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Wool is a unique material because it doesn’t need a lot of maintenance or cleaning. But there are still situations where you’ll need to show your wool shoes or slippers a bit of TLC.
Wool is an incredible material because in addition to being super comfortable, it cleans itself and naturally wicks moisture away from the body. The chemical structure of wool naturally repels and eliminates odors, and the air pockets between the fibers make it breathable. Wool is also unique because it can absorb moisture and still stay warm.
Because wool is breathable, it does a great job of eliminating odors, which are often a product of retained moisture. Nevertheless, you may need to clean your wool shoes or slippers from time to time.
Always consult the shoe manufacturer’s specific recommendations to see how to clean specific brands and models. The following cleaning process is approved for Samuel Hubbard’s wool shoes and slippers.
To clean wool shoes or slippers, start by dusting off any dirt or debris with a clean rag or a soft brush. You can also use a vacuum to remove dust or dirt. For areas that may have stains or discoloration, use mild soap to wash them. Mix a mild solution of water and dish soap (or hand soap). Take a clean rag or cloth and dip it in the solution, then use the rag to dab the wool surface. Don’t submerge the wool or soak it in water. When you’re finished cleaning, use a clean dry cloth to dab any remaining moisture which will help the shoes or slippers dry faster.
While some wool shoes and slippers can be machine washed, many cannot (including Samuiel Hubbard models). Most wool shoes simply don’t need it, and the wash cycle can damage the shoes. Gentle hand washing is the best course of action.
When cleaning wool shoes or slippers, always allow them to air dry, and avoid excessive heat. Excessive heat (like from a hair dryer, radiator or clothes dryer) can shrink the wool and damage the shoes.
If your shoes or slippers have rubber outsoles, they can be cleaned using melamine foam (more commonly known as magic erasers). Melamine foam is a type of sponge that has just enough abrasiveness to remove stains from rubber soles, but won’t scratch them or cause damage. Use a wet melamine sponge to remove scuff marks from the soles. Read more about cleaning outsoles.
Suede soles can be cleaned using the same techniques as suede shoes. First use a brush to remove loose dirt and debris, then use a mild soap solution with a clean cloth or washcloth (cleaning wool and suede follow a similar process). Read more about caring for suede (and nubuck) shoes and soles.
Shop Samuel Hubbard’s collection of super comfortable wool shoes and wool slippers.