Don’t throw your espadrilles in the laundry!
You can toss some shoes in the washing machine to clean, but espadrilles are not one of them. Since the soles of these shoes are wrapped in jute, which can unravel during the spin cycle, you need to clean canvas espadrilles by hand. Most espadrilles are made of canvas and you can clean them with water and a mild detergent. You can also clean the jute rope of the shoe in the same manner. Our canvas espadrilles (we call them Afridrilles = African + espadrilles) have an inner leather sole which we will also show you how to clean and remove any odors from as well.
Get your tools together
You don’t have to use the exact products we use, but you will need the following:
- A detergent, something that will be gentle on the fabric.
- 3 bowls (one for warm clean water, one for warm water with detergent, and one for the detergent and baking soda paste)
- Baking soda
- An old toothbrush
- 2 clean clothes
Start by cleaning the jute rope soles
Before you even begin, wait for any dirt to dry. Scrubbing it off when it hasn’t completely dried will actually cause the dirt to sink even deeper into the canvas material, and nobody wants that! Then, pour a tablespoon of mild detergent into a bowl. Add two cups of water and stir. Once the dirt has dried, take a cotton cloth and try to wipe off as much loose excess as you can. Then, take a toothbrush and dip it into the detergent water, and gently scrub the dirt off. Don’t forget to clean in-between the cracks of the cord. Then take a clean cotton cloth and dampen it with lukewarm water to rinse off the soap.
Clean the upper-part of the espadrilles
Next you will want to clean the canvas part of the espadrille. Dip a corner of the cotton cloth into the detergent water, then scrub off the dirt in a circular motion. Use a clean damp cotton cloth to rinse off the soap. Repeat as needed. Let your espadrilles soak for an hour (if you have colored espadrilles you might only leave them in for a few minutes and check the color).
Cleaning the leather soles
Combine water with a few drops of detergent and baking soda to form a paste. Next, wipe the full interior of the shoe with the paste and allow to dry for 15 minutes. Lastly, wipe away the dry paste with a clean rag. Cleaning the inside leather sole will also help with any odor you experience from wearing your espadrilles.
Let the espadrilles air dry
Finally, let the espadrilles air dry. Do not put your espadrilles in the dryer as this may shrink your shoes, and can also unravel the jute rope soles. Letting the espadrille canvas and soles naturally dry will result in the best outcome.