Vintage Shoes: Great or Gross?

So a colleague of mine has the most awesome wardrobe made up of unbelievable finds from high-end consignment shops around town. Her finds range from flirty tops and stylish jackets to belts and handbags.

While I don’t have the desire to hunt consignment shops for clothes and accessories, what if these shops sold vintage heels and pumps? It got me thinking…Prada, Louboutin, Chloe, Manolo, Gucci.  Think of all the amazing vintage heels that may be available! GREAT!

But I’d be wearing someone else’s shoes! GROSS! Clothes you can dry clean; accessories you can disinfect. What about shoes?

So I did a little research. Apparently, the best way to disinfect a vintage shoe is as follows:

1. Pour half a bottle of rubbing alcohol on the outside of the shoes and let them sit for at least five minutes, killing any present bacteria. Be careful not to use an alcohol-based solution with more than 10% water, because this may water damage the shoes.
2. Place the shoes in direct sunlight for two hours. This will dry the alcohol and help to remove any germs in the shoes.
3. To disinfect the inside of the shoes mix 1/4 cup bleach with one cup water. Spray the mixture into the shoes. This will kill germs and fungus. Make sure that the bleach only touches the inside of the shoes. Allow the shoes to dry thoroughly. ***Note bleach may damage certain materials such as leather! This is why we say to be sure to only spray the inside of the shoes. As an alternative you can use a spray bottle full of antibacterial solution such as Lysol or another anti-fungal spray to the inside of the shoes. This will kill any fungus, such as athlete’s foot, and help to prevent it in the future.
4. When in doubt, replace the insole completely. Dr. Scholl’s has really stepped up the technology on their famous insoles. You no longer have to settle for big, ugly pads. They even make an open toe version.
5. To clean the outside of the shoes use a hand cloth and wet it with an alcohol-based cleaning solution. Rub and clean the outsides of the shoes. This will take any dirt out of the shoes.
6. Spray the outside of the shoes with a disinfectant spray. This will kill some germs, but disinfectant sprays will usually only disinfect non-porous surfaces.
7. To deodorize shoes try two options. 1) Fill two stockings with cat litter and baking soda. Place one stocking into each shoe. 2) Dust baking soda, any kind, on the insole. Leave overnight and dump out the next day.
8. Air the shoes out for a night. Remove the laces and pull the tongue out as far as possible if applicable.

Ok, there is NO way I’d exert that much effort to clean vintage shoes. Good thing these directions also noted that if you don’t want to go through the hassle of cleaning your vintage shoes, you can always take them to a nearby shoe repair shop. Bingo! Much more my style.

Here’s to venturing into vintage!


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