How To Clean Light-Up Shoes

Light-up shoes are lovely when new. They are shiny, clean, and smell nice. The only problem is that they get dirty quickly, more so because kids use them. So to restore these shoes to their as-new condition, you must clean them properly.

To clean light-up shoes, remove dry mud before using water, soap, and a toothbrush to scrub them. If you have to use a washing machine, put them in mesh washing bags and ensure they’re water-resistant. You can add some old towels to balance the load. Once the shoes are cleaned, dry them in the sun.

Shoes are made of different materials, meaning they need different washing methods and even caring for. In this article, you’ll learn how to take care of light-up shoes and shoes made of other various materials. 

Can You Wash Light-Up Shoes?

Children`s sneaker shoe with led light illumination

If you are a parent with some kids, you understand how playful they can be. They don’t care how they move around, even with their spotless white light-up shoes. But, before you know it, the shoes will be covered in mud.

But the question is, can you wash light-up shoes? While it might be tempting to toss them into a washing machine together with other muddy gear, this is not the best option because doing so will reduce the shoes’ lifespan.

Most light-up shoe manufacturers advise against submerging these shoes in water, whether the water is from heavy rainstorms, swimming pools, or washing machines. Also, the electronic component of the shoes, the LED lights, cannot survive in the washing machine environment, where they get soaked and bumped around.

However, it’s common knowledge that, as a parent, you may decide to take some drastic measures to save a favorite blanket, toy, or pair of light-up shoes. So, if you have no option, you can machine-wash the light-up shoes. But how? 

How to Wash Light-Up Shoes

As a parent, you are aware that sometimes a disaster can strike. For example, if your child’s shoes get messed up with potty accidents, juice, popsicles, or ice cream, you may not have any option but to throw them away or machine-wash them. 

If you’ve decided to machine-wash them, remember that the lights may not work at the end of the wash if they aren’t water-resistant, but the shoes will still be usable.

Machine Washing Light-Up Shoes

You’ll need two mesh washing bags for machine-washing the light-up shoes, which you can get at a local store. You may also need some old towels that need washing. Do not use new towels because they may fade or get stained with dirt.

  1. Before putting the shoes into the washer, remove any loose dirt and debris using a soft brush or a piece of rug. Remove as much dirt as possible to prevent it from getting into your washing machine. 
  1. Next, take the insoles and laces off the shoes, spray them with an oxygen-powered cleaner or mild stain remover, put them into the mesh bag, and zip them up. 
  1. Spray the shoes with the same stain remover inside and out, then put them into the other mesh bag. This will allow the shoes, insoles, and laces to wash well.
  1. Put the towels and the two mesh bags into the washing machine, add a mild detergent and wash on a cold setting. The towels help move the two bags around the washer, so they don’t get stuck at the bottom of the washer. They also balance the load and reduce the thumping resulting from the shoes.

Before you soak the light-up shoes in water, consider the material they’re made of. For example, canvas or nylon shoes with rubber soles will likely survive the rough tumble in a washer.

If the shoes have memory foam components, they can be machine washed, but only with cold water. The foam absorbs a lot of water so you may need a longer drying time. Suede or leather shoes should never be placed in a washer.  

How to Clean Light-Up Shoes Without Using a Washing Machine

If the light-up shoes are not so messed up with dirt, you can clean them without using a washing machine. Some of the methods you can use include:

Using a Baby Wipe

If the shoes you are dealing with are just dirty from dust collected at the playground, you may not need to wash the shoes. Instead, the shoes may need wiping down using a few baby wipes. Baby wipes can remove all the dirt on the surface and any other sticky crumbs the shoes might have collected. 

Using a Magic Sponge

If you are dealing with light-up shoes that are scuffed or well-worn, mainly if they are light-colored or white, using a baby wipe may not remove all the dirt and scuff marks. For a case like this, you may need a magic sponge. 

Dip the sponge in water, squeeze it, and then use it to scrub the shoes. As you clean, the sponge will crumble, but the dirt will be eliminated, and you’ll see the shoes return to their original shine.

You can also use an eraser to remove stains on the insoles and fabric parts of the shoes. After cleaning the shoes, let them dry fully before allowing your child to wear them. The insoles and laces must also be left to dry fully.

Dirty Scrub

Sometimes the light-up shoes are too dirty after being dragged in the mud all day. In that case, the shoes will need a thorough cleaning. You can start by removing the dry mud and dirt on the shoes. Remove as much mud as you can using any item that can scrape it off.

Once the stuck dirt remains are gone, use an old toothbrush, dish soap, and water to clean the shoes further. The toothbrush is the best tool because it can clean all the dirt by reaching all the groves on the shoes.

Use a damp cloth to rinse the shoes, then let them dry in the sun. If the shoes are smelly, which is most likely when the baby’s feet are sweaty, you can sprinkle some baking soda in them while drying in the sun and let the baking soda absorb the smell.

How to Dry Light-Up Shoes 

Children`s sneaker shoes with led light

After the shoes are thoroughly cleaned, set them out in the sun to dry—the shoes, laces, and insoles. Drying wet shoes need patience because it may take up to 12 hours to completely dry.

However, drying the shoes in the sun is the best way to preserve their fabric and soles. Additionally, the sun’s UV rays will help kill any bacteria in them that might cause a foul odor.

According to many shoe manufacturers, shoes should not be put in a dryer. This is because the dryer’s heat and tumbling can damage them. But if your dryer has a flat drying deck, you can use it to dry the shoes. 

Caring for Different Shoe Materials 

One constant thing about all types of shoes is that they need special care to keep them in good shape. Today, there are many types of shoes—from canvas to leather and everything in between. All these types of shoes require unique care, as described below.

  • Leather shoes: The greatest enemies to leather shoes are extreme heat and water. That’s why you need to apply a protectant on them before wearing them in wet conditions. And to clean them, you can use a leather cleaning spray or lotion. Apply a leather oil or lotion on them once in a while to keep them supple. Never machine wash them. 
  • Nubuck or Suede shoes:  Nubuck shoes also need protection from moisture. You can apply a protectant spray to protect them from stains and water. Then, use a nubuck or suede cleaning product to clean them. For best results, start by cleaning them using a suede brush. Never machine wash nubuck or suede shoes. 
  • Hiking boots/work boots/Blundstone: These shoes are designed to withstand harsh conditions. When they get messed up with mud, clean them using a brush with soft bristles or a wet cloth. After cleaning, apply leather food to them.