How to Clean Formal School Shoes



If like us, you’re used to the kids coming home with their uniform and school shoes covered in mud, grass and everything in between – it’s part of life. Apart from making sure you have a pair of clean backup shoes ready to go, make sure you’re prepared to get that muddy pair freshened up with our handy tips for cleaning up formal school shoes.

What will you need for cleaning school shoes

  • Soft cloths or brushes

  • Leather conditioner (and polish where needed)

  • Spare newspaper

There’s around 4 stages we like to take while cleaning:

  • Brushing

  • Conditioning

  • Polishing

  • Buffing

To allow for drying time, consider doing this over a weekend, unless their shoes really get roughed up, make sure they have a backup pair that’s clean and ready to go!

Start with a soft brush – we love the one that comes with our shoe care kit – use the brush to knock off any specks or loose dirt so you can get an idea of what you’re working with. It may also prevent any further dirt embedding themselves into the shoe. Our basic Shoe Care kit by Sneaker Lab has the brush plus a sneaker cleaner so it can not only help to clean leather shoes but also help clean those PE shoes too.

Using a soft cloth, apply a leather conditioner to the leather, buffing it into the school shoes.  Make sure you let the shoes dry naturally. We love our Sneaker Lab Leather Care Conditioner, not only does it clean and nourish but it can also help to buff out the shine on the shoes.

Once they are dry from conditioning, if the shoes need to be polished, make sure it matches the colour of the leather and rub that in with a soft cloth taking the time to get it into the folds of the shoe. Again, leave them to dry.

Final stage – the buffing! Using your soft brush, this should remove any excess polish – then with a cloth, rub small circles to bring out the shine.

There you have it, just like new!