how to clean Cork Shoes at Home A Step-by-Step Guide

how to clean cork shoes

Are you searching for how to clean cork shoes? then this article is for you. Do you think your cork shoes may need some care? With this comprehensive guide, you will learn how to quickly restore your cork shoes to their original shine, even if they have scuffs, stains, or general filth and grime. You can improve the life of your cork shoes and bring back their natural beauty with only a few basic materials and a little bit of work.

What are cork shoes?

In essence, cork shoes are footwear made from cork. The buoyant, lightweight material used in wine stoppers and bulletin boards is called cork. People use it for the soles of their shoes or even for making special designs. It’s lightweight, water-resistant, and environmentally friendly, which makes it fantastic. These shoes are comfortable and stylish and are available in a variety of designs, such as wedges or sandals!

So we must know how to clean cork shoes. Otherwise, the cork shoes will not last long.

Why clean at home?

Regularly cleaning your cork shoes at home will make them look beautiful and durable. No matter what kind of shoes you buy, it is normal to get dirt or stains on your shoes. Cork shoes are no exception. So if you want to keep your favourite shoes looking like new, then you must learn how to clean cork shoes at home.

Why is it important to clean cork shoes?

cork shoes
cork shoes before and after

Why is it important to know how to clean cork shoes? Like any other type of footwear, cork shoes eventually become dirty and stained. Your favourite shoes can be permanently damaged, and if you neglect to clean them, their lifespan can be reduced. Cleaning your cork shoes regularly helps to maintain their natural properties, such as moisture resistance and breathability, as well as making them look new.

Keeping cork shoes clean prevents the development of bacteria and fungi that can lead to foot diseases and offensive odours. By investing a little time and effort in cleaning your cork shoes, you’ll be able to enjoy their comfort and style for years to come.

Supplies required to clean cork shoes:

In learning how to clean cork shoes, the first step is gathering the needed supplies. Gathering the supplies we need is the first step before we start the cleaning. This is what you will need:

  • Soft-bristle brush or toothbrush: This will help remove dirt and debris from the cork surface without causing any damage.
  • Mild soap or detergent: Choose a mild soap or detergent that does not cause any damage to the cork material. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals so as not to discolour or damage the cork.
  • Warm water: Warm water is essential to make a cleaning solution and wash the soap away.
  • Soft cloth or sponge: This will be used to gently scrape the cork surface and use the cleaning solution.
  • Cork conditioner: A cork conditioner will keep the cork hydrated and prevent it from drying out. Look for a product specifically designed for cork materials.
  • Cork sealer or protectant: By using this extra step, you can protect your cork shoes from water damage and potential stains.

how to clean Cork Shoes?

cleaning shoes

Have you ever wondered why cork shoes are touted as being like a natural defence against fungal toes or athlete’s feet? Well, it’s their special ability to keep off moisture that works.

You know, cork shoes are like the worst enemy of moisture; they will hold it away until you decide it’s time to meet up on the water. The catch is that, unlike our Vessi Weekends, they are not waterproof superheroes. If you allow them to drink too much water, they may just begin to suck it.

And what happened after? Particularly the closed ones, these cork wonders might end up serving as an unwelcome guest list for mould and mildew if they don’t dry out completely. Those unexpected visitors shouldn’t be lingering around, should they?

How to clean cork shoes at home, we gave a step-by-step cleaning process below:

Step1:Remove Dirt and Debris from Cork Shoes

remove cork shoes dirt and debris


Brush gently to remove any loose dirt or debris from the surface of your cork shoe. Use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to avoid scratching or damaging the cork. Clean cracks and hard-to-reach areas where dirt tends to accumulate.

Once you’ve cleaned up the loose dirt, use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe off the shoes and also remove any excess debris. Be careful not to fill the cork with water, as excess moisture can cause damage to the shoe. Air-dry your shoes completely before moving on to the next step.

Step2:Prepare a Cleaning Solution

In a small bowl or container, mix a small amount of detergent with warm water. Although the solution is soapy, keep stirring until excess foam forms. One thing to always keep in mind is that if you want to use your favourite shoes for a long time, do not use too much soap or detergent.

Step3:Clean the Cork Surface

Clean the Cork Surface

Dip a soft cloth or sponge in the cleaning solution and squeeze out the excess liquid thoroughly. Scrub the surface of the cork gently in a circular motion, especially in stained or dirty places. Keep in mind that too much pressure should not be applied, as it can cause damage to the cork.

The entire surface of both shoes should be cleaned until the dirt and stains are completely removed. Wash the cloth or sponge periodically with a cleaning solution to remove dirt and stains. If there is too much need, use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush, in which it is very easy to reach the hard-to-reach areas and you can easily clean the stains.

When you are happy that your cork shoes are as clean as possible, wipe them down with a clean towel or sponge to get rid of any soap residue.

Step4:Dry and Condition Cork Shoes

After cleaning, dry your cork shoes well before conditioning. Shoes should be kept in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Do not use a hairdryer or any other artificial heat to speed up the drying process, as this can cause the cork to crack or deform. Dry the shoes in a natural way. 

After the shoes are completely dry, put a small cork conditioner on a soft cloth. Using circular motions, lightly rub the conditioner on the surface of the cork. Let the conditioner penetrate the cork for a few minutes, and then use a fresh towel to remove any remaining residue.

Cork that has been conditioned helps restore its natural oils and keeps it from drying out and cracking. This process also makes your cork shoes look better overall, giving them a more modern and glossy look.

Step5:Polish and Protect Cork Shoes

Use a cork sealer or protectant to give your freshly cleaned cork shoes another layer of protection. This extra step will help keep your shoes looking cleaner for longer by helping them resist liquids, stains, and water.

The cork sealer or protectant product may have particular application instructions, so carefully read the directions on the packaging. Applying the sealer usually requires thin, uniform coatings, with a drying period between each application. Using a gentle cloth, rub the shoes and wipe away any remaining sealer when they have completely dried.

How to Remove Smells from Cork Shoes?

You don’t want your favourite shoes to smell bad. Because it will give you a bad experience in front of everyone. Here are some tips to get rid of the smell from your shoes:

  • Add a little bit of baking soda to the shoes. Let it spend the night at the smell party, and then remove it the next day.
  • Take some vinegar and water, spray your shoes, and allow them to breathe in some fresh air.

Hopefully, by following the above tips, you will be able to remove the bad smell from your shoes. After that, if the smell does not go away, please comment, and we will try to give you the right advice.

Can You Use a Washing Machine for Cleaning Cork Shoes?

Although the washing machine helps us save time, it is not a good process for cork shoes. You certainly would not want to sacrifice time by causing damage to your favourite cork shoes, would you? When the shoes rotate in the washing machine, the original appearance of your shoes can be distorted. Because it’s very soft. So if you want to make your shoes more tight, avoid the washing machine. Clean the cork shoes at home by hand so that you can wear your favourite shoes for many days.

Even if our article is about how to clean cork shoes, we still do not recommend using a washing machine.

Additional Tips for Maintaining Cork Shoes:
  • Keep your cork shoes away from high temperatures, as this might shrink or distort the cork.
  • Your cork shoes should be kept out of direct sunlight and in a cool, dry environment to prevent the cork from being discoloured from continuous exposure.
  • Regularly brush your cork shoes to remove dirt and dust, particularly after wearing them outdoors.
  • If your cork shoes get wet, allow them to air dry naturally. Do not use heat sources like a hairdryer, as this can cause damage.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners on your cork shoes, as they can strip away the natural oils and damage the material.

If you take these extra steps and incorporate regular cleaning into your daily routine, your cork shoes will look great for many years to come. We believe this article (How to Clean Cork Shoes) will help you take care of your cork shoes.


Although cleaning cork shoes may seem like a difficult task, it can be a simple and satisfying procedure if the right methods and tools are used. By removing dirt and stains, conditioning the cork, and protecting the shoes, you will be able to restore their natural beauty and thereby extend the life of the shoes.

Always follow the directions supplied by the producers of cleaning solutions, and don’t forget to collect all the supplies needed before beginning the cleaning procedure. Your cork shoes stay stylish and comfortable with continued maintenance, making them an essential piece of footwear for your shoe collection.

So, put on your cleaning gloves, gather your materials, and give your cork shoes the care and focus they need. How much life can be brought back into your beloved shoes with just a little cleaning? You’ll be surprised. I hope you have fun cleaning!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top