Sperry shoes were designed in 1935 as the first footwear to serve the unique needs of boaters. Intended to be worn by sailors navigating wet and slippery surfaces, the shoes are rugged and water resistant. Over the years, Sperrys have moved out of the niche sailing market and into mainstream footwear. As likely to be found in landlocked malls as on sailboat decks, Sperrys have become an icon of casual menswear. With their popularity, it is inevitable that the shoes will get soiled. When that happens, remove the mud and return your Sperry shoes to sparkling new condition.
Wipe off any loose dried mud with your hand. Clean the shoes as soon as possible. Sperrys are designed to get wet and can take more abuse than normal shoes, however mud can stain and be difficult to remove if it sets in the leather or canvas material.
Soak a sponge in clear water and clean leather, suede or canvas Sperrys. Start with a light, circular motion and progressively increase the pressure as the surface dirt washes away. Begin with the areas most covered in mud, then continue on to the rest of the shoe. The goal is to remove topical dirt and mud.
Rinse out the sponge to remove any mud. Soak it again and add a drop of dish washing detergent. Moving in small, firm circles go over the shoes again focusing on the remaining mud stained areas. After scrubbing with the sponge, let the soap sit on the stains for a few minutes. Wet the brush and lightly scrub the most affected areas with a quick, back and forth motion. Rinse off the shoes with water and allow them to dry. Use the cotton cloth to wipe off excess water before allowing leather Sperrys to air dry.
Put canvas Sperrys in the washing machine if they are still stained. Wash in cold water with regular detergent. Include a load of like colored towels if possible to keep the shoes from slamming against the sides of your machine. Once the washing cycle is over, remove the Sperrys and allow them to air dry.
Put a small amount of stain remover on any remaining blemishes on canvas Sperrys. Leave it on for a few minutes before wiping off with a damp sponge in small, circular motions. Let the shoes air dry.
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Jack Forbes has been writing sports, business and promotional material since 2000. His work was instrumental in two local political campaigns and the re-branding of a vacation home management company. His work has been featured in "The West Orange Times" and everythingpittsburgh.com. Forbes holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Rollins College.
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