How To Clean Boat Shoes Without Ruining The Leather


Even though boat shoes are specifically designed to be used on a boat, you are likely wearing them on the ground as well. If you’ve had them for a while, there can be obvious signs of use. If so, you’ve probably wondered what the best way to keep them looking great is.

The good news is, we have gathered various tips and tricks on how to clean boat shoes. In our detailed guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about the best cleaning technique. Keep on reading to find out how to clean Sperry boat shoes and restore their original condition.

How to Clean Boat Shoes Guide

1. Cleaning the Laces

If your Sperry shoes have laces, you need to remove them before you start cleaning the shoes. They are typically made of rawhide, which means they require a special cleaning technique.

To clean the laces, start by filling a bowl with cold water and dish soap. Pop them in, then thoroughly move everything around and rinse. Allow them to air dry for up to 24 hours.

2. Leather Care

Keep in mind that leather requires special attention and it is much different from fabric. If you’re wondering how to clean Sperry boat shoes most appropriately, you should avoid using water. Washing your boat shoes with water dries out the natural oils which give luster and shine to the leather. 

Luckily, many available leather cleaners do a great job. They work just like boat wax and provide additional protection. Make sure you remove all the dirt using a gentle brush or a toothbrush before applying any product.

3. Protecting the Shoes from Further Damage

It is often said that prevention is the best remedy. The same applies to your boat shoes. That’s why it is important to prevent further damage by applying special leather lotion to the surface. 

This will prevent cracking, drying, and scuffing by adding moisture. To complete your makeover, it might be a good idea to get some boat polish and restore the surface of your boat as well. 

Tips on How to Clean Sperry Boat Shoes

  1. Apply a quarter-sized drop of dish soap to the sole of the shoe. Get a leather brush or an old toothbrush and scrub away any dirt.
  2. Sprinkle some baking soda on the insoles but only if they are not made from leather. Doing this will deodorize the shoes and increase their freshness. 
  3. In case your Sperrys get wet, you should let them air dry for around 24 hours. Make sure they are placed in a cool and dry place away from sunlight and heat.
  4. Use newspaper to stuff the shoes. This will help maintain their original shape as well as absorb excess moisture. 



Q: Can You Wash Boat Shoes?


Even though you can wash your leather boat shoes in the washing machine, doing this is typically not recommended. Water dries out the leather and can make it look less shiny. That is why it is better to remove the dirt with a gentle brush and then apply leather care products. In contrast, you can safely wash canvas shoes. 

Q: How Do You Clean Fabric Boat Shoes?


There are two ways you can clean fabric boat shoes. On one hand, you can fill a bowl with warm water and detergent, drip a soft brush into the mixture and gently scrub the shoes. Make sure you rinse them well. On the other hand, put the shoes in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. Let air dry.

Q: How Do You Get Foot Odor Out of Boat Shoes?


Sprinkle some baking soda on the insole if it’s not made from leather. Put the shoes into a paper bag and shake them well. Let it sit overnight. In addition, you can soak paper towels in white vinegar. Stuff them into the shoes, let it sit overnight, and then air dry.

Q: How Do I Make My Sperrys Not Smell?


You can place half a cup of baking soda into each shoe and let it sit overnight. Also, you can soak paper towels in white vinegar or rubbing alcohol, and then stuff your shoes. Let it sit overnight and then air dry the shoes. Freezing the shoes for 48 hours and then letting them air dry is another deodorizing method. 

Q: Can Boat Shoes Get Wet?


Boat shoes, such as Sperrys, are not actually waterproof. However, it is not a big problem if they get wet because they are water-friendly. In case they get wet, make sure you let them air dry because water can damage the natural shine of the leather.

Q: How Do You Clean the Inside of Sperrys?


Take the insoles out. Fill a bowl with warm water and detergent. Soak a cloth in the mixture and start rubbing the insoles thoroughly until you remove the dirt. Afterward, take a dry towel and dry them off. Let air dry before placing them back.

Q: How Do You Wash Canvas Shoes in the Washing Machine?


Use a stain removal product in case you have any stains on your shoes. Apply it according to the package instructions. Set the washing machine to a gentle cycle that uses cold water. Add half a dose of mild detergent. Let the shoes air dry for 24 hours after washing them. 

Globo Surf Overview

Leather boat shoes can get damaged, especially if you are using them off the boat as well. To preserve their original condition, you should take special leather cleaning steps. If you’re not sure how to clean boat shoes, simply follow our step-by-step guide.

It is important to remember that washing leather shoes are not recommended. Instead, remove the dirt with a gentle brush and apply leather care products according to the package instructions. Doing this will keep your boat shoes fresh for a long time. 

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!