber

    These are the easiest materials to clean. (Here's looking at you, shoe soles).

    Just repeat these steps as frequently as necessary:

    1. Add warm water to a small bowl.
    2. Add a generous amount of cleaning solution to the brush.
    3. Dip the brush into the bowl of water.
    4. Brush the shoes in a circular motion, creating a lather.
    5. Use the microfiber towel to wipe away the excess foam.
    6. Allow your shoes to air dry.

    ** Thanks to the durability of these materials you can feel free to brush as vigorously as you want, depending on the severity of the stain **

    General Maintenance 

    Shoe trees: they preserve the shape of Koios better than anything else. Those from Koio are specifically designed for Koio silhouettes. They won’t stretch the leather and also prevent creasing.

    Put shoe trees into wet Koios to ensure that moisture is wicked away in the correct pattern so the leather doesn’t crack, leaving you with polished shoes year-round.

    Another bonus: shoe tree wood is absorbent. It helps dry out the lining of shoes. So they don't rot from the inside-out and continue smelling fresh. 


    That New Shoe Feeling

    Now that you know how to clean leather shoes at home you might be tinkering with the idea of starting that leather sneaker collection of yours. At the end of the day, you can’t clean a pair of leather sneakers without owning a pair of leather sneakers. And how can you resist purchasing a pair of KOIO sneakers when it’s really that easy to keep them looking like new? So here’s to you and your new-found fresh sneaker game. Shop our men’s or women’s shoe collection today.