How do I clean/ fix _____?
Using a toothbrush and soap water is a great way to go. It will take off most dirt stains and really makes a difference. Have a dry towel on had to wipe away the suds and the dirt.
Simple scuffs are easy to remove with acetone or rubbing hard with a wet towel.
If the leather and paint scuffed, then rub it down with acetone to remove all the damaged paint then repaint with only the damaged area. If it's white leather on an older/ used shoe, add some yellow to the white paint. White leather gets a tint of yellow. This is easy to see if you put pure white on, it won't match.
Suede has more nap than nubuck. Suede will change a shade if you push it one way an d will change back if you push it the other way. It's sort of hard to explain, but I'm sure you all have experienced this before.
For any loose dirt/ dust that have accumulated, use a suede/ nubuck brush. It will bring back the nap and remove the dirt. If that doesn't work, use soap and water and dry it quickly. A good suede/ nubuck cleaner is Lincoln EZ Cleaner.
Water is a problem if you get it dries. You will see a dark spot where it dried. First loosen the nap with a suede/ nubuck eraser, then use the brush to bring it back.
*Also be careful with the Suede brush that comes with the kit. It can fray the stitching on the shoes.
Faded suede/ nubuck will need some sort of suede renew. Waterproofer will also bring back that darkish look to black shoes. Suede/nubuck dye/Meltonian Suede Renew are recommended.
Clean with a damp or moist towel, then wipe dry. If you want to make the patent shine and gloss, apply hand lotion and wipe off with a towel. For quick touch ups carry a hand towel with a corner that is moisten with lotion. For light scratch marks or white scratch marks, you can use a little bit of rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover on one end of a Q-tip and lightly go over the area with the scratch. Use this at your own discretion. If you are not sure, post a picture of your scratch in the corresponding sticky. If the patent leather is stained or yellowed, there is no way to remove that. (Windex is said to eventually crack the patent leather. Baby Oil is a bit too messy on patent leather. Car wax is a good alternative.
"To fix severely scuffed or scratched patent leather all you need is High Gloss Angelus Acrylic finisher." - Titansfan16
Soap and water is suggested as well as Lincoln EZ Cleaner. That will get most of the dirt out, but if you want to get rid of yellowing on white mesh, use RIT whitener and brightener, or RIT color remover. This process can be found in the guide.
On white mesh/ canvas:
Soap, water, toothbrush. Get as much of the dirt out as you can. Then use RIT Color remover. Makes sure to not get on any colored suede. If there is some suede near it, use RIT whitener and brightener. Scrub thoroughly with water. Pat dry. Then get some oxi clean and scrub it in. Rinse ALL of it out. Lastly use laundry detergent and rinse ALL of it out.
The tide bleach pen might work. Just make sure to rinse out the bleach afterwards.
The decreasing method can be found in the guide.
To clean dirt off, use the soap/ toothbrush method. For scuffs, use acetone to strip them away. Don't rub too hard or you might take away the paint job too. Mr. Clean Magic eraser is a great alternative too.
As for midsole damage, you will need to do a sole swap if the shoe is from 1999/ 2000 or before. This is because the midsole will continue to break down on you and eventually will split in half. The sole swap process is in the guide. If there is a small chip in the midsole but of a later shoe, you can use caulk to fill it in. then repaint. Note: that area will be more prone to midsole cracking in the future, but the caulk will extend its lifetime.
White outsoles often suffer from yellowing. The only way to reverse this is to use the retrobright method. There is a thread dedicated to it here. For dirty outsoles, use a stiff bristled brush, such as a toilet brush and use heavy foaming dish soap. The bubbles will remove the dirt.
Seaglow partially or fully reverse the yellowing effect. The seaglow method is in the guide. The Retrobright method can be found here: http://solecollector.com/forums/Retr0bright-Sea-Glow-Tutorials-and-Discussion/7:1:1126803/
You will need to glue it back down. E-6000, Gorilla Glue, or Barge Cement is recommended. You will need clamp down the shoe with something while it cures. Thick rubber bands and extra shoe laces work well. When you apply pressure, some excess glue might seep out. Wipe this up as soon as they come out, or else you will have a bad glue job on your hands.
The process can be found in the guide. I tell anyone attempting a repaint to buy Angelus paint. First, strip the existing cracked paint from the midsole with acetone or rubbing alcohol. Depending on what the shoe is you might have to put down a couple layers of white on the ENTIRE midsole. Example: Fire red III's. You put 4 layers of with then apply the fire red where it goes.
Lysol, Febreeze, Laundry Dryer Sheets
Most odors can come from the insole or the ankle lining areas of a shoe. So it may be a good idea to clean those aspects if the products above do not work.
One of the most annoying problems, but it can be easily removed with a razor, disposable preferably.
Fogged up Air Bubble
Take a hair dryer and put it on high. Hold it up to the fogged up bubble for about 15- 20 seconds. You should see it clear before your eyes. Do both sides of the shoe. Don't put too much heat or hold it up for too long. Doing so can cause considerable damage to your air unit.
Denim/ Jean Stains
If it's on white leather or nubuck/suede, use a nubuck/suede eraser on it. If it doesn't come out, try again the next day. Attempting to clean it the same day using an eraser will just frustrate you.
You can also use a warm damp towel on white (or some colored) leather (not suede/nubuck).
Magic Erasers, nail polish remover, and acetone works as well, but use with caution if you do. Over scrubbing can remove the paint or damage the particular surface of the shoe you are cleaning.
My advice is to have extras just in case so you can alternate. If you buy shoes with dirty laces, this is what you can do. Put laundry detergent, water and your laces in an empty water bottle. Let it sit for 24 hours and shake it once every few hours. Let the laces air dry.
Use a toothbrush and some dish soap, dampen the stitching you want to clean and scrub. You may have to repeat this process a couple of times to see results. Then just rinse the area with water and dry with a towel.
If it's really bad what you might want to do is use some shoe whitener and a paintbrush and carefully paint it on the stitching. Then get a damp towel and wipe it off. It might take several attempts before the stitching is whitened without becoming stiff. What you want it to do is to absorb the whitener, cleaning it off with a damp towel will make the stitching not as stiff. The only downside to this is that the white colors won't really match. Either the leather white or the stitching white is lighter than the other.