Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dirty scuffed shoes no more

Have you ever heard the fashion axiom that if your shoes and your handbag look good, no one will ever notice that the rest of your clothes aren't designer? Well, I've never been able to test that theory because I've never (or rarely) had shoes or a handbag that were in impeccable shape. No more!

I have a pair of cheap mustard yellow microfiber flats that I bought at a random store in my hometown when I went to California for my brother's wedding last December. I had decided at the last minute to wear a dress I'd had shipped straight to my parent's house instead of the one I brought from home and I didn't have the right shoes to go with it.

Anyway, I love these shoes. They're comfortable, they go with more than you might expect and I always get compliments on them when I wear them out.

However, they are not very well made and they get really gunky really fast. And because they're microfiber and not my typical leather (damp sponge) or running shoes (don't care), I wasn't sure how to clean them until I saw this:



That's a very dirty microfiber sofa, by the way. And here are my very dirty microfiber shoes.


Shoes, sofa, what's the difference, right? Yeah, okay, so this could have gone badly. But it didn't! Following the directions at The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking, I sprayed the shoes with alcohol (at the back, in a small spot just to make sure the color didn't come off too), scrubbed with a Magic Eraser and then waited for it to dry to see if it worked.





And it did! See?




Then I brushed the parts I had scrubbed with my trusty scrub brush just to get the nap of the microfiber back in order. Don't those shoes look new? I'm calling it a resounding success.

So here's what I learned. First of all, the Magic Eraser was not the tool for the job.


It disintegrated. It kept falling apart, like, in chunks. However, since the only scrubby sponges I could find had dark green scrubbers and the instructions specifically say not to use those because the color could transfer, it seemed like the best option. Now that I know it works though, I'll be keeping my eye out for sponges with white scrubbers.

Second, spray bottles are surprisingly hard to find. I went to Walmart, Target and a couple other random places before I found the treasure trove of spray bottles...at the Dollar Tree. Which also had flamingo swizzle sticks, but that's a post for another day.

I'm so glad I was able to fix my shoes. One of the reasons I'm glad I have so much time now is that I can do things like spend an hour hunting down spray bottles, another 20 minutes spraying and scrubbing shoes and yet another hour ironing a sheet so I can take pictures for the blog!

Now if only I could figure out how to remove navy blue food coloring from my cuticles...
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