shoe cleaner

Staff, Courtesy of Pink Miracle

If the idea of shining your shoes seems like a throwback to a bygone era, consider this: the right shoe cleaner can make those dusty kicks look brand-new again—and make you look more put-together, as well. To achieve the best results, you’re going to need to grab the right kind of shoe cleaner and gear, though: your leather boots will likely need a different kind of shoe cleaner than your canvas sneakers, for example. We found the best shoe cleaners on the market, making it easy to get your shoes looking like you just took them out of the box.

What to Consider

There are several things to keep in mind when buying any type of cleaner. Before clicking buy, think about the following:

Shoe Material: Some shoe cleaners work on most materials, but others are designed specifically for leather, patent leather, suede, or canvas.

Type of Cleaner: Solutions, brushes, wipes, and kits are all available, and each type has both benefits and drawbacks. We even found an electric cleaner!

Ingredients: There aren’t many natural and effective shoe cleaners on the market, but we did find a few and included the most powerful ones.

How We Evaluated

We considered the various types of shoes on the market, as well as the materials they’re made from, and the ways you might want to clean them. We consulted shoe cleaning experts and regular consumers, found what worked and what didn’t, and came up with a diverse range of cleaning solutions from reputable companies with good customer service.

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1

Best for White Shoes

Shoe Cleaner + Whitener

  • Works well
  • Shines and cleans
  • All-in-one kit
  • The scent is too strong for some

Key Specs

  • Size: 2 ounces per bottle
  • Scented: Fresh
  • Fabric Safety: Most

There’s nothing that ruins a nice pair of white shoes like dirt and scuffs. Thankfully, this all-in-one kit from Alloda features cleaner, polish, a two-sided brush, and a microfiber towel that will remove the grime in no time. (And it comes with a travel kit too!)

The cleaning kit works on leather pumps, boots, and sneakers, and is safe for canvas, suede, mesh, nylon, and rubber too. A little cleaner and polish goes a long way, with a powerful formula that blasts away dirt, stains, and grease—with no elbow grease required. Reviewers call this kit “great,” crowing that it made their shoes look new again.

2

Best for Suede

Suede & Nubuck Brush Cleaner

  • Works alone or with sprays
  • Inexpensive
  • Effective
  • The bristles can attract dirt and dust laying around

Key Specs

  • Size: 0.3 x 2.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Scent: None
  • Fabric Safety: Best for suede

This simple, straight-forward brush can clean suede or nubuck shoes, coats, furniture, and more. You can use it solo (dry) or with a spray or foam cleaner.

The nylon bristles’ four-way cleaning action gently buffs away heavy scuff marks and stains without harming the material. It can also be used to ferret out dirt and grime from around the edges of shoe soles.

This wallet-friendly, old-fashioned cleaner will make your hard-to-clean suede look new again, with reviewers saying it even saved badly stained suede and salt-crusted winter shoes. Others swear it’s the best way to clean the footbeds of their Birkenstocks.

3

Best All-Purpose

Shoe Cleaning Essentials Kit

Jason Markk
  • Safe on all fabrics
  • Effective
  • Easy to use

Key Specs

  • Size: 7 ounces (cleaning foam); 2 ounces (repel spray)
  • Scent: Fresh
  • Fabric Safety: Most

This Jason Markk kit earned a five-star rating from 78% of its 15,600+ reviewers on Amazon, who dub it a shoe “savior.” The versatile starter kit comes with a ready-to-use foam cleaner, a premium cleaning brush, a dirt repellant spray, and three wipes for easy care any time.

This care kit can be used on everything from suede to canvas, with many reviewers using it on handbags and jackets when they’re on the go. This kit is capable of reviving old, stained shoes and making them “shine like new” again, earning top marks for never scratching even the most delicate leather and suede.

4

Best Quick Fix

2-Pack Shoe and Sneaker Wipes

  • Safe for skin
  • Great for travel
  • Packet can be tough to reseal

Key Specs

  • Size: 3o wipes measuring 5 x 3.1 x 2 inches each
  • Scent: None
  • Fabric Safety: Leather

This skin-safe leather shoe cleaner is a lifesaver if you want your leather gear to look shiny and new when you’re away from home.

While this cleaner was made for shoes, it can be used on anything made of leather, and is safe to use on delicate, buttery-soft handbags and clothes, too. The cleaner gets rid of dirt and grime, and buffs leather to a nice shine so shoes and accessories look new again. The disposable wipes make life easier, but not everyone is convinced the package reseals well enough to ensure the rest of the packet won’t dry out in time. To keep the wipes from drying out, you can seal them in a plastic bag once you’ve opened the pack.

5

Best for Patent Leather

Patent Leather Care

Moneysworth & Best
  • Revives and shines
  • Can be used on all patent leather
  • Only for use on one type of fabric

Key Specs

  • Size: 6 ounces
  • Scent: Fresh
  • Fabric Safety: Patent leather

Patent leather looks shiny and fabulous—until it doesn’t. Even one serious scuff or scratch sticks out like a sore thumb, and regular leather cleaners don’t work as well as those specifically formulated to clean and shine patent leather.

This wallet-friendly cleaner will work on any color of patent leather, and instantly revives, repairs, and buffs scuffed patent leather with its creamy foam. Reviewers note that the cleaner even paves the way for a patent leather product’s long and healthy future, because it conditions the leather, which prevents cracking.

6

Best All-Natural

Premium Shoe and Sneaker Cleaner

Reshoevn8r
  • No chemicals
  • Safe on most fabrics
  • Effective

Key Specs

  • Size: 8 ounces
  • Scent: Lightly tropical
  • Fabric Safety: Most

This all-natural shoe and sneaker cleaner can be used on canvas, leather, mesh, suede, nubuck, and even white shoes without hesitation. The cleaner contains coconut, jojoba, and other natural oils. To use, simply pop the top, squirt, and brush away the dirt with a bristle brush or cloth. About 84% of this product’s 694 reviewers give it an average rating of 5 stars.

This cleaner is pricier than some, but the fact that it is so effective makes it worth the cost, reviewers say. Several even say it brought dirty, stained shoes back to life long after their owner had given up on them.

7

Best Splurge

Select Shoe Care Valet

  • All-inclusive kit
  • Delivers luxurious shoe-shining experience
  • Effective
  • Expensive and bulky

Key Specs

  • Size: 11.61 x 8.62 x 8.54 inches (box)
  • Scent: Fresh
  • Fabric Safety: Most

If you have fantasies of reliving the old-fashioned shoe-shining experience, or you just love an all-inclusive kit, this Kiwi set covers all the bases. The kit contains a large wooden box you can rest your foot on while shining your shoe, and all the gear you need is inside: two brown and black leather paste tins, two soft shine cloths, two sponges, two shoe shine brushes, and one shoe horn.

Reviewers love the “fabulous quality” of the kit, though others complain it’s smaller than they’d like.

8

Best Electric

Electric Shoe Cleaner Brush

  • Versatile
  • Effective
  • Powerful
  • Can be noisy

Key Specs

  • Size: 6.7 x 4.33 x 2.36 inches
  • Scent: Fresh
  • Fabric Safety: Most

If you want perfectly clean shoes, but you don’t want to waste any elbow grease trying to make it happen, this Sansent electric shoe cleaner may be the right choice for you.

This shoe cleaner and polisher kit is small enough to be easily stored at home or brought along on the road. It can be charged with a power bank via the included USB cable, and can be used on most fabrics, including leather, vinyl, nubuck, and suede. The kit comes with soft and hard shoe cleaning brushes. The motor power is 2,000 rpm, with optimized motor rotation.

9

Best for Canvas

The Original Shoe Cleaner

Pink Miracle
  • Cleans up canvas
  • Removes dirt without staining
  • Uses natural ingredients

Key Specs

  • Size: 8 ounces
  • Scent: Fresh
  • Fabric Safety: Most, but works particularly well on canvas

Pink Miracle shoe cleaner has been around since 1985, and it’s become a staple for canvas shoe enthusiasts who love a clean look. The formula is super concentrated and gentle, which means you just have to use a dab to really get results. The nontoxic formula is safe for most fabrics, including leather and vinyl, and can be used on any colored or white shoes.

The bottle of cleaner isn’t cheap, but enthusiasts say they’d never go back and try another, and that a single bottle can last a family for years.

10

Best for Sneakers

Instant Cleaner Foaming Stain Remover

  • Effective
  • Wallet-friendly
  • May have to apply more than once for best results

Key Specs

  • Size: 9 ounces
  • Scent: Fresh
  • Fabric Safety: Most

This cleaner turns dull and grimy sneakers into spotlight-worthy kicks again. Sof Sole is designed to remove tough dirt and stains from athletic shoes, and make them appear new once more. It is safe for canvas, leather, and vinyl, but it is really best for sneakers—many people even use it to clean up the soles of their athletic shoes.

Sof Sole is also known for eliminating old stains on white shoes, and is safe for all colors. Reviewers even say they trust it for their $200-plus sneakers.

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