How to care for your Hey Dude shoes

Looking after your shoes is a great way to keep them looking fresh and make sure they last as long as possible, so we've put together some useful advice and handy tips on how best to care for your Dude shoes.

Please note the list of cleaning methods are in no way a guarantee for restoring your shoes and returning them to as-new condition. We cannot be held responsible for any damage caused to any footwear by following the instructions detailed below.

Although all of our canvas shoes can be freshened up in a cold machine wash, consider using a colour-catching product when washing multi-coloured shoes to help stop colours running.

Canvas

Unlike most manufacturers, Hey Dude state that you can clean your canvas shoes in the washing machine. If the shoes are muddy, wait until they dry before cleaning. Knock off any loose dirt by tapping the soles together over a waste basket or newspaper, and then wipe them with a damp cloth to remove any remaining caked-on dirt. Then take out the removable insole (and laces if it's a laced style) and pop into a cool wash on a slow or non-spin cycle in your washing machine.

Once washed, help your Dudes to retain their shape by stuffing them with crumpled brown paper bags, paper towels or white office paper (not newspaper or coloured paper as the ink can run). Let them air dry along with the laces, as drying near a fireplace or heater can break down canvas fabric and cause the shoes to become dried out and brittle.

Leather

Taking good care of leather shoes doesn't just help them to look better, it also helps to preserve the leather and can extend the life of your shoes. Without proper conditioning and care, leather can dry out until it eventually cracks and falls apart. Regular cleaning, conditioning, and polishing is key to keeping your leather shoes in top condition.

Remove dirt by cleaning with a leather cleaner made specifically for smooth leathers. You can use saddle soap or a smooth leather shoe cleaner. After cleaning, let the shoes dry for a few minutes and begin shining the shoes with a soft cotton cloth - either a shoe shine cloth, or even an old t-shirt as long as it's soft and made of cotton.

Conditioning your leather shoes will help to soften and moisturise the leather, keeping the leather supple and protecting it from drying out and cracking. Certain types of leather and shoes worn in dryer climates might need to be conditioned more often. Rub small amounts of conditioner into the shoe until the entire shoe has been covered with conditioner. After a couple of minutes, wipe any remaining conditioner off of the shoes as the leather will only absorb a certain amount.

Apply polish to a small, less conspicuous area of the shoe to test that the colour is right. Rub the polish into the shoe with a soft cloth and allow it to dry thoroughly. After the shoe polish is dry, shine your shoes by buffing them with a soft cloth or brush made specifically for shining shoes.

Weather-proofing your leather shoes will help to protect them from water and other elements that can ruin the finish and shorten the life of your shoes. Beeswax products form a protective layer over the surface of the shoe or boot instead of being absorbed into the leather. This provides a better barrier against water, but the additional layers can alter the appearance of the shoes. If the appearance of the shoe or boot is of more importance than the weather-proofing properties, a spray protectant should do the trick. By providing a breathable barrier against mild to moderate wet conditions and dirt, this type of weather-proofing product is virtually invisible on your shoes or boots.

If your leather shoes have a lot of old polish build up, you may want to use a pre-cleaner. Don't try to use shoe polish to change the colour of your shoes. If you need your shoe colour changed, consult a shoe repair shop. For the best protection, condition leather shoes before they've been worn and save time on future cleaning.

Suede

Suede has a soft grain that is best cleaned with a special brush which you can purchase with a suede cleaning kit. If your shoes have a care label, use whatever the manufacturer suggests. Suede is also sensitive to water so basic dirt and scuffs are best dealt with when the shoes are dry.

If you don't have a suede brush, agitate the suede with the emery board nail file then steam it with a kettle or iron. The heat should help open up the pores of the suede and make cleaning easier.

If you're not going to be wearing your shoes for an extended period, wrap them in tissue paper and place them in a shoe box. Store them away from excess humidity and light, as suede can become mouldy in moist conditions and bright light may discolour your shoes.

Stretch 

Dude's Stretch styles are made from an elasticated fabric and are designed to stretch to the shape of the wearer's foot with use. However, the stretchiness of the material can mean that these styles need a little more TLC to keep them looking in top shape! The Stretch fabric is a bit more delicate than canvases or other textiles and may look more washed-out and weathered after washing in a machine. To combat this, we suggest washing inside of a pillow case and using a colour-catching product when necessary.

Wally styles which are made from our Stretch fabric have a rough cut which may cause the threads around the toe area to release in the inital stages of wear due to the material's fine threads and the way the seams are stitched around the vamp. This shedding of the material will stop after the shoes have finished stretching and doesn't affect the integrity of the shoes so we suggest lightly trimming these threads, taking care not to pull at the stitching. 

Wool

Any wool fabric should always be hand washed as machine washing, even on a cold, low-spin cycle, can damage the wool fibres. Make sure to remove the insoles of the shoes before beginning.

When hand washing, add wool-safe soap or detergent to cold or tepid water to a clean sink, bucket or bowl and ensure that the cleaning product you use is properly diluted. Let the shoes soak and gently rub any stains, taking care not to pull at the material as wool is susceptible to stretching when wet. Rinse the shoes in clean water to remove any remaining detergent but don't wring or try to forcefully squeeze water from the fabric as this can cause damage.

To dry, leave the shoes in a well-ventillated area away from direct sunlight. Lightly stuff the shoes with soft plastic bags, such as sandwich or freezer bags, to help the shoes retain their shape but take care not to over-fill as this can cause the material to stretch and warp when wet.


Scuffs, Dirt and Water


Use the suede cleaning brush to lightly brush away dust or dirt that has accumulated on your shoes. Don't go back and forth, brush repeatedly towards the same direction. Sometimes simply lightly brushing can improve the appearance of the suede. If the shoes are heavily scuffed, this can mean the suede's grain is pressed down in one direction. Lift the grain by brushing scuffed areas vigorously back and forth with a suede brush. For scuffs that are too matted down to be lifted with a brush, try scraping with a knife to lift the nap.

Scuffs and marks that won't brush out can often be removed by rubbing with a pencil eraser, a piece of crepe rubber (the crinkled rubber that many shoe soles are made from) or a special suede eraser. Apply a moderate amount of pressure and increase as required.

Water can discolour suede, but properly applied water can also remove water stains. Use a sponge or dry cloth to soak up any excess water. Dab gently until the suede is evenly wet, then leave the shoes to dry by using a shoe tree or fill the shoes with dry, colourless paper as this will absorb any water inside the shoe and help the shoes to maintain their original shape. Do not use newspaper as excess ink may soak into your shoes. After leaving to dry in a well-ventillated area overnight, go over the shoes lightly with a suede brush as this will help shake out the grain back to its original look.

To clean muddy shoes, let the dirt dry and then wipe away the excess mud without pushing too hard against the suede. Once the mud has hardened, you should be able to break off the larger chunks with your hands. Then use a suede brush to break off the remaining dirt particles.

Once they're clean (or when you first get them), spray a coat of suede protector spray on your shoes as this will help to prevent further stains and marks. Follow the manufacturer's directions on the product you use.

Stubborn Stains

To get out oil or unknown stains, use a suede brush to scrub the stain as you would for a scuff. If the stain is particularly stubborn, consider using a nail brush and warm water when scrubbing. Grease stains can be difficult to remove from suede and badly stained shoes may never look good again. Some recommend sprinkling cornstarch on wet oil stains and leaving to dry overnight, brushing the starch away when dry and then steaming with the mist of an iron to help to draw the oil out of the suede.

For heavy staining, more drastic measures may be required. If you get gum stuck to your shoes, put them in freezer for a few hours. The gum will eventually become hard enough that you can chip it away in large chunks and the remaining mark can be buffed away with a suede brush.

Lift blood stains with cotton balls and peroxide. Dab at the stain with a peroxide-soaked cotton ball slowly until the blood comes out, then leave the shoes to dry and buff with a suede brush.

Get at ink before it sets. If you spill ink on your kicks, grab a towel and try to blot it up quickly. If it sets, scrape the stain off with sandpaper. A cotton ball with rubbing alcohol can also help to minimise the appearance of the stain. After removing as much of the stain as possible, leave to dry and buff any remaining marks with a suede brush. 

Apply white vinegar to troublesome stains. If a stain is resistant to normal methods, apply a modest amount of vinegar with a soft rag or towel before letting it dry and then agitating with a suede brush. This can also be a good method for getting rid of salt lines.

For dry stains, brush steel wool vigorously against dry stains. However, be aware that this may require roughing up the rest of the shoe for an even look once the stain is removed.

If you aren't able to clean your shoes with any of the above methods, the odds of fixing the problems with suede dyes is extremely low and may damage your shoes further in the long run. If you catch it fast, you can prevent a water stain by applying pressure patiently with a paper towel right. If your laces get dirty, you may be able to put them in the laundry, depending on what they're made of.

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