Tips For Cleaning Your Uwezo Shoes

One question we often hear at Uwezo is, “How should I clean my shoes?” Because our shoes are made from hair-on cowhide, you can’t clean them like normal shoes. While we’d love to promise you that your Uwezo shoes will stay in pristine condition, realistically that will only happen if you leave them in the box forever - and you didn’t buy them to keep them hidden away. Accidents happen, things spill, and you step in weird stuff. So, let’s talk about what to do when that happens.

Before we tell you what to do, here is what not to do:

  • Do not soak or drench your shoes in water. This can cause the hide to harden and stiffen.
  • Do not brush or scrape against the direction of hair growth.
  • For the love of fashion, do not put your shoes in the washing machine or dryer.

For regular cleaning, you can use a brush with hard bristles to keep the shoes free of small pieces of dust, sand, dirt, and other debris that might get caught between the hairs. Be sure to brush in the direction of the hair.

If you spill something on your Uwezo shoes, dry up the excess liquid as quickly as possible. The longer the liquid is on the shoe, the more likely it is to leave a stain. Be sure to dab the liquid with a towel to soak it up, rather than rubbing it around which could make the spill deeper and more difficult to remove.

If you get something like ketchup or mud on your shoes, if you can’t get it all off by dabbing it with a towel, wait until it dries and then try to scrape it off with the blunt end of a knife. Again, be sure to go in the direction of the hair. This will help to remove any solid bits. Be sure to not be so forceful that you are pulling out hairs or causing unnecessary wear.

Removing Stains: Removing stains from cowhide can be difficult, but not impossible. For stains caused by dirt or mud, mix a little bit of shampoo (it is hair, after all) with warm water. Dampen a sponge or towel just a little bit, and gently rub it over the stain to help remove the stain. Once the stain is gone, go over the spot again with a damp, not soapy sponge or towel to remove any shampoo residue.

For grease and food stains stains, regular shampoo might not do the trick. One natural way that some people use to get rid of grease stains on hair-on cowhide is eucalyptus oil, which is generally assumed to be safe to use on clothing to break down grease and food stains. Using just a small amount, apply eucalyptus oil to the stain. You can use a cotton swab or a cotton ball for better precision. Gently rub the oil in, and wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Choose Uwezo For Unique, Hair-On Cowhide Shoes

At Uwezo, we make it a point to create truly unique shoes. While hair-on cowhide might not be as easy to clean as regular leather, we think that the benefit of having one-of-a-kind shoes goes a long ways. Our shoes are crafted from repurposed cowhide, so there are no two that look exactly the same. Whether you’re wearing a pair of our cowhide mens desert boots or some of our Oxfords for women, your unique shoes will always look great, even with a little dust or dirt on them. For unique women’s shoes, shop here, and for men’s cowhide shoes, head over here.