Elastic straps are found on both casual and dress shoes. They allow for an adjustable fit and comfortable wear. The fibers that make up elastic can become embedded with dirt and stains over time. While more resistant materials can be wiped clean, elastic requires a more thorough wash. Restore the elastic straps on shoes to a never-been-worn state with some household products.
Set the shoes down on a sheet of newspaper.
Apply one layer of petroleum jelly to the sections of the shoe next to the elastic straps. This will protect the fabric from stains or scuffs during the cleaning process.
Rinse an unused toothbrush with cold water.
Cover the end of the toothbrush with an all-natural, white toothpaste.
Pour half a teaspoon of baking soda on top of the toothpaste. This will remove any odors and help to lighten the fabric to the original color.
Scrub the strap using a circular motion. Cover it completely with the mixture.
Rinse the toothbrush under warm water once the majority of the mixture has been applied to the strap. Scrub the strap into a lather.
Dampen a cotton washcloth with warm water and use it to wipe the strap clean of the mixture and all dirt.
Allow the straps to air dry overnight once both shoes are cleaned. Repeat the process if necessary.
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Celeigh O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. She has a Bachelor of fine arts from the University of Ottawa, as well as degrees in fashion illustration/design, digital arts and certification in hair and makeup artistry. O'Neil was a frequent contributor to Toronto's "Dialog" newspaper and has worked as an instructional writer, creating lessons in fashion, art and English for students of all ages.