Your slippers are a handmade product made with natural materials. They can last for many years, and they will form to your feet with wear. We outline the steps below that will keep them looking their best
Tip #1 - Don’t put them in the washer, even on hand wash!
We tested this to see how they would hold up and while they did hold their shape, we can’t recommend this as a cleaning option as it’s likely one or both slippers will shrink or deform with water and agitation in the washing machine. It will also dry out the suede and reduce its resilience.
Tip #2 - Spot clean with water and mild soap.
If you spill something on the wool or the suede gets dirty, use a damp cloth and mild soap (if needed) on the stain. Use water sparingly, but it’s ok to dampen and let them air dry.
Tip #3 - Wear them indoors to prevent excessive soiling
We don't recommend wearing your Astoria slippers outdoors unless you have waterproofed or treated the soles before hand. Our natural suede sole is meant for indoor wear only. The tan suede sole will accumulate some dirt, as well as patina naturally over time. See our suede instructions below for care...
Method 1 - The most effective way to clean your suede soles is with isopropyl alcohol (aka rubbing alcohol) and a clean cloth. Wet the cloth rag and scrub your suede soles until you are no longer removing dirt with the cloth. The soles will appear damp, but the alcohol will evaporate within an hour and will leave no smell. Repeat if necessary.
Once dry, Give the suede a good brushing with a medium bristle brush - a mushroom brush, clothing care brush, or even a scrub brush will work as long as the bristles are not stiff enough to rub off the suede. A rough, dry rag can be used if you don't have a brush. Brushing will help restore the suede nap and further loosen dirt in the suede.
This cleaning method will not restore the suede to brand new condition, but it will go along way to effectively remove stains and soil. We recommend using the alcohol cleaning method sparingly and only as needed, as it will dry the suede a bit.
Method 2 - The natural way to clean your suede soles is with white vinegar and a clean cloth. This is less effective than the first method and will leave a slight vinegar smell, but is a suitable option if you prefer not to use isopropyl alcohol. Follow the same instructions as the alcohol method, substituting white vinegar for isopropyl alcohol
Pre-treating the suede sole is not necessary, but will help extend the life of your slippers and keep them looking their best.
Pre-treated or not, the Astoria suede soles will patina over time and darken, like all natural leather will - this is normal. Pre-treating products with oils or aerosols of any kind will also darken the suede.
A suede cleaning solution and brush like the one in this kit by Angelus is another option for getting out spots, stains and restoring the suede. No cleaning method will return your suede sole to 100% new condition, but it will help keep the suede clean and keep the nap in good condition.
You may also purchase a special suede brush that restores nap, but it is not necessary.
Wool Care & Cleaning
The wool part of the slipper is a textile just like a wool sweater, so you can anticipate an occasional need to de-pill, re-fluff and refresh the fibers. Use a brush with soft to medium bristles - vinyl or natural are both fine. Something like a mushroom brush, or gentle scrub brush is perfectly fine. We recommend dry brushing both inside and outside the slippers to refresh the wool.
After brushing, we recommend clapping your slippers together to further remove dust, dirt and any soil your feet may have left behind. Take a slipper in each hand and rotate them so the wool sides are facing inward. Clap your slippers together as you would a pair of chalkboard erasers. Keep doing this until there is no long dust coming off.
If you get a stain on the wool, we recommend spot cleaning with a rag, water and a gentle detergent or soap. We really don't recommend submerging your slippers in water at any point. We have tried this and the slippers do not always dry in the same shape. Felted wool is made is made by a process using water and agitation, so even on the wool setting or handwashing, there is a good chance your slippers will change shape if they are submerged.
If your slippers start to smell, it’s likely due to bacteria, salts, dead skin or other soil being trapped in the wool. To kill bacteria you can spritz a high proof vodka inside the slippers and allow them to air dry. Follow up with a dry brushing. Putting your slippers inside a bag and letting them rest over night in the freezer is another way to kill bacteria. Again follow up with dry brushing and clapping to clear out any remaining soil.
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