How To Clean Your TOMS

     It’s “How To’s Day” and today to we are giving a little love back to the shoes that give the most, TOMS!  Summer is over, and if your favorite summer footwear were your TOMS, they probably look, and smell, like mine do.  I did a little research and found out how to save our beloved shoes, so that they can last another season.  

     Some websites say you can put them in the washing machine on gentle, but with a leather insole I didn’t want to soak the entire shoe.  So I broke the TOMS care into three parts: Fabric cleaning, Insole cleaning, and Mending holes.  I hope this helps you get a little more wear out of the shoes you love!

Cleaning the fabric:

The TOMS website has this to say: “We highly recommend hand washing TOMS in cold water with a gentle detergent and let them air dry. We do NOT recommend putting TOMS in the dryer under any circumstances. Please note that fading can be expected (especially from sun exposure) and does not compromise the durability of the shoe.”

     This tutorial we found on  This is what you will need:


1) Take a soft bristle brush (like a nail brush if you have one laying around) and remove and dirt or dust from the shoe.
2) Put a little cold water in a bucket, bowl, or even in your sink, and a very little amount of gentle detergent or unconcentrated dish soap.  Just use enough water and soap to make a small amount of bubbles.
3) After you wipe off your brush from step 1, dip it in the water, and placing you hand inside of your shoe, gently scrub the fabric.  I cleaned the outside, and the inside by the heel.  Scrub until they are as clean as you want.
4) Let them air dry.   
Cleaning the Leather insole:

     This tutorial we found on, and this is what you will need:


1) Dampen a washcloth with warm water and clean off the leather insole.  This is to remove dust and dirt…be careful not to stretch out your shoe when you try to clean to toe area.

2) You can use a soft bristled toothbrush, or nail brush, but the toothbrush is much easier to use to get in the shoe without stretching it.  Dip the toothbrush in leather cleaner, and scrub the sole of the shoe.  (I used the leather seat cleaner out of our car wash stuff…as long as it’s non-greasing you should be fine.)

3) Let them air dry.

     *To keep your newly cleaned TOMS from getting smelly again, put a good amount of Baking Soda in a sachet (a piece of cloth tied up to hold the contents) and place inside each shoe.  Note: You don’t want to put the Baking Soda directly in the shoe, cause it will dry out the leather insole.

Mending Holes:

     The first approach is just sew it up! Use a color that matches your TOMS and stitch the hole…or jazz it up a bit and use a contrasting color to make the stitching stand out.

You just need a needle and thread:


1) I started on the top of the shoe, because it’s really hard to come up from underneath, and I didn’t want the knot of the string to bother my toe.  Start on either far end and make sure that where the needle enters and exits the shoe is on the strong canvas and not the torn part.

2) Pull it through and start back again at the top, as close to the last stitch as possible.  

3) Continue the length of the hole, and then make a small knot on the end and try to hide it in the stitching. 

     The girlyer and slightly more involved option is to patch it!  I guess girly is in the eye of the beholder, and if you pick a manly patch this is just as much of a coed option, so try it out.

There you go! All Clean!

Maybe not as good as new, but at least they’ll be around a little bit longer. 
Jen & Jess

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