How To Clean Vegan Leather Shoes? {Step-by-Step Guide} – 2023

How To Clean Vegan Leather Shoes

Vegan leather is now becoming the norm for many shoe brands. It’s a cheaper alternative, plus designing it is much easier than regular leather. Additionally, maintaining vegan leather shoes is a much easier task than maintaining natural leather shoes.

Shoes that have vegan leather are also more durable and require less care. They also have added benefits for waterproofing their shoes. So cleaning vegan leather shoes is very easy. I will explain in easy steps how to clean vegan leather shoes.

There are many methods that work really well for cleaning vegan leather. I will list the steps below that you can use to clean your vegan leather shoes.


1) Cleaning shoes with water and cloth

If you have just some dust on your shoes or some mud spots, then use a wet cloth and wipe it off. Vegan leather is waterproof, thus, the dust or mud will come right off quite effortlessly.

You can also use a wet wipe to clean them. It’s always better to keep your shoes clean than to let dust or mud settle on the shoes.

2) Use soap and water to clean stained areas on the shoes

Sometimes stains get left on your shoes, and cleaning them with just water becomes harder over time. In that case, you need a spot cleaning method. Use a solution of soap and water, dip your cleaning cloth in that solution and rub it on the spot. It’s better if the cloth is white as coloured cloths can leave their colour on vegan leather.

If the stain is too resistant, then you can use an old soft-bristle toothbrush or light scrubber to clean the shoes. Some vegan leather shoes come with a grainy pattern, so things can get stuck in the grooves, which is why cleaning with a toothbrush can be effective.

3) Use a clean cloth to wipe off the dirt and soapy water from your shoes

After you have used the soap water, wiping it immediately is very important. It’s best to leave leather dry. Even though vegan leather is waterproof, being wet for a long period can start damaging it and will reduce its durability.

Use a clean cloth and wipe off the soapy water along with all the dirt removed from the shoes.

4) Drying the shoes

This is the last and very crucial step. Keeping vegan leather wet can start deteriorating and can cause cracks to form in them. So take a dry cloth at the end and thoroughly dry the shoes with it. Finally, let them air dry so that whatever specks of water remain, evaporate easily. Then you can store them in your regular place.

You can follow these simple steps to keep your vegan leather shoes neat and clean. For the second step, you can also use vinegar with water if your shoes have some hard stains or salt stains during winter.

Vegan Leather Shoes FAQ

  1. How do you clean vegan leather?

    Cleaning vegan leather is very easy. You can start with water and cloth or just use wet wipes to clean your shoes. If there are some stains that aren't budging with water, then use soap or shampoo, mix it with water and use this water to clean the stain.
    You can also try a toothbrush or light scrubber if the vegan leather has grains in them. After that, use a clean cloth to wipe everything from the shoes and then lastly use a dry cloth to absorb all the water from the shoes. You can follow these easy steps to clean your shoes.

  2. Can you wash vegan leather?

    Yes, vegan leather is washable. You can use regular water or soap water to clean it. It is waterproof, so water doesn't penetrate it. Breathability is lacking in vegan leather, so it's recommended to give them a wash from time to time. Just make sure that your dry them with cloth and then air dry them, so you can avoid water damage.

  3. How do you clean white vegan leather shoes?

    The procedure to clean the shoes is similar despite the colour. You can use soap and water to clean them. You can use a toothbrush or light scrubber for tough stains.
    If there are any salt stains, then use vinegar and water solution and rub them on the stains. It will remove the stains and keep your shoes clean and shining.

  4. Can you use shoe polish on vegan leather?

    Yes, of course. You can use shoe polish to shine your vegan leather shoes. You can use petroleum jelly if there are scuffs on your shoes. Apply it to the scuffed part and buff it with a soft cloth.
    You can use the shoe polish in a small amount to give it a more matte look like real leather, or you can give them shine, it's up to you.
    It's better to stay away from wax for vegan leather as it can start building up layers on your shoes. Then you might have to remove old polish and clean them and then rebuff them properly. Wax is good when your shoes have too many scuffed areas, and you need to hide them.

  5. How to clean leather shoes?

    If it's dry mud or dust, use a brush to wipe it. If there are stains, then use water and a cloth to clean them. Wipe the soap after cleaning, and then use a dry cloth to absorb the remaining water. You can find leather cleaners in the market to clean your leather shoes too.
    If there are some really tough stains, you can try things like baking soda, toothpaste, nail polish remover, or rubbing alcohol. After cleaning the shoes, use a leather conditioner as it will prolong the life of your shoes.

  6. How to clean vegan leather Doc Martens?

    You can clean them just like any other vegan leather shoes. Use water and a cloth to wipe the dirt. It's wet, sticky dirt, then use soap or shampoo to clean them.
    Use a soft wet cloth to wipe them after cleaning. Finally, use a dry cloth to absorb the remaining water and air dry them.
    There are some conditioner products for vegan leather in the market, you can apply them after cleaning and drying the shoes. Dr Mertens also sells shoe care products for all kinds of shoes that you can try out.

Final Thoughts

Vegan leather is more durable compared to regular leather, but even then, keeping them neat and clean should be a priority. Taking care of vegan leather is much easier and is not at all a tedious job.

Water is the no. 1 enemy of leather doesn’t matter if it’s real or vegan leather. After some time, water will start deteriorating the quality of vegan leather, and you will see cracks starting to form in your shoes. So always keep your shoes dry.

I have listed above some easy steps you can do to clean your vegan leather shoes. So I sincerely hope that answers the question of how to clean vegan leather shoes.

More and more people are turning towards vegan leather to avoid animal cruelty. Brands are also reciprocating this trend by introducing vegan-friendly shoes in the market. So knowing how to keep them clean is a must-know thing nowadays. I have used my own experience and research to create this guide to help people like you who own vegan leather shoes. I hope this guide helps you.

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