Accidental spills of cement in renovation sites are not uncommon and not always you are wearing rubber boots in those sites (because not everyone is a contractor). While it may seem like it is impossible to remove cement from fabric or leather shoes, in reality IT IS NOT!
How to Clean Cement From Shoes?
Cement needs to removed from any kind of shoes as it is corrosive. We’ll discuss about most of the scenarios (such as wet cement spill, dried cement spill, and cement dust) on both fabric as well as leather shoes.
If the Cement is WET
Wet Cement on Fabric shoes
STEP 1- Use a dull knife or plastic scraper to scrape away the wet mortar from the shoe surface.
STEP 2- Now pour a few drops of dry cleaning solvent on a bright cloth. Use this damp cloth to wipe the shoes surface. You may need to use a different part of the cloth (damping and wiping) again and again to remove the cement stain completely.
STEP 3- Finally, use a dry cloth to blot the shoes surface and transfer the surface moisture to the cloth.
STEP 4- Let the shoe air dry.
If you don’t want to use a dry cleaning solvent and the fabric is washable, simply place the shoes under running water after scraping the chunks of cement splatter off the surface. Then wash the shoes as you would regularly do.
Wet Cement on Leather Shoes
STEP 1- Use a plastic / wooden spoon / plastic scraper to remove wet cement from the leather surface.
STEP 2- Wipe the remaining cement using a wet microfiber cloth or a tissue.
STEP 3- Finally, condition the shoe surface with a leather conditioner.
Cleaning CEMENT DUST from Shoes
If you happened to walk in a construction area where cement was flying around in the air, your clothes and shoes sure got covered in all that cement dust. Since the cement is still dry and not hardened, it can be removed easily.
“Must do” Step
Use a hand vacuum or a crevice attachment on a regular vacuum to suck up all the surface cement dust from the shoes. Run the vacuum over the shoes as well as inside the shoes (as far as you can go) several times until it is impossible to remove any more of it.
Additional Steps for Fabric Shoes
1- Wash the shoes as normal in your washer or manually by dipping them into a detergent solution for an hour.
2- Take them out and rinse under running water in a sink while wringing out as much water out as you can.
Additional Step for Leather Shoes
After removing the surface cement dust from your leather shoes, there might be some that is still left. Use a damp cloth or a sponge to gently wipe off the surface. Only use the clean side of the cloth/sponge once for wiping before you switch to another side for wiping again.
If the Cement has DRIED
Let’s say you had a cement spill on our shoes and you did not remove it in time. So naturally the cement dried up over the shoe material. We can still get it off!
Dried Cement on Fabric shoes
STEP 1- If the mortar lumps are chunky, try to crush them with you hands as much as possible. Although it might sound like crushing solidified cement is a herculean task but it is really not, since they splashes of cement after all which has not any solid surface (like bricks) to hold on to.
STEP 2- Now use a sand paper to gently rub the stain, while being extra careful as to not sand down the fabric of your shoes.
STEP 3- Mix a few drops of laundry detergent and vinegar into a spray bottle and spray this solution over the shoe and let it remain on the surface for an hour.
STEP 4- After an hour or so, dip a toothbrush into warm water and scrub the cement stains with it. The scrubbing will produce foam. When that happens, use a cloth or a sponge to blot the froth off the surface. Along with the foam, some of the stains will be wiped as well.
STEP 5- Repeat the scrubbing and blotting (after squeezing and cleaning out the sponge every time you blot the stain) as many times as needed to get the cement stains out of the shoe.
STEP 6- Let the shoe/s dry in natural air or under a fan.
Dried Cement on Leather shoes
It is quite a challenge to remove dried cement (That has cured) from leather shoes. This is because cement needs time to fully cure and chances are that you got cement stains on the shoes, you would become worried about it in a matter of a few hours rather than days.
STEP 1- If the cement that has dried on the shoes is like a thin film, Use a brush to crush and remove as much cement from the leather as possible. Brush it off!
STEP 2- Pour some white vinegar into a spray bottle and spray your leather shoes with it. Let the acetic acid in vinegar dissolve the cement stains by letting it sit for 1-2 minutes. It is however, risky to let the let the vinegar sit for a long period of time on leather because it will damage the fibers of leather.
STEP 3- Use a clean cloth to wipe away the leather surface when the vinegar is still there and has not evaporated. Then use a dry cloth to fully dry the surface.
STEP 4- Finally, after the shoes have dried, you can polish them using your regular shoe polish.