How to Wash Moccasins

by Melissa King

Hundreds of years ago, Native Americans protected their feet with moccasins, shoes made from leather and other animal skins. Today, moccasins remain popular as comfortable, casual footwear. Most manufacturers still make moccasins out of leather or sheepskin, so it's best to clean your delicate shoes by hand. Regularly removing dirt and stains is an effective way to keep your moccasins looking like new.

Remove loose dirt from the moccasins with a leather brush or a toothbrush. Alternatively, take the moccasins outside and clap the soles together to knock off soil.

Moisten a soft brush with cool water, then squirt a few drops of baby shampoo or mild detergent onto the bristles. Scrub the moccasins gently to get rid of stuck-on dirt and stains. Wash the tops of the moccasins and the soles. If your shoes have bows or fringe, brush them carefully to avoid damage.

Wet a cloth with cool water, then wipe the moccasins to remove the soap. Rinse the cloth with clean water after every few wipes.

Allow the moccasins to air dry. Do not dry the shoes in direct sunlight or put them next to a heat source, such as an oven or furnace. For faster drying, stuff the toes of the shoes with tissue paper or paper towels. If the paper gets soaked with water, replace it with dry paper.

Items you will need

  • Leather brush or toothbrush
  • Baby shampoo or detergent
  • Cloth
  • Tissue paper or paper towels (optional)


  • After cleaning, apply a water and stain-repelling spray to your moccasins.
  • If your moccasins have fringe, it may start to curl up over time. To flatten it, lay the moccasin on a bath towel on its side. Fold part of the towel over the fringe, then iron the fringe through the towel.
  • If your moccasins have bows that tend to untie, tie the laces, then saturate them with water. When the bows dry, they will stay tied.
  • To remove a scuff mark from your moccasins, rub the mark with a rubber pencil eraser.
  • You can wash some types of moccasins in the washing machine, but only do so if hand washing doesn't work.


  • Never put any type of moccasin in a clothes dryer.

About the Author

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.