If you are an avid boater, or enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving, changes are you have neoprene shoes or booties. They are the best way to keep your feet safe and secure while in water.
However, most people who own neoprene shoes do not clean them as much as they should.
Today we will be going through how you can clean your neoprene shoes to get them looking and smelling good as new.
Why Should You Clean?
The most obvious answer to this is the smell. If you have neoprene shoes that have been left in a closet or other closed space, and remain wet, you know how awful they can start to smell.
It is unlike any other shoes because the material really soaks up water and if they remain wet the smell is just unbearable. These shoes are a breeding ground for bacteria as your sweat and other grimy things in the water, combine with saltwater or chemicals in water to create quite the stench.Even more important than the smell, however, is durability. If you really want your neoprene shoes to last a long time you need to wash them and clean them after every single use. This may seem excessive but it is the only way to keep them in prime condition.
If you stop cleaning them, we bet they will only last you two years at most before you have to get a new pair. If you take care of them it will save you money and your shoes will continue to look good as new at all times.
The Steps Towards a Clean Neoprene Shoes
The first thing to do when cleaning your neoprene shoes is to rinse them out with clean fresh water. Not saltwater or water from a pool that is full of chemicals, but just completely fresh. We usually use a spray bottle to do this.
We recommend spraying the inside and outside of the shoe for up to three to four minutes to make sure all of the gunk is off of it (especially all the salt if you were in the ocean). If you want an even faster way to rinse your shoes put them in the bathtub and point the shower head directly on them. A garden hose will also work as well.Next, it is time to really clean the shoe. There are cleaners that have been made specifically with neoprene in mind, however they usually cost quite a bit. And here is a big tip: Regular, cheaper, cleaning solutions actually work better! Go find a mild detergent or baby shampoo, and they will work better than the neoprene cleaner that is more expensive.No matter what one you decide to use you will not be using a lot of it. Use around ½ to 1 teaspoon for your shoe; if you use too much it will take a lot of time to rinse afterwards. The key here is to not pour the cleaner right on the neoprene, but instead fill a tub so the shoes can be completely submerged in water. Mix the water with the cleaner in the tub, and then place the shoes in the tub.Depending on the neoprene shoes you have, some are safe to be cleaned in the washing machine. If this is the case, it will save you a lot of time, but make sure you follow the instructions very carefully as you don’t want to over wash them and end up ruining them. Hand washing is usually the way to go so you can be gentle, while getting rid of all the dirty water.Once all clean, rinse the shoes repeatedly until there are no more suds or bubbles from the cleaner you have used.
Don’t Forget to Dry
Never ever put your neoprene shoes in a dryer; they need to be dried with just air. Now your first instinct may be to put them directly in the sun to speed up the process but this is wrong, as the sun will cause the material to disintegrate faster. Just keep them in a safe place, even in the shade outside and within one day they should be completely dry so you can begin using them again.
If you follow the steps outlined above, your neoprene shoes will continue to be looking good as new. It may seem like quite the process, but it is so worth it!