This is a common question and an easy project to tackle with a few basic items you probably already have at home. It IS possible and quite simple to get them looking almost brand new.
Word to the wise: To keep your soles cleaner longer and prevent damage to the suede, we always recommend you wear your Astoria felt slippers only indoors. If you take them outdoors, wear them only on surfaces that won't transfer dirt or risk damaging the leather - like an outdoor rug, or a clean deck or patio.
Walking on damp surfaces; rough or rocky surfaces or actual dirt will stain and could damage your soles permanently. Pre-treating with a waterproof suede protector spray will also help prevent dirt and junk from working it's way into the leather.
Please note: This guide is for the tan soles - For the noir (black suede) soles, we recommend cleaning only with Step #3: Restoring the Nap, as the suede will color transfer. Spot test before using any cleaning products on your black soles.
Keep reading for our step by step guide to sole care:
Other cleaning options: We have also heard from a customer that "Woolite Carpet and Upholstery Foam Cleaner"with the brush on top "has cleaned them up beautifully." They told us they followed the instructions on the bottle as they would for upholstery, using the brush to gently work the product into the suede. This product isn't recommended by Woolite for use on leather, so use at your own risk, but we can't imagine one cleaning would do much damage.
What have you tried? What you can take away from this, is that there are a wide variety of ways to get your soles clean with products you probably already have. Spot test first to see if your cleaning product changes color or dries out the suede. Then let us know what you had success with so we can add it to our felt slipper care guide!
The sole shown in the image has been scrubbed and is damp from the rubbing alcohol.
Photo: Before and after cleaning, drying and restoring the nap. Almost as good as new!
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