How to Clean 3M Shoes

by Marc Gottlieb

New shoes cost a lot these days so it's important to care for them properly.

Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images

3M Scotchlite Reflective Material is an embossed vinyl fabric often used as a decorative trim on safety gear for construction crews and law enforcement as well as on athletic shoes and sports gear. Perhaps best known for being used on the Air Jordan V, 3M Scotchlite reflective trim has become a mainstay of high-end sneaker manufacturers worldwide, and it is important to clean this material regularly to keep shoes looking their best. Due to its sturdy construction, the 3M material is not difficult to maintain.

Step 1

Dampen a soft cloth in cold water. Try not to make it too wet or it will take longer for the shoe to dry.

Step 2

Rub some mild soap into the cloth. Most hand soaps should be fine or use a dab of laundry detergent that does not contain sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide.

Step 3

Brush the soapy cloth over the synthetic 3M material. You can scrub harder if the job requires, but most dirt and grime should come right off without much struggle.

Step 4

Set the shoe aside and allow it to dry thoroughly at room temperature.


  • Never machine wash or dry your shoes as this could damage them.

    Never use bleach or chlorine as this could damage your shoes at the trim and any surrounding areas.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About the Author

Marc Gottlieb has been writing since 1997, when he was hired as a guest columnist for "Films in Review" magazine. He now serves as a full-time writer and contributor to several online publications. Gottlieb attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City.