You wanna know what sucks? Mud puddles. Or snow. Or, well, anything wet that sits between my front door and my car. I hate it, especially when I'm wearing certain types of shoes - suede, faux suede, fabric, velvet. It stains soooooo easily and gets watermarks. And I'm a klutz. Which makes it that much worse. If there is a puddle of nasty, my suede platform will end up in it. From 10 feet away. If I drink coffee while walking - it will drip on my shoes as sure as the day is long.
I finally got sick of losing shoes to otherwise harmless liquids and decided to find out what I could do about it. Fixing my klutziness wasn't an option so I resorted to chemicals. (If the following doesn't work for you, chemicals can be found that make you forget/not care that you've ruined your shoes - they can be found at your friendly neighborhood bar and/or liquor store) This is what I discovered by trial and error:
First thing: Whenever you bring home a new pair of suede (real or faux), fabric, or velvet shoes, YOU MUST PROTECT THEM! I use Kiwi Protect-All for Suede and Fabrics. It won't prevent damage from the BIG oops-idents, but it will save you from a drop of coffee or water here and there and maybe one trip down a damp walkway. So don't spray it on then think you can go dancing in the rain. It's good, but it's not THAT good. I spray two light coats about an hour apart and let it dry overnight. This stuff is flammable and very dizzy-smelling. I recommend doing it outside.
Now, what happens if you screw up and soak the shoes? This is the first time the white washcloth comes into play. Press the cloth to the shoe to absorb the moisture. DO NOT RUB! Once you've gotten as much of the moisture off as you can, WITHOUT RUBBING, then leave the shoes out to dry. Overnight is a good bet. Expect that there will be watermarks from the edges of the spill and don't freak out (yet) that your shoes are ruined. What you do next depends on what material the shoe is made of:
Satin - which I avoid like the plague: I'm told that Dryel Instant Stain Remover rubbed in the direction of the fabric grain will get some stains out. I have not tried this, but it makes sense. Dryel is a dry-cleaning type product and satin usually needs to be dry-cleaned. I've never understood why shoes worn while one is typically drinking tend to be made of an impossible-to-clean material. The one time I ever had to clean a pair of satin shoes - I took them to a professional cleaner. They still weren't clean when I got them back.
I think this pretty much covers most porous surfaced shoes. There are a couple more obscure fabrics that you can use these tips and your judgement to clean. Except where noted, I've tried all these tricks and these are how I got the best results. Here's hoping you are lucky and never even have to clean a pair of shoes, but if you aren't I hope this helps. Now, go wash that filthy white cloth. Happy Shoes, Dolls!
(No shoes were harmed in the writing of this blogpost)