Detailing How to Clean High Heels without Damaging Them

Title: Cleaning High Heels: A Step-by-Step Guide to Keep Them Sparkling without Damage


High heels are a staple in many women’s wardrobes, adding elegance and confidence to any outfit. However, these glamorous shoes often accumulate dirt, scuffs, and stains that can dull their beauty. Cleaning high heels requires special attention and care to avoid damaging the delicate materials. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to clean high heels effectively without compromising their quality or appearance.

1. Gathering the necessary supplies

Before starting the cleaning process, gather all the necessary supplies to ensure a seamless cleaning operation. You will need the following:

  • Soft brush or toothbrush
  • Mild detergent or dish soap
  • Soft cloth
  • Warm water
  • White vinegar (optional)
  • Leather conditioner or shoe polish

2. Removing loose dirt and debris

Start by removing any loose dirt or debris from your high heels. Use a soft brush or a toothbrush to gently brush away any dust or dirt particles from the surface, including the heel, sole, and upper part of the shoe. Be cautious when cleaning delicate materials, such as satin or suede, to avoid causing any damage.

3. Spot-cleaning stains

If you notice any stains on your high heels, it’s crucial to address them promptly. Create a solution using warm water and a mild detergent or dish soap. Moisten a soft cloth with the solution and gently dab the stained area. Avoid applying excessive pressure, as this could lead to discoloration or damage. For more stubborn stains, you can add a few drops of white vinegar to the solution, but test it on a hidden area first to ensure it doesn’t affect the color or material.

4. Cleaning the sole

The sole of your high heels is prone to collecting dirt, grime, and scuffs. To clean the sole, dip a soft cloth in warm soapy water and gently scrub the surface. Pay special attention to any scuff marks, using gentle circular motions to lift them off. Rinse the cloth frequently and replace the soapy water if it becomes too dirty. Once clean, wipe the sole with a dry cloth to remove any excess moisture.

5. Cleaning materials based on shoe type

Different shoe materials require specific cleaning methods. Here’s how to clean some common high heel materials:

a. Leather

For leather high heels, mix a small amount of mild soap with water to create a soapy solution. Dip a clean cloth into the solution and gently wipe the entire surface of the shoe. Remember to clean the inside of the shoe as well. Afterward, dampen another cloth with clean water and remove any soap residue. Once dry, apply a thin layer of leather conditioner to keep the leather soft and supple.

b. Suede

Suede high heels require careful handling to prevent damage. Start by using a suede brush to gently remove any dirt or stains. If necessary, use a suede eraser to tackle tougher stains. To revive the suede texture, hold your shoe over steam (without touching the water) to loosen the fibers and then use the brush to restore them to their original look.

c. Fabric or satin

Cleaning fabric or satin high heels requires a more delicate approach. Create a mixture of warm water and mild soap or detergent. Dip a soft cloth into the solution, wring out any excess liquid, and lightly dab the fabric surface. Be cautious not to soak the fabric excessively to prevent water stains. Use a clean, damp cloth to remove any soap residue, and leave the shoes to air dry.

6. Polishing and protecting

Once your high heels are clean and dry, it’s essential to protect and polish them to maintain their shine and longevity.

a. Leather

For leather high heels, apply a quality leather shoe polish that matches the shoe color. Use a soft cloth or applicator brush to apply the polish in small circular motions. Allow the polish to dry, and then buff the shoes using a clean cloth to achieve a shining finish.

b. Suede

To protect suede high heels, apply a suede protector spray to repel stains and water damage. Spray the protector evenly over the entire shoe and let it dry completely. Avoid doing this step before cleaning as it may cause the dirt to become embedded in the suede.


Cleaning high heels without damaging them requires time, patience, and the use of the right techniques and products. Regular maintenance and proper cleaning will not only preserve their appearance but also extend their lifespan. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can keep your high heels looking sparkling and elegant, ready to accompany you on any occasion.