How to Clean Elastic Straps on Shoes

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Many shoes have elastic bands that help fit them to individual feet.
Many shoes have elastic bands that help fit them to individual feet. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Elastic is used in a variety of shoe styles, from sandals to sneakers, to make shoes more comfortable and form fitting. Unfortunately, elastic, especially white elastic, can become dingy, stained or smelly over time. Just like it is important that you polish and shine a leather dress shoe, it is necessary to take the time to clean the elastic on your sandals or sneakers.

Things You'll Need

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Water
  • Washcloth
  • Baking soda
  • Bowl

Stains

Rub a small amount of petroleum jelly on the leather that borders the elastic straps.

Wet a toothbrush by holding it under running water or dipping it in a cup of water.

Squeeze a pea-sized ball of white toothpaste onto the toothbrush. Natural toothpaste without artificial colors works the best. Avoid gel-based toothpaste.

Scrub the elastic straps with the toothbrush. Add more toothpaste or water as neccessary to create a smooth lather.

Rinse the elastic straps under running water or use a damp washcloth to remove excess toothpaste.

Repeat steps 2 through 5 until the straps are clean.

Use a washcloth that is just barely damp to remove the petroleum jelly from the leather that borders the elastic straps.

Discard the toothbrush when finished.

Odors

Pour one cup of warm water into a bowl.

Add two tablespoons of baking soda to the water and mix well.

Dip a toothbrush into the baking soda mixture and use it to spread the mixture onto the elastic straps. Coat the straps thoroughly.

Allow the straps with the baking soda mixture on it them to sit overnight.

Rinse the elastic straps under running water or use a damp washcloth to remove any leftover baking soda mixture.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid soaking leather in water. Use a damp washcloth if there are many leather parts on the shoe.

References

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