How to Clean Your Moccasins Easily and Perfectly?

Everyone loves a pair of gorgeous shoes, and what’s better than those durable moccasins? But if you own a pair of these, chances are, you have noticed that they can get quite dirty after a while.

Indeed, even the most high-quality moccasin brands can’t make ones that won’t need cleaning - that’s just a part of owning such wonderful shoes! So without further ado, let's get into the nitty-gritty of how to keep your moccasins nice and clean.

Know Your Shoe Material 

The very first rule of cleaning moccasins is knowing the material they are made of. These shoes can be made from -

  1. Deerskin or moose-hide
  2. Suede
  3. Sheepskin

Depending on the type of material, you will need to make slight changes in the way you clean them.


Things You Will Need

The next step requires you to know and prepare the things necessary to clean the shoes. The materials required are:

  1. Leather brush or toothbrush
  2. Cold water
  3. Mild shampoo or detergent
  4. A clean piece of cloth
  5. A clean, dry towel
  6. Newspaper
  7. Suede brush or nail file (for suede moccasins)
  8. A place to air dry after cleaning
  9. Some extra materials may be needed according to your particular shoes, as mentioned below

How to Clean Your Moccasins

Now that you’ve prepared the necessary materials, you can start the cleaning process.

Step 1

If your moccasins are made of deerskin or moose-hide, then firstly, start off by cleaning your shoes using a leather brush, or by dusting them off outside by gently clapping the soles together. This will remove any dirt or soil stuck to the shoes.

Step 2 

Secondly, dip the leather brush or toothbrush in water, and moisten it. Pour a few drops of the mild detergent or shampoo on the brush and gently scrub the surface of the moccasins, both the top and the sole. Make sure to take extra care to scrub any decorations, such as a fringe, to get all the dirt.

Alternately, you can wash the shoes in a sink full of cool water. For this method, fully emerge the shoes in the water, and add a few drops of the detergent or shampoo. Hand wash the shoes, then rinse with cold water.

Yet another alternative would be to use a washing machine. Set the machine to the gentle or delicate cycle and use cold water with a small amount of the soap.

Step 3 

After that, soak the cloth in cool, clean water, and use it to wipe the soap off the moccasins. To remove the soap properly, make sure to wipe the surface multiple times, and to clean the cloth with water in between every few wipes.

Step 4

If your moccasins are made from suede, then instead of applying moisture, use the suede brush or nail file to get rid of any dirt or scuff marks. It’s important to keep suedes dry, so even if they get wet, dry them using a dry piece of cloth or towel immediately.

In case the suede has been treated using a protector, then it can be wiped off with a damp cloth, or cleaned using a suede cleaning kit for a more thorough cleaning.

Step 5

For sheepskin moccasins, you need to follow the protocol for suede, as the outside of these shoes is made of suede. And if a protectant has been applied to them, then they can be cleaned with a damp cloth.

If the shoes need to be washed, then use a special wash for these moccasins, such as the Kookaburra Sheepskin Wash, following the instructions in the bottle.

Step 6

Fur trim and fleece lining: some moccasins have special fur trims or fleece linings, which must be cleaned separately.

For fur trims, the best way to clean would be to use a spray bottle. Fill the bottle with cold water, and lightly spray the fur with it. Do NOT soak the fur! Make sure only to spray it gently. Next, use a hairdryer set on ‘air’ and gently fluff the fur with your fingers while drying it.

And for fleece linings, both the ones that can be removed and the ones that are sewn together, you need to use a non-detergent soap. The removable linings should be taken off and hand-washed, while the inside liners of the non-removable ones must be cleaned carefully using the soap.

How to Dry the Mocassins

When it comes to moccasins, drying is as important as cleaning, and the only way to do this is by air-drying them. This can be done by hanging them near a fan using wires, or by keeping them close to a fan and putting a towel underneath to soak up the moisture.

Do not dry them using direct sunlight, blow driers, or heaters! This will damage the material and lower it’s life-span.

If you want to use sunlight to help speed up the air-drying process, then keep them in the shade to be dried indirectly. If the liners of the moccasins can be removed, then this will work even better, especially on bright, sunny days.

Additionally, you can stuff newspapers inside the shoes to dry them quicker.


Moccasins have traditionally been used for wear in harsh conditions, and for a good reason - they are quite hardy. In the modern world, however, these shoes not only serve as durable footwear but also as a fashion statement.

With great products comes great responsibility! If you want your moccasins to last, then make sure to clean them regularly and in the right manner, and these will surely last you a few years, and attract quite a few glances and compliments to boot!

Dr. Shoeta

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